Johnny Cash ‘jealous’ of Elvis for ‘affair’ with June Carter said son

June Carter and Johnny Cash land in Australia in 1973

This weekend marks the birthday of one of the most iconic figures in music history. Incredibly, Johnny Cash was just one of the legendary artists to emerge from tiny Sun Records in Memphis in the 1950s that included Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis and, of course, Elvis Presley. Cash’s relationship with June remains as iconic as his music, but she knew Elvis long before they met and their only son, John Carter Cash, recalled how his mother had a “mischievous glimmer” when talking about their early days. with TheKing. June even told her son that she sometimes wondered what would have happened to her if she had married Elvis. After all, they built their music careers side by side on tour buses and local clubs, and he often stayed over at his house between dates.

Elvis and June were contemporaries on the Memphis and southern music scenes in the mid-1950s, and June later recalled how the young aspiring star would often talk about Johnny and croon to his songs, promising him innocently introducing her to the man who would become her husband. one day, although no one knew it at the time. No one could imagine the twelve years of anguish that would go through before they were finally married.

June Carter had been performing from a very young age on the country music circuit with her sisters and her mother Maybelle. Elvis also launched his career by touring theaters, fairs and radio stations in the southern states with his bandmates Scotty Moore and Bill Black.

Elvis on stage Shreveport October 16, 1954

Elvis on stage in Shreveport in 1954 with Scotty and Bill (Image: GETTY)

June Carter (left) with her family

June Carter (left) with her family (Image: GETTY)

Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash at Sun Records, December 1956

Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash at Sun Records, December 1956 (Image: GETTY)

June described Elvis singing one of Johnny’s early hits, Cry Cry Cry, while tuning his guitar: “‘Who’s Johnny Cash?’ I asked Elvis Presley, ‘What’s the a-um-a-um for?’

“‘That’s what drives girls crazy,’ Elvis said. ‘I don’t know this Johnny Cash,’ I said, and Elvis said, ‘Oh, you’ll meet Cash. Everybody will know Johnny Cash. He’s a friend.” . mine’.

“So the whole tour, the first one with Elvis, we went to little cafes all over the South and Elvis played Johnny Cash on the jukebox while I fought the girls trying to get to Elvis through Scotty, Bill and I”.

Elvis in 1955

Elvis in 1955 (Image: GETTY)

As Elvis and Johnny’s fame grew, they used to enjoy making fun of each other. At a 1959 show, Cash told the crowd, “Almost all of our shows we usually do an impersonation and tonight we had a request here to do an impersonation of a rock and roll singer. This is an impersonation of a singer.” rock and roll singer posing as Elvis, that’s what he really is.”

Cash then styled his hair in the classic Elvis quiff and contorted his body dramatically like the teen idol’s iconic twists before beginning to sing, “Since my baby left me, I’ll find somewhere to live,” from the hit song Heartbreak Hotel. . Watch it below.

June and Johnny finally met backstage at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville in June 1956. She was about to take the stage to debut what would become one of her most iconic hits, I Walk The Line.

June said: “I found myself backstage trying to tune my guitar humming ‘Ah-ummm Ah-Ummm’, when all of a sudden, there it was! The voice was the same. Johnny Cash took my hand and said: ‘Always I wanted to meet you’.

“The strangest feeling came over me. I was afraid to look him in the eye. It was one of the things I did best. I never stuttered and still found myself unable to say much of anything. I think I finally blurted out, ‘I feel like I already know you. . Elvis plays you on the jukebox all the time and he can’t tune his guitar without humming Cry, Cry, Cry. He now he has me doing it.”

Elvis Presley's life in pictures

Elvis Presley’s life in pictures (Image: GETTY)

Both described the powerful instant attraction, but both were also married: June to singer Carl Smith and later Edwin Lee Nix, and Johnny to his teenage girlfriend Vivian Liberto.

However, at the time there was more speculation about June’s relationship with Elvis. Of course, he was notoriously linked to the women he worked with throughout his career, as well as fans in every city he visited.

In 2008, June’s son, John Carter Cash, published the biography Anchored In Love: An Intimate Portrait of June Carter Cash with his own take on the stars’ relationship.

He wrote: “Throughout my life, I would see Mommy have a mischievous glint in her eye whenever she mentioned Elvis Presley. Her eyes would sparkle happily and she would say, ‘You know, son, your father was always jealous of Elvis. ‘

Johnny Cash and June Carter

Johnny Cash and June Carter (Image: GETTY)

“She even told me once that she sometimes wondered what would have happened if she had fallen in love with Elvis.

“Mom and Elvis would occasionally go on tour together, along with other artists, sometimes including Mother Maybelle and one or more of June’s sisters. The Carters were friends of Elvis, and there are stories about Mother Maybelle sewing buttons on the Elvis shirts when they came off during his wild turns onstage.

“Although Mom always maintained that she never had an affair with Elvis, Carl (her first husband) believed differently and perhaps for good reason. After Carl moved out of their Madison home, Mom sometimes let Elvis stay.” in the house to ‘rest’ after a tour”.

Johnny cash and june carter 1991

Johnny cash and june carter 1991 (Image: GETTY)

June, of course, was always destined for Johnny, but the road to happiness was long and difficult. She divorced Carl in 1956 but quickly married Edwin Nix the following year. She had one daughter with each husband while Johnny had four with Vivian, while he struggled with drugs and alcohol.

June and Johnny’s infamous chemistry was channeled into a highly successful professional partnership beginning in the mid-1960s. She wrote her biggest hit, Ring of Fire in 1963.

Both divorced their spouses in 1966 and finally married in 1968, staying together on and off stage until their deaths. June passed away on May 15, 2003 after heart surgery. Johnny died four months later.

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