Cash, Crow Honor Carters

Tribute to bluegrass legends due in 2004

August 25, 2003 12:00 AM ET

Johnny Cash, George Jones, Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow, Emmylou Harris and June Carter Cash lead the list of artists on a tribute to country music pioneers the Carter Family due out next spring.

Produced by John Carter Cash -- the son of Johnny Cash and his late wife June Carter Cash -- the collection was inspired by his connecting with family history.

Natives of rural Virginia, A.P. Carter, his wife Sara Carter and sister-in-law Maybelle Carter, performing as the Carter Family, arranged and popularized traditional folk songs such as "Keep On the Sunny Side," "Wabash Cannonball" and "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," in the Twenties, Thirties and Forties.

John Carter Cash's mother was Maybelle's daughter, who performed with the group from the time she was nine. "Growing up I took all this stuff for granted," he says. "I was into rock and heavy metal. There's an innocence, great charm and raw beauty that came through their music."

"I'm picking true artists that have it in their heart to interpret these things," he continues. "People that have the musical stature and character to take on these songs."

Also among the artists is Marty Stuart who with his band, the Fabulous Superlatives, recorded "Don't Let the Devil Get the Upper Hand on You." "It's pretty dang dark," Stuart says. "I read a quote one time, it summed up my take on the Carter Family. It said, 'In the presence of perfect beauty, tears are the only answer.' The Carter Family is about as pure and close to the source as you can get."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

More Song Stories entries »