When two people are truly meant for each other, no time is too long, no distance is too far, and their love lasts a lifetime. Just like the love of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash. One of the greatest love stories of the south, the legendary love of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash never failed to inspire. At the Grand Opry in 1956, Johnny met June and the rest was history, as they say. Johnny was a backup singer for Elvis Presley. Although he was already married to his first wife, Vivian, Johnny fell for June Carter the first time he laid his eyes on her. Eventually, his marriage failed and Vivian left Johnny because of drug and alcohol problems.
“I first heard of [Johnny Cash] through Elvis Presley. Elvis would make me go into these little cafés and listen to John [on the jukebox] when we played in the South–in the Carolinas and all down through Florida and Georgia. Then, one night backstage at the Opry, this man walked up to me and said, ‘I want to meet you, I’m Johnny Cash.’ And I said, ‘Well I oughta know who you are. Elvis can’t even tune his guitar unless he goes, ‘Everybody knows where you go when the sun goes down.’” -June Carter Cash
As it is forever written in the song “The Ring of Fire”, it took a little bit longer for June Carter to warm up to Johnny Cash despite of the undeniable attraction. That’s the reason why Johnny proposed to her several times. By the time she answered yes to him, the proposal was made at a live show in 1968 and was witnessed by 7000 fans.
Johnny used drugs and alcohol to deal with the issues surrounding his distant father as verbally and emotionally abusive and he used this to ease his way of life. A true unconditional love, June worked to help him deal with these addictions. She was there, cared for him and let him know that she has nothing to do with him as long as he was using drugs and boozing. Johnny had to pull himself together and put away his ‘bad boy’ image behind him to be a good man. And he did, and June was her price. This was during the time that he proposed to her and she finally said yes (12 years after their meeting). She was the reason for changing into a great man that the world grew to love.
He attributed his success to the woman he loves throughout his life. The woman who loved him unconditionally and the one who molded him to become a man. He was developed into a God-loving man and he matured when he received this unconditional love that was never given to him by his father.
They were together until the demise of June Carter Cash came in May 15, 2003 and he was there holding her hand as she died. On his last public performance in 2003, before he took the stage, he read a statement about June. A statement of true love.
“The spirit of June Carter overshadows me tonight with the love she had for me and the love I have for her. We connect somewhere between here and heaven,” it read. “She came down for a short visit, I guess, from heaven to visit with me tonight to give me courage and inspiration like she always has.”