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In Maces Springs, near Clinch Mountain, Virginia, country music's very first successful group, The Carter Family, began to take shape when 23-year-old A.P. Carter married 16-year-old Sara Dougherty in 1915. Both had grown up singing and playing old folk songs, and the pair began performing together for church events and family gatherings. A few years later they were occasionally joined by Sara's guitar-playing, harmony-singing cousin, Maybelle Addington, who married A.P.'s younger brother Ezra "Eck" Carter. Most of the Carter songs were based in folk tradition, some dating back to the 19th century. By July 1927, the group had been recommended to talent scout Ralph Peer, who'd brought equipment to nearby Bristol, Tennessee to discover and record potential Victor artists. Peer was enchanted with what he heard, and when Victor began releasing Carter Family records four months later, they were a huge success, selling hundreds of thousands of copies. Thus began a career that would last 14 years, through many ups and downs (including Sara and A.P.'s divorce), and result in the recording of 250 songs -- many of which have become standards, covered by and influencing not only country artists, but folksingers and rock & rollers as well, including classics like "Keep On the Sunny Side," "Wildwood Flower" and "Married Girl, Single Girl."

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