On This Day: Johnny Cash, June Carter Record ‘Jackson’ in 1967

by Thad Mitchell

One of the music industry’s first ever “power couples,” Johnny Cash and June Carter had a romance that inspired many.

While their relationship may have had its share of ups and downs, the couple made beautiful music together. Though both were uniquely talented individuals, it is when they came together that took their musical careers to new heights.

The couple recorded several duets throughout their time together with many finding great success. One of their biggest songs recorded together is 1967’s “Jackson.”

The song brought the duo much recognition and they would tie the knot a year after the song came out.

The song would become one of the couple’s signature duets and is still popular today, over 50 years after its recording. While the song is widely considered a Johnny Cash and June Carter classic, they were not the first to record it.

It was originally written by Billy Edd Wheeler, who wrote and recorded it in 1963, according to Songfacts.com. While it was actress Gaby Rodgers who is credited with co-writing the song, it was actually her husband Jerry Leiber who co-wrote the song.

Leiber, Rodgers’ husband at the time, used his wife’ name as a pseudonym to credit the song. Leiber had a hand in writing several famous songs and is noted for his work with Elvis Presley. Along with songwriting partner, Mike Stoller, Leiber wrote hit songs for the King of Rock n Roll such as “Jailhouse Rock” and “Hound Dog.”

Johnny Cash and June Carter Strike it Big with ‘Jackson’

The song was hit for he Cash and Carter combination. It would net the couple a Grammy Award in 1968 for Best Country and Western Performance Duet.

“Jackson” would rise all the way to second place on the Country Hits Chart. The song made a comeback in popularity in 2005 with the biographical movie “Walk the Line.” In the movie, Joaquin Phoenix portrays Cash while Reese Witherspoon plays Carter. Phoenix and Witherspoon recorded a version of the song for the movie’s soundtrack.