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A.P. Carter's general store Even after the Original Carter Family gave their last performance, Maybelle and her daughters continued to play, first on radio stations in Richmond, Virginia, and later in Knoxville, Tennessee where they met Chet Atkins. They were eventually invited by the Martha White Flour Company to be regular performers on a radio show they sponsored at the Grand Ole Opry, then the place to be for country musicians. While their show may not have been as creative as those of the old Carter family, their music was sure to please the crowd. Eventually the three daughters went their separate ways. In 1949, June traveled to New York to make some solo recordings for RCA, later meeting -- and marrying -- Johnny Cash. In the 50s the Carter women performed with musical greats Hank Snow, Hank Williams, and Elvis Presley.

A Quiet Life
While Maybelle and her daughters were keeping up the Carter family's musical tradition, A.P. was back in Poor Valley, leading the peaceful life of a storekeeper who never sold very much, but collected music royalties twice a year. A.P. reunited with Maybelle once in Knoxville in 1948, and once with Sara in Bristol in 1952, but the three originals never played together again. By February 1960, A.P. was old, sick, and bedridden, and he died that November. Maybelle and Sara both outlived him, dying in 1978 and 1979 respectively.

Maybelle, A.P. and Sara Carter By the time A.P. died, the royalties were starting to flow again, thanks to such covers as the Kingston Trio's take on Worried Man Blues, Elvis Presley's recording of Are You Lonesome Tonight, and a whole record of remakes by Flatt & Scruggs. In that decade the folk music revival took off in earnest, with Bob Dylan plying the concert trail and the first re-releases of the Carters' old monophonic 78's. Maybelle earned her title as the "queen mother of country music," and the copyrights for which Peer paid the Carters only a few hundred dollars are now among the most valuable musical properties in the world. The Original Carter Family was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on October 14, 1970. In 2005 the Carter Family was honored at the Grammy Awards with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

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