Who was/is Janette and Joe Carter ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more
Joe and Janette Carter
Carter Family Favorites
Almost forty years ago, in Scott County, Virginia, a little settlement at the foot of the Clinch Mountain's brought forth a musical trio which the world has never forgotten: the Carter Family of Maces Springs. The Original Carter Family was destined to become one of the greatest names in the history of Country Music.
Joe and Janette Carter are the children of A.P. and Sara Carter of the original band. With this album they are continuing a great tradition, faithful to the ideals that were instilled in them by their parents.
The first Carter Family consisted of A.P. Carter, his wife, Sara, and Maybelle Carter, who was A.P.'s sister-in-law and Sara's first cousin. These three formed what is today known as the 'Original Carter Family'. There has been no group before or since whose influence has been so wide-spread, both in area and time span. Almost every succeeding composer or musician in the field of Country string music has, at one time or another, leaned heavily on the style, technique, or repertoire of the Carters. The enormous prestige and influence of A.P. Carter's music has not diminished since his death in 1960. Rather, it has increased during the past several years. Each member of the group contributed greatly to the quality as well as the quantity of music produced. More than 300 songs were copyrighted by A.P. alone. It is a source of amazement to discover that there never was a poor or second-rate piece of material in all this work.
The auto-harp and two guitars were the instruments of the Carter Family. An exceptional sense of good taste and uncanny timing coupled with natural ability and thorough knowledge of mountain-lore lent an undeniable magic to their instruments and voices. Sara Carter's tremendous range of voice would have been enough to carry the group. Maybelle's pleasing guitar runs and A.P.'s instinctive knowledge of exactly when he was to join the group in song added the balance that grave this group superiority. In the infant days of radio the family was brought before the public in one-night stands held in one-room schools, churches, or otherwise unoccupied buildings. They never failed to gather a crowd when it was known they were to appear. Fame of the Carter Family spread in every direction throughout the nation and across the seas. Many of the huge throng of still-faithful fans gathered by the trio were captured for life by early phonograph records.
Although the Original Carter Family disbanded in the early 1940s, the second generation was beginning to take hold. Joe and Janette Carter were picking up the instruments and making an occasional appearance with their parents and aunt. The stage of many a school auditorium was their training-ground, and the elder Carters their tutors. Thus, a unique two-fold legacy have Janette and Joe: that of their parents' knowledge and tradition, plus the greatest gift - talent.
Joe and Janette play the guitar and auto-harp, respectively, using the actual instruments that belonged to A.P. and Sara. In their singing and playing neither consciously attempts to duplicate the original band's sound. However, in each selection there are passages containing a definite 'Carter' ring or touch. Although both play and sing with the great individuality, one hears faintly, yet nonetheless distinctly, overtones of Sara, A.P., and Maybelle.
The young Carters' music is also similar to the original group's in that it is pervaded by an earthiness that no false glamour can imitate. There is, in addition to the beauty in Joe and Janette's music, a quality of strength and character which goes beyond just good entertainment. It is music of strong emotional impact upon even the casual listener. The depth of their music is felt as much as heard.
Joe Carter leans to a style that he calls "sort of Bluegrass". This is his natural preference, as far as method is concerned. There is a great similarity in Joe's guitar work to that of his aunt Maybelle. However, Joe's style is more free-flowing and less formal: perhaps a bit more youthful.
Janette & Joe Carter Carter Family Favorites
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Deliverance will come
The cars start arriving late Saturday afternoon. The Carter Family Fold doors are already open, and people wander in. The regulars put a personal item on a seat to claim it, then drive into Hiltons or Gate City to get a bite to eat. Up on a hill overlooking the Fold, Janette Carter readies herself for another Saturday night. Her brother, Joe, opens the Fold, then sits in an airplane seat off to the side. Friends wander up, sit and talk. Joe built most of the Fold himself by hand, and it's a remarkable structure; remarkable both as a building and as a living monument. Clinch Mountain towers three thousand feet above it, and the Fold is built into the mountainside, affording a natural slant. When it rains, water runs off the mountain and down the theater aisles. The seats are mostly old bus and train seats. There are a few lawn chairs with the back legs cut down so that you sit flat rather than on a 45-degree angle. The bleachers are railroad ties with carpet samples stapled onto them. There's no air conditioning other than tin roll-up windows, which are open in summer and closed in winter. Joe fires up two big wood stoves on winter afternoons to warm the place before the crowds arrive. If someone faints in the summer heat, Janette's son, Dale, carries them out and puts them under a tree. If it rains and cars are stuck in the mud, Dale will pull them out. If it snows, and someone has a long drive home, one of the Carters will put them up until the roads clears.
Promptly at 7:30pm Janette Carter walks onstage. She's unsteady on her feet these days, but her eighty years sit well upon her. She's a handsome woman with a beatific smile, and first time visitors are often moved to tears as she talks briefly and humbly about how she and Joe built the Fold in order to fulfill her promise to her father, A. P. Carter. "Before he died, my daddy asked me to try to carry on his music, and I told him I would," said Janette. "And when you make a promise, you keep it if you possibly can. It took me a few years to start after he died, but I was busy. I was taking care of my children, and trying to put first things first" . In 1974, she began holding shows in A.P.'s little general store, and the Fold was completed in 1979. She took the name from the Book of John 10:16. ”And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."
Janette begins every show with a Carter Family song, accompanying herself on the autoharp. Sometimes, Joe and Dale will join her on a hymn; sometimes, Joe will do a comedy monolog with animal imitations. Then Janette introduces the evening's act, which is almost invariably a bluegrass or old time band. Johnny Cash did his last show there on July 5, 2003, and word-of-mouth alone drew seven hundred people into the space normally occupied by five hundred. Only acoustic instruments are permitted, with very rare exceptions. Jack Wright made a documentary about the Fold during its early years, and tells how Ricky Skaggs came to the Fold to perform. "When he tried to plug in his guitar, Janette told him, 'Nobody's allowed to do that except Johnny Cash.'"So now nobody plugs in. Johnny and June's house, formerly Maybelle Carter's house, sits empty just a few yards up the road.
The dance floor in front of the stage quickly fills with dancers of all ages. There is, as the locals will tell you, not much else to do on a Saturday night, but there aren't many other venues where children, parents, and grandparents dance together. They'll do a clog dance or an Irish buckdance, or just kick up their heels. Janette's daughter, Rita, supervises the food concession. They try to keep it all affordable. Five dollars to get in, and just a few bucks for soup, chili, popcorn, or a burger. No ripoff stadium pricing at the Carter Family Fold. This is, after all, Poor Valley.
Janette Carter Deliverance Will Come
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Copyright © Bear Family Records
Copyright © Bear Family Records®. Copying, also of extracts, or any other form of reproduction, including the adaptation into electronic data bases and copying onto any data mediums, in English or in any other language is permissible only and exclusively with the written consent of Bear Family Records® GmbH.
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