Anita Carter

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Anita Carter
Anita Carter.jpg
Background information
Birth nameIna Anita Carter
Born(1933-03-31)March 31, 1933[1]
Maces Spring, Virginia, US
DiedJuly 29, 1999(1999-07-29) (aged 66)[1]
Hendersonville, Tennessee, U.S.
GenresCountry, folk
InstrumentsBass, 12-string guitar, vocals
LabelsRCA Victor, Cadence, Columbia, Audiograph, United Artists, Liberty, Capitol
Associated actsCarter Family, The Carter Sisters, Nita, Rita & Ruby, Johnny Cash, Hank Snow, Waylon Jennings

Ina Anita Carter (March 31, 1933 – July 29, 1999) was an American singer who played upright bass, guitar, and autoharp. She performed with her sisters, Helen and June, and her mother, Maybelle, initially under the name Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters. Carter had three top ten hits and was the first to record the song "Ring of Fire".

Carter recorded for a number of labels, both as a solo artist and with her family, including RCA Victor, Cadence, Columbia, Audiograph, United Artists, Liberty and Capitol.


Born in Maces Spring, Virginia, she scored two top ten hits in 1951 with "Down The Trail of Achin' Hearts" and "Blue Bird Island," both duets with Hank Snow. She reached the top ten again in 1968 with "I Got You," a duet with Waylon Jennings.[1] In 1962, she recorded "Love's Ring of Fire," written by her sister June and Merle Kilgore.

After the song failed to make the charts, Johnny Cash recorded it as "Ring of Fire" in March 1963 with the horns and the Carter Sisters (along with Mother Maybelle). This version became a hit for Cash.

She appeared on The Kate Smith Evening Hour with her family and in a duet with Hank Williams, on his song "I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love with You)".


Carter married fiddler Dale Potter in 1950 (they later divorced), session musician Don Davis in 1953 (divorced and then remarried), and Bob Wootton (lead guitarist for Johnny Cash's band The Tennessee Three) in 1974 (divorced). She had two children, Lorrie Frances and John Christopher (Jay) Davis.


Carter suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for many years, and the drugs used to treat it severely damaged her pancreas, kidneys, and liver. She died on July 29, 1999, at the age of 66,[2] a year after eldest sister Helen and four years before middle sister June. She was under hospice care at the home of Johnny and June Carter Cash in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Her interment was in Hendersonville Memory Gardens in Hendersonville, Tennessee.

Album discography apart from Carter Family[edit]

Albums Label Date
Blue Doll (Single) Cadence Records – 1333 1957
Together Again (with Hank Snow) RCA Victor LSPLSP – 2580 Nov. 1962
Folk Songs Old and New Mercury SR – 60770 Dec. 1962
Anita Carter of the Carter Family Mercury SR – 60847 Feb. 1964
So Much Love Capitol ST – 11075 1972
Yesterday House Of Cash HOC – 1000 1995
Appalachian Angel: Her Recordings 1950–1972 & 1996 Bear Family June 22, 2004

Singles chart activity apart from Carter Family[edit]

Year Title Label Peak Chart Position Comments
1950 Somebody's Cryin' RCA Victor N/A
1951 Down the Trail of Aching Hearts/

Bluebird Island

2 duet with Hank Snow
1953 There'll Be No Teardrops Tonight Columbia N/A
1955 Pledging my Love RCA Victor N/A as part of 'Nita, Rita & Ruby
That's What Makes the Jukebox Play N/A
Making Believe N/A
False Hearted N/A
1956 Keep Your Promise, Willie Thomas N/A duet with Hank Snow
A Tear Fell N/A
Believe It Or Not N/A
1957 Blue Doll Cadence N/A
He's a Real Gone Guy RCA Victor N/A
1960 Mama (Don't Cry at My Wedding) Jamie N/A
Tryin' to Forget About You N/A
1963 Ring of Fire Mercury N/A
Running Back N/A
1964 Little Things Mean a Lot N/A
1965 Twelve O'Clock High RCA Victor N/A
1966 You Couldn't Get My Love Back (If You Tried)/

I'm Gonna Leave You

I've Heard The Wind Blow Before N/A
1967 Love Me Now (While I Am Living) 61
You Weren't Ashamed to Kiss Me (Last Night) N/A
1968 I Got You 4 duet with Waylon Jennings
Cry Softly United Artists N/A
To Be a Child Again 65
1969 Coming of the Roads 50 duet with Johnny Darrell
1970 Tulsa County Capitol 41
1971 Loving Him Was Easier/

A Whole Lotta Lovin'


Selected Studio & Guest Artist Appearances[edit]

Year Artist & Title (album unless otherwise noted) Peak Chart Position Comments
1960 Connie Smith: Cute 'n' Country 1 backing vocals
1963 Johnny Cash with the Carter Family: Blood, Seat & Tears 80 duet on "Another Man Done Gone"
1966 Connie Smith: Great Sacred Songs 19 backing vocals
1967 Porter Wagoner: Soul of a Convict & Other Great Prison Songs 7 backing vocals
1967 Porter Wagoner: Cold Hard Facts of Life 4 backing vocals
1968 Porter Wagoner: Bottom of the Bottle 19 backing vocals
1968 Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: Just Between You & Me 8 backing vocals; lead vocal on chorus of 1967 single "The Last Thing on My Mind"
1968 Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: Just the Two of Us 5 backing vocals
1968 Dolly Parton: Just Because I'm a Woman 22 backing vocals
1969 Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: Always, Always 5 backing vocals
1969 Waylon Jennings: Just to Satisfy You 7 two duet vocals
1970 Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: Porter Wayne & Dolly Rebecca 4 backing vocals
1980 Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton: single "Making Plans" 2 backing vocals on original recording, 1968
1987 Johnny Cash: Johnny Cash is Coming to Town 36 backing vocals with the Carter Family
1991 Johnny Cash: Mystery of Life 70 backing vocals
  1. ^ a b c Bush, John. "Anita Carter Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved January 5, 2020.
  2. ^ Polatnick, Gordon. "Anita Carter". Fuller Up The Dead Musician Directory. Retrieved January 20, 2016.