Country Musician. Founding member of The Carter Family, the first family of Country music and one of the most notable acts in the history of Country music. A. P. Carter was born to Robert C. Carter and Mollie Arvelle Bays in Poor Valley, Virginia, now known as Maces Springs. Early in his childhood he learned to play the violin and it quickly became apparent that he was a natural musician. He sang in the local church choir and helped his uncle, Flanders Bays, who ran a mobile music school in and around Scott County. On June 18, 1915, he married Sara Dougherty and they had three children: Gladys, Janette, and Joe. In 1927, with his wife and Sara's cousin, Maybelle, who was married to A.P.'s brother, Ezra Carter, together formed the first commercial Country music group. The band performed together until 1943. While Maybelle and her daughters continued to tour as The Carter Family, A.P.. left the music business to run a general store in Virginia. In 1952, A.P. re-formed The Carter Family with Sara and some of their grown children, which lasted until 1956. The Carter Family's signature recordings include "Will the Circle Be Unbroken", "Wildwood Flower", and "Keep On the Sunny Side" which are today considered country music standards.
A.P. Carter died in Kingsport, Tennessee on November 7, 1960 at the age of 68. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970. In 1993, his image appeared on a U.S. postage stamp honoring the Carter Family. In 2001 he was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor. In 2005, The Carter Family received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. PBS also aired a one-hour show on A.P. Carter and the Carter Family on American Experience.
Bio by: Dan
Sara Dougherty Carter
1898–1979 (m. 1915)