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Joe Carter, 78; Member of Country Music’s Famous Carter Family

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Joe Carter, 78, a member of the famous Carter family of country music, died Wednesday of cancer in Maces Springs, Va.

Carter was a cornerstone of the preservation of old-time mountain music and helped build the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Va., which presents country and bluegrass music shows every weekend.

Joe Carter was 5 months old when he traveled with his parents, A.P. and Sara Carter, from Maces Springs to Bristol, Va., in 1927 for a recording session that has been called “the big bang of country music.”

It launched the careers of A.P., Sara, and her cousin, Maybelle Carter, as the Carter Family trio. Maybelle Carter’s daughter was June Carter Cash, wife of Johnny Cash. Joe Carter, who performed at the Carter Family music center, was the last direct connection to anyone who was at that original session, his friend Tim White said Thursday.

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