Before he died in November 1960, A.P. Carter, the patriarch of the famous Carter Family, known for pioneering many of the musical styles popular in today's Country, Americana, Folk and even Rock music genres, asked granddaughter Janette Carter to do all she could to see that the Carter Family's music was never forgotten. In 1974, Janette created a festival dedicated to the groundbreaking music of A.P., Maybelle and Sara Carter. The stage for that first festival was the flatbed of an 18-wheel truck on loan from the National Guard. After the festival, Janette began presenting shows of acoustic-only old time and bluegrass music in the grocery her Dad ran in the '40s and '50s. The shows quickly outgrew the oneroom structure. In 1976, Janette - along with her siblings Joe and Gladys - built the Carter Family Fold which has hosted locals and travelers from around the world every Saturday night for the past 40 years dancing to the music of popular old time and bluegrass bands.
"The Carter Fold is a national treasure that preserves the deep historical significance of the Carter Family and their monumental impact en multiple music genres still heard in the songs we enjoy teday,' says "40th Anniversary TV Special" Executive Producer Ken White. "Even with regular packed houses, running a non-profit and meeting the bills is a constant challenge. This television special will bring awareness to the venue to help ensure The Carter Fold sees another 40 years and beyond."
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In 1974, Janette Carter began to fulfill a promise she made to her father A.P. Carter. That year, Janette produced a music festival dedicated to her father’s work and the preservation of the music he pioneered. That first festival took place on an 18-wheel truck on loan from the National Guard.
This first festival gave birth to regular acoustic-only shows in the grocery store Janette’s father ran in the 40s and 50s. In 1976, Janette – with the help of her siblings Joe and Gladys – built the Carter Family Fold. Today, “The Fold” stands at the forefront of preserving Old-Time or “mountain music,” traditional Country and Bluegrass music. A.P., Sarah and Maybelle are widely recognized as the First-Family of Country Music thanks in part to the famous Bristol Sessions. Future generations have gone on to achieve admirable works.
Probably the best known Carter to modern audiences is June Carter Cash, wife of Johnny Cash. Rita Forrester, granddaughter of A.P. Carter, tirelessly presides over The Carter Family Fold today as Executive Director. This proposed “Carter Family Fold 40th Anniversary” television special celebrates the family, the venue and the local community who keep "The Fold" running. The following videos provide more background into one of America’s most talented, inspiring families.