The Carter Family: A Musical Family's Continuing Influence on Today's Appalachian Musicians

This research project will examine the influence of the Carter Family through a recording project and archival research. The project will also include a research paper exploring the ways that the Carter Family have affected popular culture. Throughout the history of the Carter Family, many diverse people have contributed to the development of their repertoire. Carter family songs transcend genre and continue still to shape popular music. Starting in 1928 with the help of Lesley Riddle, an African American musician, A.P Carter collected songs that represented the many styles that existed in the Appalachian Mountains during that time period. In addition, they both composed new material and arranged some of the collected songs to become what is now identified as the Carter Family style. The presentation represents the many styles of the Carter Family through a recording project. It includes songs the Carter Family wrote, songs they collected, songs done in the many styles covered by influenced musicians, and songs that have been rearranged to better fit modern social settings. A few examples of the things the archival research will focus on are examining and extracting old recordings of the Carter Family and reading through some of their interviews and set lists. One of the many things that will be presented in the paper are interviews of the Carter family relatives that are still alive today and running “The Carter Family Fold”. They will be able to give a perspective that may have never been heard of before.