- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 5, 2005

Joe Carter, 78,country music scion

MACES SPRINGS, Va. (AP) — Joe Carter, a member of the famous Carter Family of music, died of cancer Wednesday at his home. He was 78.

Mr. Carter was a cornerstone of the preservation of old-time mountain music and helped build the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Va., which presented shows of country and bluegrass music every weekend.

“We had been anticipating and trying to get ourselves ready for this, but it still hurts to give him up,” said Carter Fold executive and Mr. Carter’s niece, Rita Forrester. “They broke the mold when they made my Uncle Joe.”

Mr. Carter was 5 months old when he traveled with his parents, A.P. and Sara Carter, from Maces Springs to Bristol in June 1927 for what would become one of the most famous recording sessions in country music history.

Sara Carter was the cousin of Maybelle Carter, part of the Carter Family of country music. June Carter, who married Johnny Cash in the 1960s, was Maybelle’s daughter.

June Carter Cash and Johnny Cash both died in 2003.

Friend Tim White said Thursday that Joe Carter was the last direct connection to anyone who was at that original session, which started the careers of the Carter Family and has been frequently called “the big bang of country music.”

Marty Stuart, Tom T. Hall and John Carter Cash, son of Johnny and June Carter Cash, are listed among the honorary pallbearers for Mr. Carter’s funeral at 2 p.m. today at Mount Vernon United Methodist Church.

Mr. Carter is survived by three daughters and seven grandchildren.

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