Sara Carter is credited as the writer, co-writer or arranger of:

  • “Farther On”
  • “Fifty Miles of Elbow Room”
  • “Goin’ Home”
  • “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle”
  • “Keep on the Firing Line”
  • “A Lad from Old Virginia”
  • “Lonesome Pine Special”
  • “Railroading on the Great Divide”
  • “The Ship that Never Returned”
  • “Three Little Strangers”
  • “While the Band is Playing Dixie”

Came to Fame With

Came to fame with

  • The Carter Family, 1926-1943

Performed With

  • The Carter Family, 1926-1943
  • The A.P. Carter Family (A.P., Sara, and their children Janette and Joe), 1952, 1956

By the Way

  • Sara recorded “Wabash Cannonball” in 1929, seven years before it was covered by Roy Acuff & the Crazy Tennesseans. Acuff also employed the Carters’ tune to “I’m Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes” for his version of “The Great Speckled Bird.”
  • In 1931, recorded a duet yodel with Jimmie Rodgers on “Why There’s A Tear In My Eye.”
  • Woody Guthrie borrowed Carter Family tunes – among them “Wildwood Flower” for “The Sinking of the Reuben James” and “When The World’s On Fire” for “This Land Is Your Land.”
  • After retiring at the age of 44 from her career as a country recording artist, Sara Carter raised peacocks in Angel’s Camp, California.
  • Bluegrass tribute albums to the Carter Family include Flatt & Scruggs (1961), Bill Clifton (1962), and the Stanley Brothers (2004, a compilation of older recordings).

Led the Way

  • The first major female vocalist in commercial country music, and a participant in the famous Victor Bristol sessions of July/August, 1927.
  • Recorded approximately 300 songs, scores of them still in today’s bluegrass repertoire.
  • Country Music Hall of Fame, 1970.
  • Bluegrass Hall of Fame, 2001 (induction presentation by Bill Clifton).

From the Archives

“The Carters never had spectacular financial success like that of Jimmie Rodgers or Gene Autry. They never really ‘crossed over’ to the huge popular audiences of network radio, Hollywood films, and big-time vaudeville. They kept returning to their beloved Clinch Valley, disgusted or puzzled by the show business world.”
Charles Wolfe in “The Carter Family,” The Encyclopedia of Country Music, 1998.
“The only noticeable difference between their first and last recording sessions was the fact that that they had improved in every direction within that style. Not once did they experiment, not once did they even show that they felt a need to compete in the styles of their contemporaries. Even when Sara recorded with Jimmie Rodgers, it was in the Carter Family style.”
John Atkins in “The Carter Family,” Stars of Country Music, 1975.
“Aunt Sara was a woman hard to explain. She was tall, buxom, black-eyed, and always beautiful. She was a thoroughbred.”
June Carter, quoted by Charles Wolfe in liner notes to In the Shadow of Clinch Mountain, Bear Family Records, 2000.