Carlene Carter, the eldest daughter of June Carter and her first husband, ‘50s hitmaker Carl Smith, is an accomplished songwriter in her own right, having enjoyed a four-decade long career (and showing no signs of slowing down). But there’s no denying her famous last name. Carter is literal country music royalty, and she treated Paste to one of her many timeless family classics during her live studio session on May 2, 2017.
Carter stopped by Paste to promote her 2017 collaborative album with John Mellencamp, Sad Clowns & Hillbillies, but also performed “Wildwood Flower,” an American folk song made famous by her grandmother, country icon Maybelle Carter.
“My grandma,” Carter said, “she was so humble. When I asked her one day, I said, ‘So, did you write all of that music?’ And she said, ‘I would just make up a little tune.’ And it was like, this is Grandma’s little tune, is ‘Wildwood Flower.’ I haven’t met a guitar player in my life who didn’t say the first song they ever learned was ‘Wildwood Flower.’”
Watch Carlene Carter’s performance of “Wildwood Flower” from exactly one year ago, below, and read more about Carter’s full session and family legacy right here.