Nov. 14, 2006 – The Carter Family, consisting of Helen Carter, Anita Carter and wife of Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash, recorded the CD in 1991 at the old LSI Studios in Nashville. The project sat on the shelf for years until the assets of LSI were obtained by Sphere Records. The project was discovered, and the family contacted about releasing it.
Lorrie Davis Bennett, the granddaughter of Maybelle Carter of the original Carter Family and daughter of Anita Carter, is very pleased with the new CD. Two of Anita’s favorite Carter Family songs, “Amber Tresses” and “Winding Stream,” are included in the new release. Bennett said she knew the two favorites were going to be included, “but it was a pleasant surprise hearing them the way they were done.” Asked what the Carter sisters would think of the new release, Bennett said, “They would be very happy. They would really like it.”
The new CD can be purchased at www.CarterFamilyCD.com or by calling 1-800-889-4025. It is also available on Amazon.com.
The original Carter Family, A.P. Carter, Sara Carter and Maybelle Carter– first recorded in 1927. The original family disbanded in the early 1940s, and Mother Maybelle formed a group with her daughters, Helen, Anita and June.
Maybelle and her three daughters (already music business veterans from having worked with the original family in Texas on the powerful, 500,000-watt broadcasts from the Mexican border stations) formed a new singing group, The Carter Sisters and Mother Maybelle. In 1950, the group joined the Grand Ole Opry, bringing along a Knoxville musician, Chester “Chet” Atkins, as their guitarist. The Carters would stay with the Opry until 1967, even though they had become regular members of the Johnny Cash road show in 1962.
In the mid-1960s, the Carter Sisters and Mother Maybelle again became known as the Carter Family and in 1973 and 1974 added a third generation of Carters to the act. Anita’s daughter, Lorrie Davis (Bennett), joined the group, along with Helen’s sons, Danny and David Jones. In 1974, the new Carter Family released an LP, “Three Generations,” for Columbia Records.
Maybelle, Helen, June and Anita each had solo recordings and appearances, in addition to performing as a family unit. Each had impressive songwriting credentials in addition to their skills as musicians and vocalists. Helen penned songs for many artists, including Ann Margret. June also pursued an acting career and landed roles on several TV shows that included “Gunsmoke” and “Jim Bowie.” One of Anita’s records, “There’ll Be No Teardrops Tonight,” marked the first time strings were used on a Nashville recording session. In the early 1970s, Maybelle was the centerpiece of the landmark “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” session organized by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
The Original Carter Family was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1970.
Maybelle Carter died Oct. 23, 1978, and Helen Carter Jones died June 2, 1998. Anita Carter died July 29, 1999, and June Carter Cash died May 15, 2003.
Bennett is doing everything she can to keep the music of the Carter Family alive, singing the traditional Carter Family songs at venues around the country. She was “strongly encouraged” by her grandmother to carry the torch, and it was something that Bennett said she wanted to do. Her realization of the Carters’ place in music history came when Bennett saw people “honoring” her grandmother and giving her standing ovations.
According to Bennett, the three Carter women who in the 1990s recorded this new CD were as totally unaffected by their fame and place in history as those Carters who gave birth to country music in 1927. “They were all just people who valued the simple things in life and appreciated someone wanting to hear their songs.”
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