June Carter Cash was more than a musician. The country singer was an entertainer in every sense of the word, approaching her work with unshakable confidence, incomparable flair, and lovable wit. She had a natural stage presence that proved she was born to be in the spotlight and bottomless talent that earned her a place in our hearts forever.
Videos by American Songwriter
Here are 5 lovable live moments in honor of June Carter Cash who passed away 20 years ago today on May 15, 2003.
1. “Thirty Days” (Live 1956)
The below 1956 performance of “Thirty Days” begins in an uproar as fellow performers pull a young June Carter out of a well. The skit begins with her spouting water and feigning distress before she and the rest of the Carter Family take off in song. Clapping and foot-tapping, June carries her family through the uproarious country classic.
2. “It’s Raining Here This Morning” (Live)
June appears on the Grand Ole Opry for a performance of “It’s Raining Here This Morning,” but before her song, she briefly matches wits with country legend Ernest Tubb. She charms the crowd, reading a phony fan letter and telling of a dream she had from the night before. Her song is just as attention-grabbing as she flexes her voice of country gold.
3. “No Hiding Place Down Here” with Mother Maybelle (Live 1971)
Alongside her mother, “Mother” Maybelle, June trades in her sharp comedic flourishes for a performance of “No Hiding Place Down Here.” The 1971 display still holds plenty of charm, but showcases more of the star’s talents as a vocalist.
4. “Jackson” (Live on the Ralph Emery Show, 1967)
Live on the Ralph Emery Show, June with her soon-to-be-husband, Johnny Cash, show off their combined skills as one of country’s greatest power couples. Ahead of their performance of their beloved hit “Jackson,” June brings the laughs as she frantically looks for Johnny and the Man in Black delivers enough cool for the both of them.
5. “San Antonio Rose” (Live In Las Vegas, 1979)
The below 1979 performance of “San Antonio Rose” first finds June and Johnny teasing each other on stage, sending the crowd into an uproar of laughter. June then plays the bright ditty on her autoharp as a tribute to “Mother” Maybelle. The wordless display is effortless as she shows off her skills as an instrumentalist.
Photo by David Redfern/Redferns