Mike Craver, Jim Watson, and Tommy Thompson were called by the family to come sing at Sara Carter's funeral in 1979.  In the fall of 2002, fan Tim Goodall wrote to this Web site and asked why we didn't mention it.  The book Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone (The Carter Family & Their Legacy in American Music) by Mark Zwonitzer with Charles Hirshberg had just been published.  On the last page, they wrote "A hundred and fifty people cllimbed through the sleet to the hilltop cemetery, where the Red Clay Ramblers sang 'Anchored in Love' over Sara's grave."  Jim Watson and Mike Craver both gathered their memories for us to post for you.

Jim Watson's Memories of Sara Carter's funeral

"When Sara Carter died, Janette Carter called Tommy up and asked us (Tommy, Mike, and I) to come to Hiltons for the funeral and sing.  It was quite a day.  Johnny Cash and June Carter were there, I believe the McClean Family Band was there also.  The main funeral service was held in the Carter Family Fold, which holds a lot of people and it was pretty much full, as I recall.  We sang a song in the service, "Fifty Miles of Elbow Room." Johnny Cash gave a really nice talk, and there was a fair amount of music in addition to what we did.  The graveside service was a much smaller gathering, and it was there that we sang "Anchored in Love."  It was cold that day, and it wasn't very easy to play the guitar.  Sara is buried not far from A. P.  He has a facsimile or an actual 78 record on his stone that is for "Keep on the Sunny Side."  He also died on my birthday, Nov. 7.

Janette had been very emotional during the service, but she and I talked after the graveside service and she knew it was time to move on.  It really was quite an honor for the three of us, but also something that you do for a friend, and I was happy that we could do it for Janette and Joe."

--Jim Watson, September 18, 2002

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August 31, 2003