Remembering June Carter Cash today, 16 years after her passing at the age of 73, due to heart failure complications after heart surgery.

Born into the first family of country music, the legendary Carter Family in 1929, her first name was actually Valerie. June had already carved out her own piece of history as a performer (including comedy bits on stage), recording artist and songwriter long before she met Johnny Cash. There’s no doubt that June and her love of Johnny turned his life around and probably even saved his life.

I’ve had some pretty amazing moments crossing paths with Johnny and June. A few years ago, a listener gave me a series of photos taken by her father of them in concert in London, Ont., a year before Johnny proposed to June at that very same venue! Jonathan Holiff, son of Johnny’s manager Saul Holiff, shared a vacation photo of Johnny and June enjoying time in a hotel pool. And I had seen them perform a few times in concert.


In 1988, I had my first interview with them. June had released an autobiography called “From the Heart” a year earlier. It’s a fascinating book of short life stories and vignettes. After my interview with June, she autographed it, inscribing, “To Randy Owen – Good Man!! Friend since you’ve shared a little more of my life here – My love & prayers. June Carter Cash.”

Earlier, I had asked Johnny what he admired most about June. He replied, “She’s always pleasant….she’s always kind, very kind to people, strangers, friends, loved ones.”

I had experienced that kindness first-hand and will always remember it.

(Listen to Johnny’s short, full answer by clicking here….Johnny Cash)