Raised on gospel music as a child, the legendary Johnny Cash sang gospel songs. He had always infused his recordings and concerts with gospel hymns all the way through his long career. This includes “Will The Circle Be Unbroken,” which has always been part of his repertoire and often performed with his family.
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The hymn took a new meaning for Cash when he married June Carter – the daughter of Mother Maybelle Carter, and has performed with the iconic Carter Family from the age of ten.
Meanwhile, “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” first gained attention when The Carter Family recorded it. It was based on a gospel hymn published in 1908 by Ada Habershon and music by Charles Gabriel, who were both prolific writers of church music. The Carter Family reworked and released it in 1935.
The Carter Family made significant changes, most notably in the chorus, to the gospel hymn – which sings about death, funeral, and mourning of a mother’s demise. Since then, the folk music group’s version has been recorded by various acts, including Roy Acuff, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ralph Stanley, and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
Johnny Cash Sure Liked To Keep It All In The Family!
In one special performance, Johnny Cash and his family performed a chilling cover of the classic gospel song “Will The Circle Be Unbroken.” June Carter Cash kicked off the song and made us remember why she is considered a country legend!
She was later joined by her talented family, harmonizing and sounding like a full gospel choir that you would feel chills go down your spine. The other members also took lead vocals, and their voices would make you think the gates of Heaven had just opened.
Make sure to listen to “Will The Circle Be Unbroken,” as sung by Johnny Cash and the Carter Family in the video below.
Johnny Cash, june carter cash, the carter family