Many of the early bluegrass songs came from the Carter Family repertoire and that material continues to be endearing.
The family story and that of their music is fascinating and has already been the subject of three books; John Atkins’ The Carter Family (for Old Time Music, 1973), Stacy Harris’s book Country Music’s First Family (1978) and Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone (by Mark Zwonitzer and Charles Hirshberg; Simon & Schuster (15 July 2002)).
The latest addition Don’t Forget This Song (with words by Frank M. Young and drawings by David Lasky) is not only the story of what was probably the most influential group in country music, it is made even more enthralling by the fact that it is told in strip-cartoon form, beautifully drawn, mainly in full colour and in a style similar to that of Robert Crumb.
As described by the publishers …….
“The Carter Family: Don’t Forget This Song is not only a unique illustrated biography, but a moving account that reveals the family’s rise to success, their struggles along the way, and their impact on contemporary music. Illustrated with exacting detail and written in the Southern dialect of the time, its dynamic narrative is pure Americana. It is also a story of success and failure, of poverty and wealth, of racism and tolerance, of creativity and business, and of the power of music and love.”
The book comes with a CD containing 11 songs by the original Carter Family along with Maybelle’s children, Helen, June and Anita and Sara’s daughter Janette, taken from their broadcasts on the Mexican radio station XET in Monterrey.
Don’t Forget This Song is available from the publisher, all good book shops, and on-line.
Frank M. Young is a writer and editor who has contributed to newspapers and magazines across the country. Born in the Deep South, he now lives in Seattle.
David Lasky has written and illustrated a number of highly acclaimed comic books. Originally from Virginia, David now makes his home in Seattle.
178 colour illustrations
Published October 1, 2012