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Friday, December 23, 2011

The Carter Sisters Show

The Carter Sisters, (better known as their later moniker, The Carter Family) were an American singing quartet consisting of Maybelle Carter and her daughters June Carter Cash, Helen Carter, and Anita Carter. Formed during World War II, the group recorded and performed into the 1980s.

In the 1920s through the early 1940s, Maybelle Carter was part of the historic country music trio The Carter Family with her cousin Sara Carter and Sara's husband A. P. Carter. Maybelle's contribution to the group was singing harmony to Sara's lead vocal as well as playing guitar. Maybelle was married to A.P.'s brother Ezra Carter and had three children: June, Helen, and Anita.

In March 1943, when the original Carter Family trio stopped recording together after their WBT-AM contract ended, Maybelle Carter formed "Maybelle Carter & the Carter Sisters" with her three daughters June, Helen and Anita. Maybelle's daughters had frequently appeared with The Carter Family on their radio broadcasts of the early 1940's. The girls were young when the new act began: June at age 14; Helen, 16; and Anita, the youngest, at age 10.

The group was said to have been a mix of traditional songs of the original Carter Family with pop, gospel, and vaudeville comedy. Each daughter made her own contribution to the band.

  • Helen: vocals, guitar, and accordion
    Anita: vocals, guitar, and bass fiddle
    June: vocals, autoharp and comedy (June struggled with pitch problems and soon began to focus more on her
    comedic addition to the group than her singing.

The group (originally from Poor Valley, Virginia) made their first move to Richmond, Virginia in 1943. (They were reported as having kept their travel low key, with their father Ezra driving the group in a van to and from their destinations.) The new group first aired on radio station WRNL in Richmond on June 1, 1943. This broadcast would serve as their first commercially sponsored program and their first radio debut as "Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters." The girls' next big break was offered to them by "Sunshine Sue" of WRVA-AM. In September 1946 the group was asked to be a part of The Old Dominion Barn Dance on WRVA. The show had just begun and started small, however by the end of its first year was selling out its 1,400 seat theater twice a night, every Saturday. The group soon became a headliner for the show. Having spent five years in Richmond, the girls were yet again offered a job opportunity, this time in Knoxville, Tennessee.

In 1948, towards the end of their time in Richmond, the girls were offered the chance to work for WNOX-AM in Knoxville. They accepted and were then played on both the evening show, Tennessee Barn Dance; and the daily show, Mid-Day Merry-Go-Round.

Carter Sisters.zip (All Shows)

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1 comment:

  1. many thanks indeed for these wonderful shows, June was the right little MC, and accompanied by the great Chet Atkins.
    These songs are to be treasured.



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