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franklin county times

Keep on the Sunny Side' to be staged at MCC

By Staff
Special to The Star
October 14, 2004
When Meridian Community College's Arts &Letters Series presents its next production, "Keep on the Sunny Side," you'll experience drama, music and laughter.
This is the story of the Carter Family, from their landmark first recording session in Bristol, Tenn., in 1927, to their signings with Victor, ARC and Decca Records and their retirement in 1952.
The production will be staged at 7:30 p.m. in the McCain Theater. General admission tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for children or an Arts &Letters Series season membership.
Family patriarch AP Carter was a poet and a musician ahead of his time. He brought country and folk music out of the Appalachian mountains and into the mainstream by switching the emphasis from hillbilly instrumentals to vocals.
It is also this combination that fashioned a new form of music called "bluegrass," which became a traditional part of the American music songbook.
The Carter family sang a pure, simple harmony that influenced and inspired numerous other family groups of the 1930s and 1940s, as well as folk, bluegrass and rock musicians like Woody Guthrie, Bill Monroe, the Kingston Trio, Doc Watson, Bob Dylan, Emmy Lou Harris and Ricky Scaggs.
They recorded more than 300 songs, many of which became enduring classics. And they were the first group to be elected into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1970, a fitting tribute to their immense influence and legacy.
More than two dozen songs are featured in the production, including "Worried Man Blues," "Wabash Cannonball," "Will the Circle be Unbroken," "Wildwood Flower" and "Keep on the Sunny Side."
Many people are familiar with the Carter family, and certainly most know Alvin's niece, June Carter, who married Johnny Cash.
However, few people knew the whole Carter story until the play titled "Keep On The Sunny Side: The Songs and Story of The Carter Family" was first staged as a mini-production in 2001 at the Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights.

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