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June Carter

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June Carter

Ina Anita Carter, 31 March 1933, Maces Springs, Scott County, Virginia, USA, d. 29 July 1999, Goodlettsville, Tennessee, USA. The youngest daughter of Mother Maybelle Carter of the legendary Carter Family, she always maintained that she was singing professionally at the age of four, but did not get paid until she was six. In 1939, she and her sisters, Helen and June Carter, were appearing on Border Radio with the Carter Family. When the original Carter Family retired in 1943, she sang and played stand-up bass or rhythm guitar in the family group, Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters, on various radio stations, and from 1950 onwards, for many years, they were regulars on the Grand Ole Opry.

They toured with Elvis Presley in the mid-50s, and in 1961, they began to appear regularly as part of Johnny Cash's show. She married fiddler Dale Potter in 1950 but the marriage soon ended. Although singing with her family group, she did at times also pursue a partially separate career. She made many solo recordings, the first being for RCA-Victor in 1950 and she also played bass and sang backing vocals regularly as a session musician. A year later she recorded with Hank Snow and they achieved Top 5 country hits with "Bluebird Island" and "Down The Trail Of Aching Hearts". She continued to work as a session musician and also recorded with Rita Robbins and Ruby Wright (the daughter of Kitty Wells) as Nita, Rita And Ruby.

Carter married Don Davis and had a daughter, divorced and later remarried him and had a son before divorcing again in 1971. She later recorded for several major labels, including Mercury Records and Capitol Records. In 1968, "I Got You", a duet with Waylon Jennings, reached number 4 and in 1969, a duet with Johnny Darrell, "The Coming Of The Roads", also proved popular.

She continued to travel with brother-in-law Cash during the late 70s and early 80s and was for a time married to Cash's guitarist, Bob Wootton. In 1982, she and sister Helen, with some of their children and a guest appearance from June's daughter, Carlene Carter, recorded for Audiograph. In 1988, working under the production of Jack Clements, she again recorded with her two sisters and Carlene. The resulting album proved very popular. She also made a guest appearance on the second volume of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's Will The Circle Be Unbroken. During the 90s she suffered badly from arthritis, which severely restricted her ability to work.


 

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