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Carter Family on PBS Amer. Exp. 9 May 05

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Desert Dancer 07 May 05 - 01:22 AM
Pauline L 07 May 05 - 03:04 AM
Desert Dancer 08 May 05 - 02:32 AM
GUEST,rangersteve at work 08 May 05 - 05:02 PM
Desert Dancer 09 May 05 - 09:47 PM
Dharmabum 10 May 05 - 08:56 AM
DebC 10 May 05 - 09:17 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 10 May 05 - 10:17 AM
DebC 10 May 05 - 10:22 AM
Ebbie 10 May 05 - 11:57 AM
Dharmabum 10 May 05 - 12:40 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 May 05 - 01:44 PM
Bev and Jerry 10 May 05 - 02:03 PM
Charley Noble 10 May 05 - 06:01 PM
Desert Dancer 10 May 05 - 07:17 PM
GUEST,Whistle Stop 11 May 05 - 02:50 PM
DebC 11 May 05 - 03:50 PM
Don Firth 19 May 05 - 02:56 PM
PoppaGator 19 May 05 - 03:47 PM
Don Firth 19 May 05 - 04:08 PM
Ebbie 19 May 05 - 06:58 PM
Stephen L. Rich 20 May 05 - 02:28 AM
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Subject: Carter Family on PBS Amer. Exp. 5/9/05
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 07 May 05 - 01:22 AM

Check your local listings! Monday, May 9, 2005 --

American Experience
The Carter Family: Will the Circle Be Unbroken

The following is from the program site:

In August 1927 three musicians arrived at a makeshift recording studio in Bristol, Tennessee, to audition for a talent scout from the Victor Talking Machine Company. The songs A.P. Carter, his wife Sara and her cousin Maybelle recorded that day drew upon the rich musical traditions of their native rural Appalachia. The Carter Family sang of love and loss, desperation and joy, and their music captured the attention of a nation entering the darkest days of the Depression. In the coming years, with the release of songs such as Keep on the Sunnyside, Will the Circle Be Unbroken and Wildwood Flower, Carter Family record sales exploded. Success, however, brought sorrow to the Carter's personal lives. As the demand for their music grew, A.P. Carter traveled across the Blue Ridge mountains seeking inspiration for new songs. During his long absences Sara fell in love with A.P.'s first cousin. Sara divorced A.P. in 1936, but the trio continued performing together until their eventual disbanding in 1943.

The production draws upon rarely seen photographs, memorabilia and archival footage to tell the bittersweet story of these influential musical pioneers whose songs and style laid the foundations for American folk, country and bluegrass music.


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Subject: RE: Carter Family on PBS Amer. Exp. 5/9/05
From: Pauline L
Date: 07 May 05 - 03:04 AM

Thanks for letting me know about this. I almost never watch TV (the last time was for the Presidential debates), and I'd hate to miss this. BTW, I just finished reading a really good book about the Carter family, and I recommend it highly. It is "Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone? The Carter Family and Their Legacy in American Music" by Marc Zwonitzer with Charles Hirshberg.


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Subject: RE: Carter Family on PBS Amer. Exp. 5/9/05
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 08 May 05 - 02:32 AM

Yes, excellent book.

(refresh!)


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Subject: RE: Carter Family on PBS Amer. Exp. 5/9/05
From: GUEST,rangersteve at work
Date: 08 May 05 - 05:02 PM

Yes, the book is great. The part where Sara gets reunited with her long lost love is a real tear jerker.

In the New York City area, it's on channel 13 at 9pm, May 9.


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Subject: RE: Carter Family on PBS Amer. Exp. 9 May 05
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 09 May 05 - 09:47 PM

Refreshing for the West Coasters... anyone back East have a review yet?


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Subject: RE: Carter Family on PBS Amer. Exp. 9 May 05
From: Dharmabum
Date: 10 May 05 - 08:56 AM

Thanks for the heads up D.D.
I watched & recorded the show last night.
I thought they covered the Carters story quite well, for a one hour doc.
I particularly like that they mentioned the fact that A.P. didn't take credit for writing many of the songs they recorded. Rather, he claimed to have just "Fixed them up".
Although,I'm not sure A.P was ever given his due credit/recognition for the musicologist that he was.

If you haven't read the book "Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone" do so.
It covers way more than can be done in a one hour t.v. doc.

D.B.


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Subject: RE: Carter Family on PBS Amer. Exp. 9 May 05
From: DebC
Date: 10 May 05 - 09:17 AM

We watched here on WGBH in Boston. I was greatly disappointed though, not in the program, but the number of technical glitches that seemed to be happening. Lots of freezing of the (tape? digital or satellite feed?) contantly through the whole show. Some of these freezes lasted almost a minute. It was like when one is trying to receive a streaming file on the internet and the feed continues to be interrupted.

