Thursday, 19 September 2019

Helen Carter born 19 September 1927

Helen Myrl Carter (Jones) (September 19, 1927 – June 2, 1998) was an American country music singer. The eldest daughter of Maybelle Carter, she performed with her mother and her younger sisters, June Carter and Anita Carter, as a member of Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters, a pioneering all female country/folk music group. After the death of A.P. Carter in 1960, the group became known as The Carter Family.

The Carter Family (clockwise), A.P. Carter, (Sara and A.P.’s daughter) Janette Carter, Ezra Carter, Sara Dougherty Carter, Maybelle Addington Carter, (Ezra and Maybelle’s children) June, Anita and Helen Carter.

The original Carter Family band, which helped kick-start the country-music record industry in 1927, was begun by A. P. Carter, a railroad worker and farmer from Maces Springs, Va.; his wife, Sara, and Sara's cousin, Maybelle. The band grew with the occasional addition of Maybelle's children, including Helen.

L-R: June, Maybelle, Anita, Helen (sitting).
The family band lasted from 1927 to 1943, and it was of inestimable importance to American music. It disseminated traditional songs, established a widely imitated small-group sound and built a set of templates that country, bluegrass and folk musicians would draw upon -- the mountain hymn, the love ballad, the cowboy tune and so on.

In 1943 Sara quit singing for good, and Maybelle started a new band, Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters, with her daughters as permanent members. Helen was 12 when she was introduced to the world over the airwaves of XET in Monterrey, Mexico, and in her teen-age years became the most dependable musician of her mother's band, playing accordion, guitar and autoharp.

It was a successful band, featured on ''The Old Dominion Barn Dance,'' a radio show based in Richmond, Va., in 1946; later it moved to the ''Tennessee Barn Dance,'' on Knoxville's WNOX. In 1950 the band joined the Grand Ole Opry on WSM in Nashville, and did some recording as a trio for Columbia records.

In 1950 Helen married Glenn Jones of Baxley, Georgia. After the family's move to the Nashville area, they lived in Madison, Hendersonville and Dickson, Tennessee. They had four sons (Kenneth Burton, Glenn Daniel, David Lawrence, and Kevin Carter Jones) and six grandchildren. They tragically lost their son, Kenny, as the result of an auto accident, at 16 years old. At the time, Kenny had recently been signed as a recording artist for Monument Records.


Helen pursued a solo career apart from the family. She recorded for a number of historically important independent labels such as Tennessee, Republic, Starday and Hickory. She had releases on major labels such as Columbia and Okeh as well. She recorded 
duets with such acts as The Willis Brothers, Johnny Bond, famed Grand Olde Opry announcer Grant Turner, and Wiley Barkdull. In the 1960s, Helen teamed with Dolores "Tootsie" Dinning (of the 
Dinning Sisters) to form a short-lived group called the Blondettes that recorded for MGM. While many of Carter's solo recordings were favourites with loyal fans and always welcomed by concert goers, they did not have a great deal of commercial success. One likely reason for Helen's limited success as a solo artist may have been competition for radio air play with other members of her famous clan.

Throughout the recording career of the Carter Sisters & Mother Maybelle, much of the time, all four group members had individual recording contracts as well. Though each had her own style, it is of note that all members of the Carter Sisters & Mother Maybelle group often sang and played on one another's solo recordings.Therefore, it was not unusual for the members' solo recordings to sound a lot like the group recordings.

Another possible reason for Helen Carter's limited success with her solo recordings may simply have been that she was ahead of her time in terms of what the conservative country music establishment was willing to accept. The 1950s was an era in which barriers were being broken by the likes of Kitty Wells. Yet, some of Helen's self-penned lyrics may have been deemed a bit risqué.

Helen Carter was a songwriter as well, writing ''Poor Old Heartsick Me,'' a hit for the singer Margie Bowes in 1959. In the 1960's and 70's, she often appeared on radio and television not as a member of a working group but simply as a member of the famous clan. For example, she appeared on television with her sister June and Mr. Cash. Helen had a professional career in music that spanned 60 years and recorded for such labels as Liberty, Columbia, MGM and RCA Victor.

She died on June 2, 1998 at the Vanderbilt University Medical Centre in Nashville, Tenn. She was 70 and lived in Dickson, Tenn. She had been hospitalized for gastrointestinal problems that began over a year ago.

(Edited from Wikipedia &New York Times)


boppinbob said...

For “The Helen Carter Collection” (1998) go here;

1 Poor Wildwood Flower 2:22
2 Tickling The Frets 1:36
3 Dark And Stormy Weather 3:10
4 Hello Stranger 2:23
5 I Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow 2:48
6 The Winding Stream 4:08
7 Red River Blues 2:00
8 Helen's Mandolin Rag 1:53
9 Is This My Destiny 2:48
10 A Lonesome Day 4:13
11 Carter Guitar Medley 1:48
12 Fifty Miles Of Elbow Room 3:10
13 Clinch Mountain Love 3:02
14 Poor Old Heartsick Me 3:01
15 Why Do You Weep Dear Willow 2:45
16 If You Were Losing Him To Me 2:54
17 Kneeling Drunkards Plea 3:16
18 Mama Sang 2:50
19 Meeting In The Air 3:29
20 Hot Footin' It 2:10
21 Lonesome Fiddle Blues 1:40
22 No Distinction There 1:54
23 You Are My Flower 3:00

Banjo, Mandolin – Dana Cupp Sr.*
Bass – David Roe (3), Tom Ewing
Bass Vocals, Mixed By, Producer – John Morris (14)
Engineer, Mixed By – Clark Williams
Fiddle – Jim Campbell (6)
Guitar – David Jones
Lead Vocals, Harmony Vocals – Anita Carter
Lead Vocals, Harmony Vocals, Guitar, Producer – Helen Carter (2)
Photography – Vicki Langdon
Rhythm Guitar – Elmer Thudd

Album recorded January 22, 1993 at the Delivery Room, Nashville, Tennessee.

A very big thank you to Glenn Eric @ glennscountrymusiccabinet.blogspot for original post and active link.

Jacdaw said...

Part of Country Music history. Great music.

Charles D said...

Thank you.