McClurg Jam

McClurg Jam

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Maybelle Carter, Queen of Country Music

She is the Queen of Country. The real Queen. If your interested in Old Time and Country music you must read about the Carter Family. Maybelle was a small lady who was the primary guitar player for the Carter Family and created a style of guitar playing that remains to this day, quite prominent. In fact, it's my favorite way to play guitar.

In her later years she played the autoharp a lot and it became one of her signitures but it was as a guitar player that she excelled. Several guitar players who are considered exceptional report that when they played with Maybelle, she could more than keep up and make chords with ease that others never can master.

A recent biography about them is "Will you miss me when I'm Gone". It's a great read and tells a fascinating tale about how the Carters came to be.

Here is an interview with Maybelle. There are some pauses so be patient.

In this video she plays with June on the Johnny Cash Show. She takes a lead break and demonstrates the famous Carter scratch.

Before Johnny Cash hired her to tour with him and the other Carters as a reformed Carter Family, Maybelle had to work nights at a nursing home to pay the bills. The woman was a remarkable person. She did a lot to help Johnny Cash out during his wild druggie days in the 60's.

You have to have been in my parents and grandparents generation to really have witnessed the phenomenon of the Carters. They were the beginning of today's country music.

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