The generation of the Carter Family credited with the “big bang” that started the genre that would come to be known as country music with four successive generations of Carter kin, including “Carter Girls” Helen, June and Anita as well as Carlene Carter and John Carter Cash are heard on The Carter Family – Across Generations. The album project has been the focus of producer John Carter Cash’s efforts for the past few years and is available now from Reviver Entertainment Group’s Legacy label on LP, CD and across digital platforms.
Hear The Carter Family – Across Generations: http://www.2lin.cc/acrossgenerations
Carlene Carter noted, “It’s a wonderful blessing to be able to have the technology today to have so many people who have passed and to be able to sing with them. As a child, I was told ‘when we’re all passed away, you have to carry this on and that’s what we’ve done.’” John Carter Cash, her brother adds, “We were charged with this,” suggesting, “It’s not just about fame and power, it’s about the music” with his sister chiming in, “And the love.”
Reflecting on his family’s role in music history, John Carter Cash suggests, “You show me ten songs and I’ll show you nine that have direct influence from The Carter Family. The Carter Family touched many people,” he notes and the album, in a very tangible way, keeps that tradition moving forward. After hearing the finished album, Carlene commented, “It’s very authentic, it’s just who they are and when I hear it, I get very emotional because all I wanted to do was protect that legacy and you truly hear that ‘Carter thing.’”
Reviver Entertainment Group Founder David Ross noted, “The Carter Family’s contribution and historical relevance to country music cannot be overstated. Without them, the genre would simply not have become the touchstone it has been for almost 100 years.”
The Carter Sisters, also known as the Carter Girls, were the daughters of Sara’s cousin Maybelle who had married Ezra Carter, A.P.’s brother. With their mother, they kept the Carter Family tradition thriving from the 1940s into the 1990s. Anita, June and Helen toured and recorded with Maybelle during those years, ultimately becoming part of The Johnny Cash Show. Cash would marry June in 1968 and had already made the Carter Family an integral part of his in-concert presentation. His inclusion of the Carters enabled many to witness, both in concert and on TV, and to be influenced by “the Carter Scratch,” Mother Maybelle’s innovative guitar technique.
Carlene, June’s daughter by country great Carl Smith, was part of the group as was as Lorrie Carter Bennet, Anita’s daughter, who is also heard on the album. Carlene, of course, went on to country stardom in her own right while John Carter Cash, sole offspring of the marriage from Johnny Cash and June Carter, became a noted Nashville-based producer and recording artist.
Now, with Across Generations, things have come full circle with original recordings on which original Carter Family members are heard with contributions from later generations. Members of the fifth generation are heard with their great-great grandparents in a melodic version of time travel. Song selections range from Carter Family standards “Worried Man Blues,” “Will The Circle Be Unbroken”) to “Maybelle”, a composition by Danny and David Carter, written in 1978 upon the passing of their grandmother, to a newly discovered original autoharp recording simply titled “Maybelle’s New Tune.”
Tape sources included a just discovered home recorded tape that was used to convey news and music to family members in lieu of letters, unreleased tracks by June Carter, as well as long-forgotten and never previously released recordings by Helen and Anita. The “first family of country music” broke through nationally after the legendary Bristol Sessions in the summer of 1927. It was then that A.P., Sara and her cousin Maybelle travelled across the Tennessee line from the their homestead in Hiltons, VA, nestled at the foot of Clinch Mountain, in the heart of Appalachia. In Bristol, they were recorded by pioneering producer Ralph Peer. Years later, he recalled that first encounter with the three Carters. “He’s dressed in overalls… they looked like hillbillies. But as soon as I heard Sara’s voice, that was it. I knew it was going to be wonderful.” During those initial sessions, the still teenaged Maybelle’s ability of playing melody and rhythm on guitar simultaneously, later known as ‘the Carter scratch,’ was noted.
The records they recorded at that time and afterwards would go on to sell hundreds of thousands of copies for the Victor Talking Machine Company. The Carter Family thereafter became a sensation on “border radio,” broadcasting from XERA, an ultra-high wattage station located in Ciudad Acuna, on the Mexican side of the border across from Del Rio, TX. Its powerful signal, across the entirety of the United States, propelled the Carter Family to legendary status. They were the first musical group to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1970.
The Carter tradition made it to Nashville through the good graces of Maybelle and her daughters, regulars on the Grand Ole Opry. The tradition continued with the births of fourth generation Carter Family members including the children of Carlene Carter, John Carter Cash, Dale Jett, David Carter Jones and Danny Carter Jones. Children of June Carter Cash, Carlene and John Carter perform on the album. In turn, their offspring make appearances, as well as numerous other descendants of A.P., Sara, Ezra, Maybelle and their progeny.
The release of The Carter Family – Across Generations literally and figuratively brings The Carter Family legacy full circle and continues to be unbroken over the course of more than 90 years.
The Carter Family Across Generations
1. Farther On (Traditional)
2. My Clinch Mountain Home (A.P. Carter)
3. Gold Watch and Chain (A.P. Carter)
4. Worried Man Blues (A.P. Carter)
5. Winding Stream (A.P. Carter)
6. I Never Will Marry (A.P. Carter)
7. Amber Tresses (A.P. Carter)
8. Maybelle (Danny Carter Jones, David Carter Jones)
9. Diamonds In The Rough (A.P. Carter)
10. Don’t Forget This Song (A.P. Carter)
11. Foggy Mountain Top (A.P. Carter)
12. Will the Circle Be Unbroken? (A.P. Carter)
13. Maybelle’s New Tune (Maybelle Carter)
Carter Family members heard on Across Generations:
Sara Carter (first generation)
Anita Carter (second generation)
Helen Carter (second generation)
June Carter Cash (second generation)
Johnny Cash (second generation*)
Lorrie Carter Bennett (third generation)
Ana Cristina Cash (third generation*)
John Carter Cash (third generation)
Carlene Carter (third generation)
Lisa Carter Dickerson (third generation)
Rita Forrester (third generation)
Benita Carter Jones (third generation)
Dale Jett (third generation)
Danny Carter Jones (third generation)
David Carter Jones (third generation)
Kevin Carter Jones (third generation)
Connie Carter Keller (third generation)
Joseph Cash (fourth generation)
Tyler Forrester (fourth generation)
Tucker Jett (fourth generation)
Casey Dickerson Garrett (fourth generation)
Tiffany Anastasia Lowe (fourth generation)
AnnaBelle Cash (fourth generation)
Grace June Cash (fourth generation)
Jack Ezra Cash (fourth generation)
Dewanna Wolfe Cross (fourth generation)
Dania Wolfe Strong (fourth generation)
Adrianna Cross (fifth generation)
Lux Darling (fifth generation)
Jacob Strong (fifth generation)
Shyanna Strong (fifth generation)
Flo Wolfe (third generation)
*related by marriage
ABOUT REVIVER ENTAINMENT GROUP Founded in 2011 by industry veteran David Ross, The Reviver Entertainment Group, LLC, home of Reviver Records (with offices in Nashville, New Jersey, Phoenix and Pennsylvania), boasts an artist roster that includes veteran hit-maker and No.1 singer-songwriter David Lee Murphy, Platinum-selling hitmakers Big & Rich and Thompson Square, No.1 hit-maker/singer-songwriter Michael Tyler, rising stars Tenille Arts, Aaron Goodvin, Blackjack Billy, the iconic Carter Family, John Carter Cash, Johnny Cash and the legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Famer (2009) Little Anthony. Reviver Entertainment Group’s divisions also include Reviver Label Services, Reviver Legacy, Reviver Publishing, Reviver Films, Reviver Management and Reviver Productions.