On This Day: Johnny Cash Proposes to June Carter Onstage in 1968

by Madison Miller

It’s the month of love and this was especially the case exactly 54 years from today. On February 22, 1968, Johnny Cash would have one of the most memorable moments of his life. It wasn’t winning an award, giving an important performance, or hitting a milestone in the studio, rather, this was the day he proposed to June Carter Cash.

The iconic singer-songwriter duo was performing together in Ontario, Canada that day.

It was an incredibly romantic and fitting moment for the very much-in-love couple. It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Johnny and June Carter Cash, however.

The pair met when June Carter was singing backup for Elvis Presley at the Grand Ole Opry in 1956. At the time, Cash was married to his first wife, Vivian Liberto, with whom he had four daughters. Eventually, the two decided to get divorced and it was made official by the end of 1967. Cash was engaged only a few months after his divorce was made official.

Johnny Cash was going through a lot at the time. He had serious addiction issues, for starters, that took many years to start to remedy. In many ways, Johnny and June were the perfect match and expressed this feeling throughout their lives.

The wedding took place on March 1, 1968, which was only about two weeks after proposing. Then, about two years later, John Carter Cash was born. The couple had three children each before getting married to each other.

The wedding was in Franklin, Kentucky, and the reception took place at Cash’s home in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Merle Kilgore, who was the co-writer of “Ring of Fire,” was the best man for the wedding. The entire event was non-alcoholic.

A Legendary Romance for Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash

The fact that Johnny Cash proposed on stage was perfect for the couple. The duo consistently performed together, including creating several collaborative albums as well. That includes “Carryin’ on With Johnny Cash and June Carter,” “Johnny & June,” and “June Carter and Johnny Cash: Duets.”

Between romantic songs and moments spent on stage, Cash and Carter were madly, deeply in love. Cash even started writing love letters to his wife over the years. There was one he wrote for her 65th birthday in 1994 that has since been called one of the most romantic letters of all time.

“Maybe sometimes take each other for granted. But once in awhile, like today, I meditate on it and realize how lucky I am to share my life with the greatest woman I ever met. You still fascinate and inspire me. You influence me for the better. You’re the object of my desire, the No. 1 Earthly reason for my existence. I love you very much,” Cash wrote, according to The Boot.

The duo was rather inseparable. Sadly, June Carter Cash passed away first on May 15, 2003. Johnny Cash died four months later on September 12.