This Morning, With Her, Having Coffee - The Most Famous And Controversial Love Story Of June Carter And Johnny Cash

Bhavna Acharya |Apr 21, 2020

Even you have no idea who they are, the story of June Carter and Johnny Cash will change the way you think about love forever!

From two strangers with different backgrounds, country musicians June Carter and Johnny Cash found each other through music. More than just partner at work, the pair was also soulmates and eventually spouses. With the power of love, the pair went through hardship to reach glory together. Here is the inspiring love story of the two most famous country musicians to empower every.

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June Carter

June Carter

Born in Virginia, the US in 1929, June Carter was the elder daughter of Ezra Carter and the famous country singer Maybelle Carter. With the love for country genre run in her blood, June Carter started voicing along with her mother at the age of 10. They were later joined by two of her sisters Anita and Helen to become the Carter Sisters whose name was widely heard across the country. The band even made ways to the Grand Ole Opry, the biggest national country music concert, around the late 1940s.

At the Grand Ole Opry, she met her husband Carl Smith, a honky-tonk singer known as ‘Mr. Country’. The pair got married in 1952 and had a daughter in common, Carlene Carter, who would also become an acclaimed country singer and musician. 

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Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash

While Carter’s life was full of love and music, Johnny Cash, on the contrary, suffered from tragedy during his young life. Born in Arkansas in 1932, Johnny Cash grieved from his beloved brother’s death at the age of 12. It was a shocking incident to Cash that he never recovered from. 

Johnny Cash graduated from high school in 1950 and worked stunts before joining the AirForce. Before moving to Germany for missions, Cash met Vivian Liberto in Texas and fell in love with her. They kept in touch with each other during his time abroad and finally tied the knot in 1954 when he came back to the US. 

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June Carter And Johnny Cash's link is known as one of the most controversial and romantic love story of the 10 century

The pair moved to Memphis to sell appliances and had 4 daughters together. In 1955, he got a chance to meet a music producer named Phillips who was impressed with his original ‘Hey Porter.’ In response to Phillips’s request of having a sad song to pair with it, Johnny Cash penned down ‘Cry, Cry, Cry’ which was released along with ‘Porter’ in the same year. Johnny Cash’s road of fame is on!

Johnny Cash made his Grand Ole Opry debut in 1956 with his latest release ‘I Walk The Line’ which is a mixture of both country and pop. The song was a big hit at that time which made his name well-known in the industry. It also drew an ire of Carl Smith that he invited Cash to the show. However, it was not the show but the introduction with Smith’s wife June Carter that changed his life forever!

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June Carter And Johnny Cash on the stage

‘I’ve always wanted to meet you’

In fact, Johnny Carter has listened to June Carter's songs since he was a kid. It could be seen how thrilled he was being introduced to Carter at the backstage of Opry. ‘I’ve always wanted to meet you,’ was the things he said seeing her for the first time. ‘I feel like I know you already,’ responded Carter. 

Nearly half of a century later, Carter reminisced their first met in a note on Cash’s 2000 box set, Love, God, Murder, saying that the only thing she can remember was his black eyes which ‘shone like agates.’ Since that moment, she has become one of his followers.

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June Carter And Johnny Cash spent the late years of their life together

It was the early 1960s that June Carter and Johnny Cash went on tours together. They appear to be not only partners on stage but also soulmates. Carter, by that time, split from Carl Smith and moved on with Edwin Nix, a policeman and have a daughter together, Rosie. However, the pair soon got divorced in 1966 while Johnny Cash also broke up with his wife Vivian one year later. 

Despite the speculation about their romance, they remained circumspect when it comes to a serious relationship. In the 2000 notes, Carter confessed that it was ‘inconvenient’ for them to fall in love with each other at that moment. In fact, the more she knew about him, the more frightened she was with the thought of falling in love with him. ‘I can’t fall in love with this man, but it’s just like a ring of fire,’ wrote the singer. That was also the reason which drove her to pen Cash’s hit song ‘Ring of Fire’ released in 1963. 

More than just partners or soulmates, she was his savior

On the other hand, Cash revealed that it was Carter who lifted him up from the darkest days. Alcohol and drugs, infidelities, frequent absences and a crumbling marriage, that was what came after the instant fame he got. A lesser-known fact about the acclaimed musician Johnny Cash, he was in legal soup several times mostly due to alcohol and drugs.

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the pair started going on tour together in the early 1960s

In 1965, the famous musician was caught red-handed and arrested for trafficking 1,000 amphetamine tablets across the Mexico-US border. He was also the first individual to be sued by the government after accidentally setting fire to the Los Padres National Forest in California when being on a camping trip. 

Getting divorced with his wife, having his shows canceled, going back and fort the jail, the troublesome musician had struggled in life for a couple of years and decided to put an end to this. He went to the Nickajack Cave in the Tennessee River to commit suicide but had a weird spiritual experience to see God. He changed his mind and returned back home to see June and his mother. That was the day he gave up on pills and alcohol. 

“You still fascinate and inspire me. You influence me for the better. You’re the object of my desire, the #1 Earthly reason for my existence,” Johnny Cash

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Johnny Cash credited his wife Carter to be the one who helped him out his darkest days

Their fruitful years of awards and love

According to Cash, Carter was the one who gave meaning to his life and helped him to get back on the right track again. The pair took their relationship to the next level by getting married in 1968, a month after he popped his question in front of 7,000 audiences at the London Ice House.

Johnny Cash’s life has turned into a new page after having June as his wife. Apart from their individual awards, the pair bagged 2 Grammy awards together in 1967 and 1970. They also hosted their own show The Johnny Cash Show which features superstars Kris Kristofferson and Bob Dylan as guests.

In 1970, June Carter And Johnny Cash welcomed their son John Carter Cash who was also a music producer. After all those ups and downs, the pair spend their later years together,

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June Carter And Johnny Cash had a son together John Carter Cash

Although both of them are long gone, June Carter and Johnny Cash iconic and inspiring love story lives forever, just like their music. The cost of true love never runs smooth. Sometimes we run into the wrong person before meeting the right one. Sometimes we have to wait for decades, going through all of the ups and downs to realize it and deserve it. And when the time comes, you will find all of those things are meant to be.

Check out one of the most famous June Carter and Johnny Cash performance Jackson:


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