Portraits from our Past
Southwest Virginia Music

Mother Maybelle &
the Carter Sisters

Music: 1940's - 1970's

After the last 1942 radio show of the original Carter Family, Maybelle Carter, along with her daughters, Anita, Helen, and June began performing as Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters. From 1943-50, the group performed on WRWL radio in Richmond, Virginia, WNOX in Knoxville, Tennessee and later KWTO in Missouri. In 1950, the group went on the Grand Ole Opry. There they played with Acuff and Hank Williams. In 1955, Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters tourned with Elvis. By the end of the late 50's, the Carter girls split off to do separate projects. The folk music revival of the 60's brought young people to see Maybelle. They wanted to know about the Carter Family, her autoharp technique, and how she developed her famous guitar style, the "Carter Scratch." Maybelle played for festivals at the Ash Grove in Hollywood and in Newport News. In 1962, the Carters began touring with Johnny Cash, the beginning of a long-term professional and personal relationship. In 1970, the original Carter Family, including Mother Maybelle, was inducted into the County Music Hall of Fame. Mother Maybelle Carter is remembered as the "Queen of Country Music."


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.