Nancy married Joe Carter, son of A. P. and Sara Carter, in 1948. They met at the Bristol Weaving Mill, where many people from the mountains traveled to earn a decent living. Nancy and Joe made their home in Hiltons, where Nancy welcomed her father-in-law regularly for breakfast until his death in 1960. In 1974, when Janette Carter, Joe’s sister, decided to open their father’s old grocery store to host music nights in an effort to honor A. P.’s dying wish to keep the family’s music alive, Joe pitched in. But that very first night, A. P.’s old grocery couldn’t fit all of the people who came, and the seed for the Carter Family Fold was planted. Joe designed and constructed a new, larger building next to the old grocery to better accommodate all of the people who would make the journey to Hiltons to hear his family’s music every Saturday night. Joe started calling the place the Carter Family Fold, knowing that this simple building would be a gathering place for the faithful—faithful fans of the Carter Family. Joe passed away in 2005, but Nancy still works at the Fold every Saturday morning, helping to cook the food that will be served from the concession stand that night. Many a Carter Family Fold pilgrim has enjoyed her famous chicken salad.
Date of interview:
February 21, 2009