Born into a family obsessed with country music (who named her after one member of the Carter Family, and her brother after Faron Young), Anita Cochran began playing guitar at the age of four. Though she was born and raised in suburban Detroit, her parents were both originally from Kentucky. Her father was a local country performer who encouraged his daughter by bringing her to countless country music festivals. Although she spent time working for an insurance firm, she continued to perform in bands and as a solo act, and she caught her first break by being hired to manage a local recording studio. She sang backing vocals and engineered many sessions, recording on her own when she had time.