Release Date: 04/08/03
The Later Years of the First Family of Country
Ralph Peer 'discoverered' the Carters - already experienced musicians - in one of his recording trawls of the South. He continued to supervise their work for Victor and acted as their manager and publisher. In 1935, Peer left Victor to join ARC. The Carters followed him. ARC was big time. They released new material on their own labels and through stores chains - Sears, for example sold ARC output on the Conqueror label. Peer had secured a contract for 40 songs, and recording was expected to take a week. We open with those sessions. There was some re-recording of Victor work, but there is also much that is new. The first day yielded three songs - ascribed as usual to AP. At least one, Sinking In The Lonesome Sea, has roots in the English folk tradition. Can the Circle Be Unbroken had been recorded for Victor - but had not been released. It sold well for ARC. Notable from this session is Sad And Lonesome Day, uncannily close to Blind Lemon Jefferson's See My Grave Is Kept Clean. Also to achieve enduring fame are My Texas Girl and Gospel Ship which has become a church standard throughout the South. Both black and white non-conformist movements can lay claim to its origins. A reminder that distinct as the Blues and Country traditions are now, they were inextricably intertwined. The most notable feature of the Carter's work at this time was the evolution of Sara and Maybelle as singers of power and profundity, as evidenced on both Single Girl, Married Girl and Keep On The Sunny Side. The Fate Of Dewey Lee is a murder drama based on real life. Lee's family asked for the song not to be released. They were too late. This seems genuinely to have caused AP anguish. In later years he is said to have sung the song with some reluctance. This collection follows the Carters through several changes of label, marital strife and their triumphant transfer to 'border radio'. No collector with an interest in American music and its origins should be without it.
|Label: Jsp Records|
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