The Old-Time Herald Volume 14, Number 3

Show Me Some More Tunes: An Interview with Ashley Carder
By Sarah Bryan
Vernon Riddle (l) and Ashley Carder at the Snuffy Jenkins Festival in Cliffside, North Carolina, 1985. courtesy of Ashley Carder

Ashley Carder: My mother was an Elvis fan, and she almost named me Elvis. I’m glad she didn’t. She named me after the guy in Gone With the Wind.

My mother grew up right around here, the Batesburg, South Carolina, area, about two miles from here. She’s from here, and her family’s been around this area since the 1700s. My dad’s family is from West Virginia, the Hampshire County area near the Potomac River, in the mountains. A lot of them played mountain music—fiddles, banjos, guitars— and back in the Civil War the ones that were too old to fight played fifes and drums. So [there’s] a lot of music on the Carder side. Maybe not quite as much on my mother’s side.

My mother, from as far back as I can remember, [would] play the guitar and sing, and later sang on radio. At anyplace they could play, she’d play, in country bands. Your typical kind of honky-tonk country. And when I was a little small tot I can remember getting rocked to sleep to songs like “Waterloo” and “Hang Down Your Head, Tom Dooley.” Those were my things that stuck in my head rather than the typical things that a mother would be singing to a small child. So I was kind of brought up on country music.


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