Monday, March 17, 2014

Mother Maybell Carter And Her Autoharp

This LP is the start of a small series of LP`s I`ll be posting, all my Mother Maybell Carter related LP`s. I`ll not be posting Original Carter Family items though, as they have all been released on cd. What we`ll have here is post-Original Carter Family stuff, except for some radio transcription shows I have that were re-issued on LP. Also included will be Mother Maybell and the Carter Sisters items.
Now this LP we have here is an all instrumental autoharp LP. After the early 78 era of the 1920`s & 1930`s, the autoharp all but disappeared from county music. If it wasn`t for about four people, Mother Maybell Carter, Sara Carter, Ernest "Pop" Stoneman, and later Kilby Snow in the late 1950`s & 1960`s, the autoharp may have very well became extinct.
If I understand right (and I know nothing about playing autoharp), it was invented to be a chording accompaniment instrument. Sara & Maybell Carter, as well as Ernest Stoneman, developed a way, in different styles, of playing lead, or the melody, of a song. The autoharp was intended to be played laying on a table or your lap, as Ernest Stoneman did. Sara & Maybell Carter pretty much invented the fashion of holding the autoharp against your chest, as in the picture on the LP cover. This gives a different sound and tone to the instrument, a warmer tone I think. It would also project sound better to other people. Apparantly Ernest Stoneman tried to make his autoharp easier to ear by building a case for it that acted as a resonator when opened and played. If you want to compare Ernest Stonemans sound to the Carter sound, just search Ernest Stoneman in the search box at the upper left of the blog page and you can find some other items to download. Enjoy!

Click here to download Mother Maybell Carter And Her Autoharp


  1. Hi,
    Have been surfing the Internet tonight listening to Tony Rice and decided to see if I could find an offering for Mother Maybelle And Her Autoharp and lo and behold you have the entire album posted. I purchased this Album when it first came out waaaay back a long time ago. I'm now 77. Being old like mine is, it has some skipping issues. Amazon lists it as used for $15.00 but I don't post any financial information on the Internet so I was very pleasantly surprised and gratified to find your web site and posting.

    Thank you more than I can put into words.


  2. You wouldn't happen to have the other album she did on the Smash label? "Pickin' And Singin'"