Ina Anita Carter (March 31, 1933 – July 29, 1999), the youngest daughter of Ezra and Mother Maybelle Carter, was a versatile American singer who experimented with several different types of music and played upright bass with her sisters Helen Carter and June Carter Cash and mother Maybelle Carter as Mother Maybelle and The Carter Sisters. The trio joined the Grand Ole Opry radio show in 1950 (Anita was 17 years old at the time), opened shows for Elvis Presley, and joined The Johnny Cash Show in 1971. As a solo artist, and with her family, Carter recorded for a number of labels including RCA Victor, Cadence, Columbia, Audiograph, United Artists, Liberty and Capitol. Chet Atkins praised her talent on the bass and used her on many of his record productions. She played 12-string guitar and autoharp with the family after giving up the bass in later years.
|Birth name||Ina Anita Carter|
|Born||March 31, 1933|
Maces Spring, Virginia, U.S.
|Died||July 29, 1999 (aged 66)|
Hendersonville, Tennessee, U.S.
|Labels||RCA Victor, Cadence, Columbia, Audiograph, United Artists, Liberty, Capitol|
|Associated acts||Carter Family, The Carter Sisters, Johnny Cash, Hank Snow, Waylon Jennings|
Born in Maces Spring, Virginia, she scored two Top Ten hits in 1951 with "Down The Trail of Achin' Hearts" with Hank Snow at No. 2 and "Blue Bird Island" at No. 4. She reached the Top Ten again in 1968 with "I Got You" with Waylon Jennings at No. 4. Other solo releases charted as well. Carter recorded two folk albums in the 1960s. In 1962, she recorded a song co-written by her sister June and Merle Kilgore called "Love's Ring of Fire".
After hearing her record, "Love's Ring of Fire", her future brother-in-law, Johnny Cash, reportedly dreamed of hearing Mexican horns on the record and told Anita that if her song did not hit in five or six months he would record it "the way I feel about it." After the song failed to make the charts, Cash recorded it as "Ring Of Fire" in March 1963 with the horns and the Carter Sisters (along with Mother Maybelle). The revised song went on to gain wide international popularity and became one of the biggest hits of his career. She appeared on The Kate Smith Evening Hour, currently on YouTube, with her family and in a duet with Hank Williams, of his song “I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love with You)”.
Carter married fiddler Dale Potter in 1950 (they later divorced), session musician Don Davis in 1953 (divorced and then remarried), and Bob Wootton (lead guitarist for Johnny Cash's band The Tennessee Three) in 1974 (divorced). She had two children, Lorrie Frances and John Christopher (Jay) Davis.
Carter suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for many years, and the drugs used to treat it severely damaged her pancreas, kidneys, and liver. She died on July 29, 1999, at the age of 66, a year after eldest sister Helen and four years before middle sister June. She was under hospice care at the home of Johnny and June Carter Cash in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Her interment was in Hendersonville Memory Gardens in Hendersonville, Tennessee.
Album Discography apart from Carter FamilyEdit
|Together Again (with Hank Snow)||RCA Victor LSPLSP - 2580||Nov. 1962|
|Folk Songs Old and New||Mercury SR - 60770||Dec. 1962|
|Anita Carter of the Carter Family||Mercury SR - 60847||Feb. 1964|
|So Much Love||Capitol ST - 11075||1972|
|Yesterday||House Of Cash HOC - 1000||1995|
|Appalachian Angel: Her Recordings 1950-1972 & 1996||Bear Family||June 22, 2004|
Singles Chart Activity apart from Carter FamilyEdit
|Year||Title||Label||Peak Chart Position||Comments|
|1951||Bluebird Island||RCA Victor||4||duet with Hank Snow|
|1951||Down the Trail of Aching Hearts||RCA Victor||2||duet with Hank Snow|
|1955||Pledging my Love||RCA Victor||??||as part of 'Nita, Rita & Ruby|
|1966||I'm Gonna Leave You||RCA Victor||44|
|1967||Love Me Now while I am Living||RCA Victor||61|
|1968||I Got You||RCA Victor||4||duet with Waylon Jennings|
|1968||To be a Child Again||RCA Victor||65|
|1969||Coming of the Roads||United Artists||50||duet with Johnny Darrell|
|1971||Whole Lotta Lovin||Capitol||61|
- Anita Carter Page in Fuller Up, The Dead Musicians Directory, elvispelvis.com; accessed January 20, 2016.