Country Music Singer. Known as "Mother Maybelle," she was one of the founding members of The Carter Family, the first family of country music and one of the most influential acts in the history of country music. Their music had a profound impact on bluegrass, country, southern gospel, pop and rock musicians, as well as on the U.S. folk revival of the 1960s. They were the first vocal group to become country music stars. She was born to Hugh Jackson Addington and Margaret S. Kilgore on May 10, 1909 near Nickelsville, Virginia. On March 13, 1926 she married Ezra J. Carter. They had three daughters, Helen, Valerie June and Anita. In 1927, with her cousin, Sara and her brother-in-law, A.P. Carter, she formed the first commercial country music group. Maybelle was the guitarist and played autoharp and banjo. She created a unique sound for the group with her innovative 'scratch' style of guitar playing, where she used her thumb to play melody on the bass and middle strings, and her index finger to fill out the rhythm. She was instrumental in moving the guitar from rhythm to the lead instrument. The Carter Family performed together until 1943. While Maybelle and her daughters continued to tour as Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters, A.P.. left to run a general store in Virginia. From 1952 to 1956, A.P. re-joined The Carter Family with Sara and some of their grown children. After her daughter, Valerie June, known as June, married Johnny Cash in 1968, Maybelle and her daughters were regular performers on his weekly TV show. The Carter Family's signature recordings include "Will the Circle Be Unbroken", "Wildwood Flower," "Gold Watch and Chain" and "Keep On the Sunny Side" which are today considered country music standards. Their music has been recorded by Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Woody Guthrie, Emmy Lou Harris, and Willie Nelson, among many others. The Carter Family was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1970. In 1993, her image appeared on a U.S. postage stamp honoring the Carter Family. In 2001 she was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor. In 2002 she ranked #8 in Country Music Television's Greatest Women In Country Music. In 2005, The Carter Family received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. PBS also aired a one-hour show on the Carter Family on American Experience. In 2010, Lipscomb University in Nashville named the stage in Collins Alumni Auditorium after her. The music of the Carter Family continues to inspire generations of musicians more than 80 years after their first recording.
Bio by: Dan
The First Lady Of Country Music
God has Picked his Wildwood Flower
Ezra J. Carter
1898–1975 (m. 1926)