Anyone else in the Greater Boston area experience this?

Deb


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Subject: RE: Carter Family on PBS Amer. Exp. 9 May 05
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 10 May 05 - 10:17 AM

Deb, the broadcast was fine in the NYC area. Since American Experience is a PBS national network show, it sounds like a receive problem in either WGBH master control or more likely from your local cable provider. When a digitial decoder has a problem it will freeze on the last frame of video. I am also guesing that the audio stream continued even though the picture was frozen?

I really enjoyed the program.


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Subject: RE: Carter Family on PBS Amer. Exp. 9 May 05
From: DebC
Date: 10 May 05 - 10:22 AM

Hi Ron,

No, the audio stream was disrupted as well. We missed several key points of dialogue because of this. It probably was our cable provider which is the Town of Shrewsbury, MA.

I hope to see it again at some point. I know that our second PBS station WGBH 44 will air the show again this week, so hopefully I can watch it then.

Deb


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Subject: RE: Carter Family on PBS Amer. Exp. 9 May 05
From: Ebbie
Date: 10 May 05 - 11:57 AM

I liked it. I was surprised that there was so much footage. I really had not seen photos of them to any extent of when they were young and vibrant.

I too ended up respecting A.P.'s contribution much more. I have always tended to blame him for some of the gaffes* the Carter Family commits in regard to lyrics - and it may be true that it was his reading that caused them - but A.P. Carter did folk music a tremendous service in collecting these songs.

*Gaffes. For instance, take a look at Wildwood Flower versus the original. Or at Poor Orphan Child- they sing " that leads them aid", when in context the word is clearly "lends" them aid. Multiple other anomolies, bless their hearts.


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Subject: RE: Carter Family on PBS Amer. Exp. 9 May 05
From: Dharmabum
Date: 10 May 05 - 12:40 PM

One of the highlights of this program for me,was the excellent,albeit short, video footage of Maybelle's famous Carter "Scratch".

D.B.


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Subject: RE: Carter Family on PBS Amer. Exp. 9 May 05
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 May 05 - 01:44 PM

Anoter way to gauge the contribution of A. P. Carter (Alvin Pleasant Delaney Carter) is the enduring popularity of his arrangements.
BMI lists 277 titles under copyright with A. P.'s name. I suppose Peer Music holds most of them. The fact that Peer got the Carters started in recording is covered, but nothing was said about the current status of the man or his company. The little compamy started by Ralph Peer (died 1960) maintained its independence and now has a 300,000 song catalogue and operates in 27 countries. One of their websites, digitalpressure.com, offers direct downloads of master recordings. Six songs in "O Brother, Where ..." bear early Peer copyrights. Ralph Peer II is currently in charge of the company.

Data at BMI and www.peermusic.com. The latter site has interesting notes on company history, and a page on the history of the Carter Family.
Peer Music


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Subject: RE: Carter Family on PBS Amer. Exp. 9 May 05
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 10 May 05 - 02:03 PM

There's some supplementary information about this program here.

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: Carter Family on PBS Amer. Exp. 9 May 05
From: Charley Noble
Date: 10 May 05 - 06:01 PM

I've certainly been familar with their music for years. However, I did learn more about their personal family life than I knew before. I think in balance PBS did a good job of putting together an interesting hour.

It's a shame that the major feature article in Life Magazine never got printed, being knocked for a loop by the news of the Pearl Harbor attack. Their career had incredible momentum up to that point and certainly would have captured even more of the music market.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Carter Family on PBS Amer. Exp. 9 May 05
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 10 May 05 - 07:17 PM

I guess an hour is short... somehow, I was disappointed by this program. I thought the use of re-enactments was a little weird -- at the beginning it was hard to tell what was real footage, and what was re-created. I suppose for those who hadn't read the book the family story was interesting, but I felt like I wanted to hear more about the music (I'm not sure what, though, something more concrete about its context and continuing impact?).

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Carter Family on PBS Amer. Exp. 9 May 05
From: GUEST,Whistle Stop
Date: 11 May 05 - 02:50 PM

I thought it was a fair documentary, given the time constraints. An audience that is already familiar with the story will always find some inaccuracies to quibble about, but on the whole I thought PBS did a decent job of presenting the Carters' story. Not as good as the book, of course, but a book can go into a lot more detail than a one-hour documentary. I do agree with Becky that the reenactments were a little strange. I thought some of the commentators were pretty good, including Gillian Welch, who spoke about Maybelle's guitar style, among other things.

