3.10.2009

WILL YOU MISS ME WHEN I'M GONE: A CARTER FAMILY PHOTO ALBUM

These photographs, taken by Eric Schaal for LIFE in 1941, were to be the Carter Family's re-introduction to the world beyond the Grand Ole Opry. Having recorded some 350 songs between 1927-1941, the Carters were well established as leading country music talents, but onset of the Great Depression in the early 1930's dashed any possibility of financial success. Having grown tired of playing dances and hootenannies in the mountains around their home, in 1929 A.P. set off to look for work in Detroit, while Maybelle and her husband left for D.C. with similar ambitions.

In 1938, after a slew of intermittent recording sessions and the births of many children, the Carters headed to Del Rio, Texas to record for border-blaster XERA-AM, whose signal was unencumbered by the US law stipulating that radio stations only broadcast to 50,000 watts. Their appearance went out over the air to nearly the entire western hemisphere, and was hugely successful. Record sales surged, and LIFE sent a photographer to the Carter camp, located in the serene Poor Valley area of Virginia. As the magazine was preparing to go to press, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and Carter feature was scrapped.



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"Mother" Maybelle Carter


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The family at home in Poor Valley


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Daughters Anita, June, and Helen; A.P.'s wife Sara, Maybelle, and A.P.


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A.P., Sara, and Maybelle


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Maybelle, A.P., and Sara


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Sara, A.P., and Maybelle

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Maybelle


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Poor Valley, Va.

1 comment:

N A M E S A K E said...

holy shit, these are amazing. thank you.

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