Best Known For
Anita Carter is best known for singing with Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters, a family band of early country music.
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The song would later be covered by Johnny Cash, becoming the biggest hit of the Man in Black's career, staying at number one for seven weeks in 1963. The story goes that Cash heard the song, then dreamt of his own variation (complete with Mexican horns), later asking Anita Carter (his sister-in-law) if he could re-record the track if her version didn't make it to the top of the charts.
Though by the late 1970s, the Carter Family troupe had mostly gone their separate ways, they occasionally reunited on stage. When Mother Maybelle died in 1978, Helen and Anita felt a strong urge to continue the family tradition. The group incorporated a third generation into the mix, represented by June's daughter Carlene and Anita's daughter Lori. In 1982 and 1988, the Carter sisters and their daughters made albums together; in 1986, they played to a massive, adoring crowd at the Wembley Festival of Country Music.
Anita Carter was married four times in total, twice to Don Davis. Her first husband was fiddler Dale Potter, and her last husband (they divorced in 1974) was Bob Wooton, who was also a guitarist for Johnny Cash. Carter had two children, Lori Frances and Jay Davis.
Anita Carter's musical career was cut short in the 1990s by severe bouts of rheumatoid arthritis, which she had battled for many years. Eventually, due to the harsh drugs used to treat her arthritis, Carter's pancreas, kidneys, and liver began to fail. In 1999, at the age of 66, she passed away in the Tennessee home of June and Johnny Cash.
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