Portraits from our Past
Southwest Virginia Music

Janette Carter

Music: 1930's - Present

Janette Carter, the middle child of A. P. and Sara Carter, learned to play autoharp from her Aunt Sylvia and her mother. As a child, she and her cousin Helen would play and sing with the Carter Family. She performed on the Mexican border station XERA for $20 a week. She was a good singer and kept a notebook of collected songs, poems, and lyrics she had written herself. However, Janette missed her home in Scott County, Virginia, and returned in 1940. She married and raised three children, putting her music career on hold. When her father died in 1960, he asked Janette to keep the Carter music alive. She began performing more, and in 1974, she began holding concerts at the family store in Maces Springs. The crowds quickly outgrew the space and she built The Carter Fold. Fans travel to The Fold from all over the world to hear old-time music. The Fold is truly a legacy to the Carter Family and traditional mountain music. In 2002, Janette was awarded the International Bluegrass Music Association's (IBMA) Distinguished Achievement Award.


The Southwest Virginia Museum is a member of the American
Association of Museums, the American Association of State and Local History, and the Virginia Association of Museums.