Maybelle Carter

Born on the 10th May 1909 in Nickelsville, Virginia, ‘Mother’ Maybelle Carter is best remembered as a member of ‘The Carter Family’ musical trio, which was formed by her brother-in-law, A.P. Carter, in 1927.

Maybelle played the autoharp and banjo but is best remembered for the guitar style she developed in which the thumb picked out the melody while the index finger strummed an accompaniment on the treble strings.

During the 1950s Maybelle toured with her daughters as ‘Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters’ but following the death of A. P. Carter in 1960, ‘The Carter Family’ name was revived (the original Carter Family had disbanded up in 1943). From 1969 to 1971 the group appeared regularly on Johnny Cash’s weekly network variety show.

Maybelle Carter died on October the 23rd 1978 at the age of 69 and was buried next to her husband, Ezra, in Hendersonville Memory Gardens, Hendersonville Tennessee.

As a member of The Carter Family, she was inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1970 and posthumously honoured with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.

In 2004 the Country Music Hall of Fame acquired Maybelle’s Gibson L-5 with a donation provided by Murfreesboro businessman Bob McLean.

See Maybelle’s L-5 Serial Number 85558 here

Listen to Maybelle Carter play this L-5