The Carter Family's 1928-35 tenure at RCA Victor produced some of the earliest and finest country records ever made. The roots of an entire genre of music can be traced to the songs A.P., Sara, and Maybelle Carter recorded during these seven years, and it's not unreasonable to say that the serious country music fan needs to own them all. (Bear Family's astonishing 2002 assemblage IN THE SHADOW OF CLINCH MOUNTAIN collects every studio recording the trio ever made.) However, the casual fan might be satisfied with this well-chosen 16-track overview, which omits no important recordings and features the classics "Wildwood Flower," "Wabash Cannonball," and of course, the essential "My Clinch Mountain Home," country music's very own Declaration of Independence. If you're only going to own one Carter Family disc, this is it.