Carlene Carter

If The Carter Family are regarded as near royalty in country music circles, Carlene Carter was the rebellious wildchild, saucing up their traditional, rootsy, God-fearing folk tunes with raunchy country rock. The daughter of June Carter and honky tonk star Carl Smith, Carlene (born Rebecca Carlene Smith) was taught guitar as a ten-year-old by Carl Perkins and started out singing back-up to her mother in her early teens and wrote one of her first songs as a birthday present for stepfather Johnny Cash. Married at 16, a mother a year later and divorced soon afterwards, she was a big personality with her own story to tell and ended up recording her debut album Carlene Carter (1978) in London with Graham Parker and the Rumour, where she met third husband Nick Lowe. Made over into a glamorous, blonde bombshell and given a driving rock sound that captured her whirlwind personality, Carter's new wave, rockabilly blasts were considered quite groundbreaking at the time and too raucous for Nashville; but she found success in 1990 when her single I Fell In Love reached Number 3 on the US country charts. Come On Back and Every Little Thing also fared well and she was nominated for a Grammy Award, but struggled to crossover to mainstream audiences. In later years she played her mother in the musical Wildwood Flowers and performed at the Farm Aid concert in 2013, before releasing her tenth studio album Carter Girl in 2014.

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Stations Featuring Carlene Carter

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