Saturday, December 15, 2012

Happy Birthday A.P. Carter!

On this day in 1891 Alvin Pleasant Carter was born. A. P. Carter was one of the most influential music makers of the 20th century. He left a mark as large and pervasive as Lennon and McCartney, Hank Williams Sr. and Bob Dylan.

Perhaps even larger than those hallowed names, because A.P. developed deeply to the construction of popular song making. He helped set the concept of shaping a song to the constraints of a record's playing time. He also had a genius for condensing long ballads into powerful three-minute capsules--the very thing that helped country music become widespread.

Though his life--and those of his family and friends--was still very much rooted in the ways of the 19th century, A.P. cannily used emerging technology as a guide to his inner passion. His fearless blend of past, present and future preserved the old songs he encountered in his rambles and made them new for millions of listeners, to this very day.

A.P. needed the partnership of Sara and Maybelle to express his musical vision, and to make it popular. But at the very heart of the Carter Family were the songs--and A.P.'s loving stewardship of them.

Celebrate this day by listening to some Carter Family music. Click HERE to peruse the many videos of Carter Family music currently on YouTube.

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