Throughout her renowned life and career, June Carter Cash Songs – most especially her duets with her husband Johnny Cash – mesmerized audiences around the world with themes about life, love, and heartache.
June grew up in the Appalachian foothills of Virginia. She has been in the spotlight ever since she was a child – being an important part of the Carter Family band, the American folk music group that changed the landscape of folk and bluegrass music forever.
Since then, she has been performing nonstop. She stole the show with her comedic personality and picking skills on autoharp, guitar, and banjo, and definitely, with her vivacious great looks. Soon enough, June won a worldwide following. By the middle of the 1950s, June was already one of Nashville’s most established figures.
With that said, let’s take a closer look at June Carter Cash‘s greatest hits to celebrate her life and legacy. Keep on scrolling below to see what we have here.
1. If I Were a Carpenter
The folk song – which is believed to be about a man’s romantic insecurity – was recorded with commercial success by various artists. This includes June’s duet of the song with Johnny.
The husband-and-wife duo’s “If I Were a Carpenter” version went No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. Furthermore, it took home the Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group Award during the 1971 Grammy Awards.
“Jackson” tells the story of a married couple who’s having difficulty keeping their love for each other burning. June and Johnny released their version in 1967, which reached No. 2 on the country charts and even won a Grammy Award for Best Country & Western Performance Duet, Trio, or Group.
3. Root Hog, or Die
“Root hog or die” is a common catchphrase in America, which origin dates back to the early 1800s. It refers to the colonial practice of releasing pigs in the woods so they could fend for themselves. Today, it’s an expression used to suggest self-reliance.
The phrase resulted in several songs with the same theme, including a 1911 folk song that tells the difficult life of a cowboy. June had a minor hit with her 1950 version, with Chet Atkins on the guitar. The song also appeared on June’s compilation album released in 2005.
4. Juke Box Blues
Written by June’s mother Maybelle and her sister Helen, “Juke Box Blues” was one of June’s few hits. Actress Reese Witherspoon sang the classic country ballad in the 2005 biographical musical drama film, Walk the Line.
5. Keep on the Sunny Side
The Christian hymn was brought to fame by the Carter Family in 1928 – being the music group’s theme song on the radio. However, its origin actually goes way back to the 1890s.
Written by Ada Blenkhorn, the song was inspired by a phrase her nephew has used. Blenkhorn’s nephew had a disability and would often request for his wheelchair to be placed by “the sunny side” of the street.
June recorded a version for her final solo album, which was then released posthumously.
6. It Ain’t Me Babe
June’s first notable studio performance with her husband happened in the early 1960s when she duetted with Cash on this Bob Dylan composition. Dylan and Cash have always been admirers of each other’s work – and “It Ain’t Me Babe” marked a departure for Dylan as he started exploring the deeper levels of the human experience.
7. Oh, What a Good Thing We Had
While June and Johnny made cover songs their forte, this poignant country ballad was extra special as it’s written by the couple. It tells the story of a man and woman reminiscing about their relationship’s high points.
“Long weeks of waitin’ and livin’ for the day we marry. Oh, what a good thing we had gone bad,” June and Johnny somehow cheerfully deliver the heartbreaking lines.
8. Long-Legged Guitar Pickin’ Man
Written by Johnny’s bass player Marshall Grant, the couple released the song as a single in 1967. It peaked at No. 6 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.
More of June Carter Cash Songs That Prove She’s Country Music Royalty
Here are some more upbeat country tunes that made June Carter Cash one of the most popular country singers out there.
So, what do you think about these June Carter Cash songs?
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