Country Valentines

Country Valentines - June Carter Cash Country Valentines - June Carter Cash
By Tamara Saviano
(Date and Publication Unknown)

There's no doubt about it, says Johnny Cash, "the greatest thing that every [sic] happened to me was June Carter."

This March, the couple will celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary-a perfect partnership in love, life and music.

"It's like we fill each other's needs," says Johnny. "She's my companion, my friend. We talk about things we don't talk to anyone else about. We understand eachother. Sometimes it's scary-we can almost read each other's minds. She's my rock, my anchor. She's always there."

Johnny and June met in 1956 while she was performing with the legendary Carter Family. He had admired her since his senior year of high school, when he first saw her perform.

"I first met June when she appeared onstage the first time I did the Grand Ole Opry," Johnny recalls. "We became friends immediately, like we'd known each other all our lives. She'd heard Elvis talking about my songs, and she hadn't heard them, so I brought them to her the next week. Still, it wasn't until 1961 that we worked together. In Febrauary of 1962 we started touring togehter, and we've been together ever since."

Through the decades, with June by his side, Johnny has become one of the most revered men in country music. He has recorded 129 albums and has sold 50 million records in his career. There's a hall of fame for country stars, another for songwriters an da third celebrating rock 'n' roll. Johnny is the only artist inducted into all three. He's won eight Grammy Awards and 23 BMI songwriting awards.

For a time, there was a troubled man behind the guitar, but June stood by him through thick and thin. Her love and encouragement helped Johnny kick a nasty booze and amphetamine habit.

"There were days and years that I felt like I hurt a lot of people, myself included," Johnny says. "Through June's prayers, my determination and therapy, I kicked the pills and drinking. I don't think I could like right without June."

"There are so many sides to Johnny," June says. "The kind, gentle man who talks in sweet tones to his family and enver raises his voice - the kind of man who loves his children and shows wisdom and understanding to his wife as well. There is the dynamic man of charisma onstage who can make a person a hlaf a mile away from the stage think he is seeing the pupil of John's eye. He is talented and he uses it to the best advantage with performing, writing and producing."

"He is also the kind of man who can pick up a prowler by the throat, throw him out in the yard, choke him a little bit and make that prowler sorry he ever decided he would like to see the inside of Johnny Cash's daughter's bedroom and cause her to go into a near hysteria.

"But the thing I like the best about Johnny Cash is maybe that after all the gentleness, the kindness, the dynamic performances, the talent and the ability to be angry and beat someone to a pulp if necessary for the sake of his family - is that Johnny Cash ahs the wisdom to know how to get down on his knees and pray."

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