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June Carter Cash

Songwriter, singer, actress, comedienne, and matriarch of country music June Carter Cash was born Valerie June Carter in Maces Springs, VA, on June 23, 1929. Taught by her mother (the legendary Mother Maybelle Carter of the Carter Family) to play autoharp, June entered the spotlight in 1937 singing with her sisters Helen and Anita, eventually performing as the Carter Sisters after the death of June's uncle A.P. Her good humor and quick wit prompted June to perform comedy skits and monologues during the show, and led to a novelty recording of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" with country comics Homer & Jethro which eventually hit number nine on the country charts in 1949.

In 1952, Carter married Carl Smith, with whom she performed at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry, and their daughter, Rebecca Carlene (later to record under the name Carlene Carter), was born in 1955. After their divorce in the late '50s, Carter was managed by Colonel Tom Parker and toured with Elvis Presley, and while living in Nashville, she met and briefly married local police officer Rip Nix with whom she another daughter, Rosie. Although Carter dabbled in acting during the '50s, she returned to the musical stage in 1961 when the Carters joined Johnny Cash's road show. Rumor has it that Cash had kept an eye on June since her appearances with the Carter Sisters in the early '50s, commenting, "I'm going to marry that girl someday" (despite the fact that both of them were still married to other people at the time). In 1963, Carter co-wrote the song "Ring of Fire" with Merle Kilgore, which Cash (supposedly June's inspiration for the song) took to number one. Their Grammy-winning duet "Jackson" came true when Cash and Carter "got married in a fever hotter than a pepper sprout" in 1968. Cash has long credited June for forcing him to shake his addiction to amphetamines and encouraging his spiritual development, saying, "she is the person responsible for me still being alive. She came along at a time in my life when I was going to self-destruct." Another Grammy (for "If I Were a Carpenter") and the birth of Carter's third child, son John Carter Cash, followed in 1970.

June Carter Cash left the spotlight for most of the '70s and '80s, stating, "I worked with John, but I had enough sense to walk just a little ways behind him. I could have made more records, but I wanted to have a marriage." She did, however, write two autobiographies (1979's Among My Klediments and 1987's From My Heart) and also did some acting, notably on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and alongside Robert Duvall in The Apostle. She did eventually return to recording, releasing a collection of both traditional folk songs and Carter Cash originals entitled Press On in 1999 which won a Grammy for best traditional folk album. Johnny Cash's health seemed to deteriorate throughout the '90s just as his career went through a renaissance, and many fans were shocked when June Carter Cash died suddenly on May 15, 2003, following complications from heart surgery. Given the fact that she had remained apparently rock solid as he got weaker and weaker, it seemed as though Johnny might pass on, but Carter Cash would live forever. Luckily, she does live on today; through the children she raised (many of whom have become musicians themselves), through her writing and appearances on film, through the contributions she made to her husband's life, and most clearly in the music she left behind. ~ Zac Johnson, Rovi
full bio

Comments

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Known & listened to June or WSM Radio since a kid in the 50's. She always had a special spot in my heart as with the other Carter family.
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kat51859
a true love story until she went away for him to join her in the clouds
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Beautiful.
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haileyssipod
Five
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One of the greatest and humble vocalist
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Are you crazy ?
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Follow 4 a follow
I wonder what happened to this kind of music ?
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crumbleymack e y
I would like to listen to Johnny cash song, five feet high and rising, how
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Johnny cash is cool I liked he is
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I gave you my onlyness give me your tomorrow. Made for each other
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Very great music
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cwade98
Best pair ever
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They were made for each other.
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She had pure country in her voice.
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What a wonderful American treasure! She is surely singing and telling stories to all the angels! Amazing...
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Hurt is the best song I have ever herd
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witchazelwoo d
We miss you, Junie.
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June Carter Cash was a great singer an wife to Johnny Cash an they will live forever in the hearts of their fans.
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A great talent, great entertainer.
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joseph_monta n o
One of the Greats. She was wonderful!
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bhasert
What a singer! What a MESSAGE! What a legacy....
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charleswpoe
Top of the crop of old time country singers.
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Wow what an artist
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The Far Side Banks of Jordan makes me cry. It just makes me feel so good to know they truly loved one another and I am sure June was standing right there watching her Man in Black walk towards her by the Jordan River.
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She was the woman behind The Man in Black and a ledgend in her own right. They are both sorely missed.
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She is a awespme singer i ;love her song jude box
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forddiesel20 0 0
she was a great person to listen to and enjoy her music

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