Carlene Carter “I Fell in Love”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#434in the Series) is Carlene Carter, I Fell in Love

Youngsters from musical families have a huge advantage over the majority of society.  Not only is music given to them via their genes, but having it in their ears from before birth is just a wonderful way to grow up.

A dear friend of mine was from a musical family.  He’s a guitar player/singer/songwriter etc. etc. He married a singer/dancer and yes, their two children have grown up to be extremely musical in their own write.  In fact the daughter has been headlining places like the Rainbow Room and Whisky a Go Go in Los Angeles all this summer.

But what else makes that talent handed down like it does?  I remember one thing my fiend Phil once told me.  He mentioned that there have always been guitars just all over the house. You couldn’t sit down in hardly any chair without being able to reach over and just start “pickin’ and grinnin’.”  Did they watch TV at night, not all that often? They’d usually play music.  Just having it around… that’s the way you do it.

I guess you could say that Carlene Carter is from a musical family.  Her Grandmother was the great Maybelle Carter of the famous “Carter Family.” Her father was Carl Smith.  He’s in the Country Music Hall of Fame. Her mother was the Country Superstar June Carter.  Yup, The Circle Will Be, Unbroken!

Carlene is a star in her own right.  I Fell in Love was her sixth album.  It was a country album heart, but it had a little spunk to it as well. Most of that was supplied by Carlene’s winning personality, but some of it was also provided by an absolute killer backing band.  How about Albert Lee on guitar? She also had, from Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers, Howie Epstein on guitar and Benmont Tench on piano.  You want another guitar player? How about James Burton for certain! Jim Keltner added drums.  I think we need some good back ground singers. OK, we’ve got Levon Helm, Jim Lauderdale, Nicolette Larson, Dave Edmunds, Jim Photoglo, Keith Knudsen, Kevin Welch, and Vince Melamed.

The single “I Fell I Love” was written by Carlene along with Epstein and Tench and Perry Lamek. It’s a fun rocker that sold the album, but I don’t think it was the best track on the disc. That award would go to “Me and the Wildwood Rose.” The Wildwood Rose was Grand-Ma Maybelle. This tells the story of a young Carlene and growing up around her.  It’s a fantastic track.  “The Sweetest Thing” is a wonderful ballad, and there’s another song that I think you might now.  That would be “Easy From Now On.”  “Easy” was the first song as a writer, along with Susanna Clark, that Carlene ever had recorded.  It was a hit for EmmyLou Harris back in 1978.  It was on the Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town Album, which is a line taken from “Easy From Now On.”  Look for it to be a hit again as Miranda Lambert has recorded it for her upcoming album to the released in November.

I had a chance to see Carlene Carter shortly after this album was released. The tour was actually for Little Love Letters. That features a great tune written by then NRBQ guitarist Al Anderson. It was called “Every Little Thing.”  The show I saw was at the often mentioned FitzGerald’s Nightclub in suburban Chicago. The show was great and the real surprise was when her mother June surprised the crowd by coming out for the encore to give us great renditions of Amazing Grace and of course, Will the Circle Be Unbroken. It was a great night of music!

To bring you up to date, Carlene is still recording some great albums her latest was Stronger.  It was produced by John McFee of The Doobie Brothers fame.

— Larry CartaPlease visit and LIKE our facebook page

 Track listing

  1. “I Fell in Love” (Carlene Carter, Howie Epstein, Benmont Tench, Perry Lamek) – 3:40
  2. “Come On Back” (Carlene Carter) – 2:56
  3. “The Sweetest Thing” (Carlene Carter, Robert Ellis Orrall) – 4:13
  4. “My Dixie Darlin'” (A.P. Carter) – 2:36
  5. “Goodnight Dallas” (Carlene Carter) – 3:39
  6. “One Love” (Carlene Carter, Howie Epstein, Perry Lamek) – 3:03
  7. “The Leavin’ Side” (Carlene Carter, Keith Christopher, Tom Gray) – 3:25
  8. “Guardian Angel” (Carlene Carter, James Eller) – 3:24
  9. “Me and the Wildwood Rose” (Carlene Carter) – 3:54
  10. “You Are the One” (Leon Payne) – 2:37
  11. “Easy from Now On” (Carlene Carter, Susanna Clark) – 4:31


  • Bass – John Ciambotti*
  • Acoustic Guitar – Howie Epstein, Frank Reckard, James Burton
  • Accordion – Eddie Baytos
  • Guitar  – Albert Lee, James Burton
  • Drums – Ed Greene,  Jim Keltner
  • Piano – Benmont Tench
  • Backing Vocals – Carlene Carter, June Carter Cash, Nicolette Larson, Dave Edmunds, Howie Epstein, Jim Lauderdale, Jim Photoglo, Keith Knudsen, Kevin Welch, Levon Helm, Vince Melamed.


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Posted by Larry Carta

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