- Released: May 26, 2003
- Label: Fabulous
- 1.Wildwood Flower - (studio)
- 2.My Clinch Mountain Home - (studio)
- 3.Foggy Mountian Top - (studio)
- 4.Keep On The Sunnyside - (studio)
- 5.I'm Thinking Tonight Of My Blues Eyes - (studio)
- 6.Jimmy Brown The Newsboy - (studio)
- 7.John Hardy Was A Desperate Little Man - (studio)
- 8.Lula Wall - (studio)
- 9.Wabash Cannonball - (studio)
- 10.Worried Man Blues - (studio)
- 11.Carters Blues - (studio)
- 12.Diamonds In The Rough - (studio)
- 13.Church In The Wildwood - (studio)
- 14.Lonesome Pine Special - (studio)
- 15.Cannonball - (studio)
- 16.I Never Will Marry - (studio)
- 17.Lonesome Valley - (studio)
- 18.Sweet Fern (Sweet Fern) - (studio)
The First Family of country music is heard on recordings done between 1927 and 1934, including their classic "Wildwood Flower" and "Keep on the Sunny Side."
Recording information: 1927-1934.
Arranger: A.P. Carter.
It is interesting that this selection of the Carter Family's early Victor recordings has been titled Greatest Hits, since the trio (A.P., Sara, and Maybelle Carter) didn't really hit their peak popularity until after they left Victor for Decca in 1935 (at which time they promptly re-recorded everything here) and began their radio contract with XERF in Del Rio, TX, an arrangement that essentially brought their music into homes all across America. Still, this is where the legacy of the Carter Family really begins, with Maybelle's distinctive and innovative guitar style (which set the template for modern bluegrass guitar) and A.P.'s diligent collecting of Appalachian folk songs for the group to record, an act that almost single-handedly rescued songs like "Keep on the Sunnyside," "Wabash Cannonball," "Worried Man Blues," "Wildwood Flower," and the venerable "John Hardy Was a Desperate Little Man" from almost certain oblivion, and by the same stroke, gave both country and bluegrass a sort of readymade song database from which to work. A strong case could be made that A.P. Carter is the Noah figure of American folk music -- he seemed to collect at least one of everything that was ever sung in the mountains of Appalachia, then streamlined the melodies and lyrics for easy public recognition. There's much, much more to the Carter Family, naturally, than what is represented here, but as a sort of "greatest hits" introduction to one of the most valuable bodies of work in American music history, this little collection of the group's Victor years does well enough. ~ Steve Leggett