Funeral Services Set for Son of Carter Family Founders

Funeral services will be held Sunday (March 6) for Joe Dougherty Carter, 78, the last living link to the original Carter Family’s historic Bristol Sessions in 1927. The son of A.P. and Sara Carter died Wednesday (March 2) of pancreatic cancer. He was the nephew of Maybelle Addington Carter — June Carter Cash’s mother — the other founding member of the musical trio. Joe Carter was an infant when he traveled from the family home in Maces Spring, Va., to Bristol — a city on the border of Tennessee and Virginia — for the Carter Family’s first recording sessions. Produced by Ralph Peer, the sessions with the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers are regarded as the first recordings to make country music a viable commercial commodity. In recent years, Carter and 81-year-old sister Janette (who did not attend the first recording sessions) have worked at the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Va., to preserve old-time country music. Tom T. Hall, Marty Stuart and John Carter Cash, son of Johnny and June Carter Cash, will serve as pallbearers during the funeral at Mount Vernon United Methodist Church in Hiltons.