On This Day: Johnny Cash Marries June Carter in 1968

by Katie Maloney
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Fifty-three years ago today, Johnny Cash and June Carter married in Franklin, Kentucky.

Undoubtedly, Johnny Cash and June Carter have one of the most iconic love stories in country music history. The two met in 1956 backstage at the Grand Ole Opry. However, Cash was married to his first wife at the time, Vivian Liberto. Twelve years later, Cash proposed to June on stage during a concert in London, Ontario, Canada. And the two married a week later on March 1, 1968.

Carter wore a light blue dress with matching flowers in her hair. Merle Kilgore, who co-wrote “Ring of Fire” with June Carter before it became one of Johnny Cash’s greatest hits, served as the best man for Cash during the wedding. The couple had a non-alcoholic reception at Cash’s home in Hendersonville, Tenn., after the ceremony. The two were married for 35 years until Carter passed in May of 2003. Cash passed away four months later.

In a letter to June for her 65th birthday, Cash wrote, “We get old and get used to each other. We think alike, we read each other’s minds. We know what the other wants without asking. Sometimes we irritate each other a little bit. Maybe sometimes take each other for granted. But once in a while, like today, I meditate on it and realize how lucky I am to share my life with the greatest woman I ever met.”

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Johnny Cash and June Carter. (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images).

June Carter’s Daughters Told Her And Johny Cash To Get Married ‘Now’

Cash and Carter each had three children before they got married. Before the ceremony, Carter and Cash decided to ask the permission of Carter’s daughters. During an interview, Carter’s daughter Carlene opens up about the moment.

“When they told my sister Rosey and me they had decided to get married but wanted to know if it was OK with us girls, we went into our bathroom and talked about it. But we both loved John so much and saw how happy he and Momma were when they were together, so we decided to say ‘OK!’ It was very sweet that they asked our permission, but it wouldn’t have made any difference what we said because they were meant to be together,” said Carlene Carter.

She said that the two had originally planned to get married once the kids were out of school for the summer. But Carlene and her sister convinced Carter and Cash to get married sooner.

“My first question was, “When is the wedding?’—this was at the end of February —and they said they thought they would wait for us to finish out the school year,” said Carlene. “And we said, ‘Why? Why don’t you go and do it now?’ So that is exactly what they did!”

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