The Carter Family, a family vocal group from Appalachian Virginia, were the most impactful discovery of talent scout Ralph Peer and the first vocal group to become country music stars. Apart from the beautiful harmonies that can only come from kin, Mother Maybelle Carter pioneered “scratch” style guitar picking, a clever synthesis of autoharp, banjo and guitar picking, and for years served as a matriarchal figure in the Grand Ole Opry.
Country musicians, be they alternative, traditional, or neo-traditionalist, never tire of singing praises to the Carter Family. Heck, even the occasional rocker will say a few kind words about the Carter legacy. With this type of enthusiasm, there's never a bad time to put together a tribute album like The Unbroken Circle. The album is packed with VIPs like Emmylou Harris, George Jones, Sheryl Crow, and Willie Nelson, and it even includes no less than three Cashes (Johnny, June Carter, and Rosanne). Despite this impressive list, The Unbroken Circle gets a very rocky start with lukewarm efforts by Jones, Crow, Harris, and Johnny Cash. Jones and Cash sound fairly rough, and Harris' outing, backed by the Peasall Sisters, is underwhelming…….
Valerie June Carter Cash (June 23, 1929 – May 15, 2003) was a singer, songwriter, actress, comedienne and author who was a member of the Carter Family and the second wife of singer Johnny Cash. She played the guitar, banjo, harmonica, and autoharp, and also acted in several films and television shows. Wildwood Flower is the last album from June Carter Cash. It was released in 2003 on the Dualtone record label. It was produced by John Carter Cash. more…
Decca was a fairly wide-ranging label whose trademark sound was a strain of commercially palpable hillbilly pop perfected by producer (and, beginning in 1958, label head) Owen Bradley. These three discs offer an assortment of stars (Patsy Cline, Buddy Holly, Bill Monroe, Loretta Lynn), subordinates, and the uncelebrated. The latter, in fact, are what makes this box stand out. A great deal of the fun comes from antiquated time pieces like Johnny Wright's "Hello Vietnam" ("I hope theworld will come to learn/That fires we don't put out will bigger burn") or that master of the hayseed soliloquy Red Sovine's "If Jesus Came to Your House" ("Would you have to change your clothes before you let him in?/Or hide some magazines and put the Bible where they'd been?"). Overall, From The Vaults serves as an evocative sampler of what a rural jukebox was playing when Gunsmoke ruled the tube.