Deb, I am in Holliston, Massachusetts, not far from Shrewsbury, and I don't recall any glitches. Then again, it was getting close to my bedtime, so maybe it happened and I just thought it was me...


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Subject: RE: Carter Family on PBS Amer. Exp. 9 May 05
From: DebC
Date: 11 May 05 - 03:50 PM

Hi WS,

Thanks for the verification. Shrewsbury has it's own cable and ISP and they might still be a bit rough around the edges.

Deb


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Subject: RE: Carter Family on PBS Amer. Exp. 9 May 05
From: Don Firth
Date: 19 May 05 - 02:56 PM

Apparently the program ("American Experience. The Carter Family : Will the Circle Be Unbroken?") was delayed a bit by local PBS stations. There are two PBS affiliates here, KCTS in Seattle and KBTC in Tacoma (the latter we can get on cable). I saw the program on KBTC last night. My furshlugginer VCR is sick, so I wasn't able to tape it.

This is a good supplement to the book that Pauline L. mentions above. I bought and read a couple of years ago, Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone? : The Carter Family and Their Legacy in American Music by Mark Zwonitzer and Charles Hirshberg. Highly recommended.

The reenactments didn't bother me at all. In fact, I thought they were pretty well done and I felt they added to the whole thing. The actors who did the reenacting looked like their real-life counterparts, the color looked a bit like old photos, and the focus was kept soft. No dialogue from the actors, only the narrator's voice and/or Carter Family music (tall man walking down a railroad track as A. P. often did, scenes in old recording studio which were probably never filmed, etc.). Whoever the woman was who was faking to the sound of Mother Maybelle's guitar playing had it down solid. If she can fake it that well, she probably can play Carter Family style. But then, I'm not absolutely sure that it was a reenactment! That good!

Appearances by Gillian Welch, and very brief appearances by Joan Baez (if you blink, you could miss her).

Among other things, I thought the program made it pretty plain that the Carter Family was actually a bridge between traditional music and what later on became known as "Country Music."

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Carter Family on PBS Amer. Exp. 9 May 05
From: PoppaGator
Date: 19 May 05 - 03:47 PM

I had not been aware of this program until I accidentally happened upon the final 15-20 minutes a couple of nights ago. I learned more than I had known before about the Carter family, but was left with some unanswered questions that I'm sure many of you can answer (even if you didn't see the program!)

I'm mainly confused about the status of Maybelle, whom I have often heard referred to as "Mother Maybelle." I now learn that Sara was married to A.P. (though later divorced) and was the mother of some if not all of the siblings who would grow up to perform with the group, and that Maybelle was her (Sara's) cousin.

I don't even understand how Maybelle's last name could have been Carter, except by coincidence, since she was kin to Sara, who was a Carter only by marriage. If the program airs again, I'll be sure to watch from the beginning, but there might not be an opportunity.

If no one responds, I'm sure I'll get around to finding this info somewhere, somehow. It's not critical, not a real high priority for me right now, but I am, as always, just curious...


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Subject: RE: Carter Family on PBS Amer. Exp. 9 May 05
From: Don Firth
Date: 19 May 05 - 04:08 PM

I've got to dash right now so I don't have time to check it, but as I recall, Maybelle was a cousin of Sara's, but she was married to Ezra Carter, A. P.'s brother. The girls (June, et al) are the daughters of Ezra and Maybelle.

I think that's it. If no one beats me to it, I'll check the aforementioned book and try to get back to you tomorrow.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Carter Family on PBS Amer. Exp. 9 May 05
From: Ebbie
Date: 19 May 05 - 06:58 PM

Yes. AP and Sara were married to each other. Ap's brother Ezra (why does one never read anything about him?) married Maybelle who was a first cousin of Sara's.

Ezra and Maybelle had three daughters: Anita, Helen and June.
After the original Carter family disbanded, Maybelle played and recorded with her daughers.

AP and Sara had two children: Janette and Joe. Janette plsys autoharp; Joe played guitar. (Joe died this spring.)

A number of years ago Janette started a weekly music jam/open mic in the old country store then built a large barnlike hall that is now called 'Carterfold'.

Janette has a son, Jett, who does not like to perform, going by what he said in an interview. I have a video of his singing a severly truncated version of 'Give Me the Roses' and being a nervous wreck.

Believe me, I understand these convolutions- I was raised Amish! :)


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Subject: RE: Carter Family on PBS Amer. Exp. 9 May 05
From: Stephen L. Rich
Date: 20 May 05 - 02:28 AM

It was quite a remarkable program.


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