"The Carter Family Connection"
"...and they wanted to be cowboys" (from Danny's MySpace blog)
My brother Tim and myself have been writing, recording and performing music together professionally for 27 years. It wasnt until the past 10 years or so that the word began spreading like wildfire about us being related to the Carter Family. Well, we indeed are of the same blood. It's something that we never made a big deal about because it just seemed natural for the both of us to be playing music since we could walk. We were always encouraged to be thankful and humble for our abilities. We were also taught to be openminded, original and creative about music and life in general. By no means were we ever required to learn, record or perform the music by A.P., Sarah and Mother Maybelle. After all, they invented their own sound, without even knowing at the time that they were creating something totally new and all their own and we wished to do the same. All of us out here recording and touring understand the philosophy of wanting to write words and music in ways that have never been done before.
We always wanted to be totally new and original as well&.we also wanted to do it all on our own without the using the 'crutch' of the family name. We purposely played down that aspect although a lot of people were saying that we were foolish not to exploit our heritage to help further our careers quicker, especially in the earlier lean days.! We were stubborn and steadfast to prove to ourselves that we could be successful totally on our own merits. And it worked. Our first signing to a major record label, Capital Records, came 14 years ago without the label heads even knowing a thing about the Family connection. They were livid later on, after we were dropped, upon learning our family heritage and the marketing possibilities. Well, we had made it that far without making a big deal about it and that means a lot to us although now I can understand the label's disappointment on a business level.
Now the subject comes up in virtually every radio, magazine, newspaper and TV interview we do. While we still do not choose to exploit the family name we are a lot more comfortable and open talking about it these days. It's actually quite enjoyable talking about the Carter Family with all the folks who are interested in and knowledgeable about the wonderful legacy that we come from. We are very fortunate to be enjoying a long and successful career writing, recording and performing music that is totally unique to us and who we are.
Our great grandfather William Carter and A.P. are first cousins. Not only were they first cousins but they were very, very close since childhood. They both shared a love for the 'old west' and the cowboy culture and eventually as very young adults they both left for Texas together to do just that, become cowboys! For you Carter Family historians that was the beginning of the Texas connection when A.P. walked into a radio station one day. Some years later after returning to Virginia the influences of the Appalachian sound mixed with western music became a defining moment in music history. So there it is, hopefully short and sweet and not too boring for you. I'm sure that A.P. and Sarah and Mother Maybelle would be very proud of what the Carter Brothers and band are doing today. Whenever we meet related Carters we always find them for the most part to be quite genuine, down to earth, generous and loving souls&.now that's a legacy! We were all kind of renegades in a sense.
*NOTE*&.the original Carter Brothers were mine and Tim's late father Winfred 'Diamond' Carter and his late twin brother Willard 'Biggen' Carter. Only difference being that they didn't mix Stratocaster guitars, Marshall amps and B-3 Hammond organs with banjos, mandolins, fiddles and dobros.!
I hope you enjoyed reading this bit of Americana trivia as much as I enjoyed writing it for you.
Peace and much love to us all...