Sara & Maybelle Carter are two-thirds of the Carter Family, the first family of country music. Sara (born Sara Dougherty) married A.P. Carter, and her cousin Maybelle Addington married A.P.'s brother Ezra. A.P., an avid song collector and writer, created a trio along with Sara and Maybelle, the prime vocalist of the trio. They recorded 270 songs between 1927 and 1943, when they officially split. Sara and A.P. divorced in 1939 and continued as an act until 1943. Sara moved west in 1945 with her new husband, Coy Bays (A.P.'s cousin). In 1952 Sara and A.P. were reunited professionally with their children and, between 1952-1956, recorded 90 more sides before disbanding permanently. Maybelle began to tour and record with her daughters June, Helen, and Anita as Mother Maybelle & the Carter Sisters. Sara retired from music entirely in 1956 and recorded just one more time in 1967 with Maybelle and a nephew (also named A.P. Carter) at the Newport Folk Festival. A documentary album from the concert was released as An Historic Reunion on LP. It was reissued on CD by the German Bear Family label in 1991 and in America by Koch International in 1997. Sara Carter died in 1979 and Maybelle continued to record solo with her daughters and granddaughters until her death in 1978. Her appearance on the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's Will the Circle Be Unbroken album is the stuff of popular music legend.
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