If there was ever a great love story in Rock ‘N’ Roll that tugs at your guitar strings, it’s that of Johnny Cash and June Carter.

It is said that Johnny and June were introduced by none other than Elvis Presley; he first interested June in Johnny’s music before the pair met, by chance, at the Grand Ol’ Opry a few years later. Though they each began as solo artists, they would later record and perform together, most famously on “Jackson”.

Johnny Cash struggled with drug abuse throughout his career and often risked both his professional and personal life, as a result.  It is believed that Cash became so heavily involved with drugs due to guilt over the tragic death of his older brother, Jack,  which Johnny felt responsible for. 

However, throughout all the hard times, June was always by his side and she was the one who coaxed Cash back to church and supported him to get clean and sober.

June retired from her music career after marrying Johnny in 1968 (13 years after meeting) and the duo won two Grammy awards together for their duets “If I Were A Carpenter” and “Jackson”. June first wrote the song “Ring of Fire” in 1963 about their early attraction for one another, while Johnny wrote the song “Flesh and Blood” about his love for June. Johnny Cash won 11 Grammy awards and was one of the only artists to be inducted into both The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Country Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

However,  the one who was left out of the spotlight in this story was Cash’s first wife, Vivian who was left to raise their four daughters alone while Cash was on tour with June. In her autobiography “I Walked The Line: My Life With Johnny” she wrote that she never stopped loving Johnny and reminisces on what could have been between them.

June was married twice before becoming Johnny’s wife and had one child with each of her husbands. Johnny proposed to June over 30 times before she finally said yes. They were married one week later and their son, John Carter Cash was born in 1970.

The Cash’s were married for 35 years and in that time they never stopped making music together. One of Johnny’s final releases was his version of “Hurt” in 2002, originally performed by Nine Inch Nails and the video features both Johnny and June Cash  together.

June Carter Cash passed away on May 15, 2003 in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. Johnny Cash died three months later and was buried next to his beloved wife. Their life and love was depicted in the 2005 film, “Walk The Line”, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon.

“She loves me in spite of everything, in spite of myself. She has saved my life more than once. She’s always been there with her love, and it has certainly made me forget the pain for a long time, many times. When it gets dark and everybody’s gone home and the lights are turned off, it’s just me and her.”  – Johnny Cash

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