June (2023) Movie Script

[rhythmic clapping]
That's exactly
what you're doing.
- It is.
- The airplane shot me down.
- Yeah?
- Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Go around the back
and through the passage way.
Helen, June and Anita,
the Carter Family.
It's very nifty to be able
to entertain you
a little bit today,
and I don't know
what you're expecting,
since we're all girls, and...
Since we're the only girls
on the show,
but I've got one announcement
to make before we do our part.
This is as sexy
as I'm gonna get.
No, this is
our little family,
and we sing the songs mostly
of the old Carter family,
and, well, we've been around
these parts for a long time,
and we're proud to be part
of The Johnny Cash Show.
We're gonna sing some new ones
and some old ones.
So sit back, relax,
take your hands out
of each other's pockets, and--
We'll sing a few little songs
for you,
and then you'll see
who you've come to see.
Old Golden Throat
will be right out.
[Johnny Cash and June Carter's
Look out, Jackson town
Well, go on down to Jackson
Go ahead
and wreck your health
Go play your hand,
you big talking man
And make a big fool
of yourself
Yeah, go to Jackson
I think for most people,
when they think about
June Carter Cash,
they're probably thinking
about Reese Witherspoon.
Will you marry me?
Because that film,
"Walk the Line,"
was really
June's mass exposure,
I think, to a lot of people.
Well, now we got married
Johnny Cash and June Carter.
Johnny and June.
"Walk the Line"
was the fairy tale.
The movie is about
a period of time about this big
in a life so large.
And that's a fact
It was probably gonna be
as much, if not more,
of June involved
in the equation than John.
And I'll get shot
and killed here
in Nashville for saying that.
What would you like
to talk about?
It really doesn't matter.
I thought you might ask me
where Johnny was.
- Where is Johnny?
- He's not here, is he?
["Hello Stranger"]
Well, hello stranger
If you only know
June Carter Cash,
you're missing
a whole lot of things.
She was born
with one of the most
famous names in country music.
A remarkable
show business career.
Well, June Carter
was an incredible artist
in her own right.
She's one
of the most charming
and talented women
in country music today.
A singer,
a comedienne, actress.
Let a working man
lay down
Yeah, I get a frown
Who is June Carter Cash
to me?
Well, she's a badass bitch,
first off.
You couldn't deny her.
she had that spark, the "it."
You can't overdub the "it."
But I see you
But she's been married
so long to one man.
No, no.
I had two before him.
I put all mine together,
and I'm still
not nearly caught up with you.
When your troubles
are like mine
There was so much
about my mother
that may have been
Underrated and underappreciated.

So get up, rounder
I think at the heart of it,
June's story hasn't been told.
Would you welcome
June Carter Cash?
- June Carter Cash.
- June Carter Cash.
June Carter Cash.
[cheers and applause]
[birds chirping]
- Hi.
- Everybody's here but Marty.
Oh, they are?
Well, you might know
Marty'd be late.
It's part of what he does.
Once you get to be a big star,
you're really late.
I'm late because of Johnny.
- Good morning.
- Hi, Miss June.
- Good morning.
- Hi.
Lord, look at everybody.
It feels like old times.
- It does.
It does, doesn't it?
How are you?
[soft acoustic music]

Well, here we are.
- Hi, June.
- Come on in.
I'm excited, everybody.
I often wondered
how I'd ever do an album.
And then I met
this really wonderful girl
named Vicky Hamilton,
who was mostly
in the world of rock and roll.
There was an urgency
that she wanted
to make this record.
So I had shopped it around
to all
the major record companies,
and everybody passed.
I, like, couldn't believe it.
There's no way
we're putting out
a record with a 70-year-old
woman, you know?
Four, five.
I was kind of incensed.
This is, like,
country music royalty.
How can you pass?
So I decided, OK, I'm gonna
start my own record company
and raise the money
to make this record.
I think I've changed
her whole life.
So I'm hoping to make some
history again this morning.

That day,
we just gathered around
to sing the songs
of her family,
my mom's family and things
that she'd written down
through the years.
I was looking for some
other good Carter family songs
to sing on this album,
and "Diamonds in the Rough"
is probably one
of my favorites, Marty.
So why don't you and I sing it?
You got it.
["Diamonds in the Rough"]

My mother
was like a kid again.
She was eager.
It was as if she was ready
to go get on a roller coaster.
The day will soon be over
And the digging
will be done
No more gems be gathered
So let us all press on
I don't think
I've ever really known
a life that's any different
than show business.
My mother was Maybelle Carter,
who was a part
of the original Carter family.
This is my mama Maybelle,
and then my aunt and my uncle,
Sara Carter, AP Carter.

The diamonds
will be shining
No longer in the rough

At the time
that my mother was born,
Maybelle had been recording
for a couple of years
with the
original Carter family.
[The Carter Family's
"Wildwood Flower"]

One day, we found a man
that wanted us
to come up and make a record.
So we went up to Bristol
and made our first record,
and it's been going
ever since.
I'll twine with my mingles
And waving black hair
The Carters, I mean,
they were the beginning.
That was like the spontaneous
combustion of country music.
And June traces
right into that.
They had
so many tunes that formed
a basis for our country
and western music
as we know it today.
And when people didn't know
what kind of a melody to use,
they just went back
and grabbed
an old Carter family melody
and hung on to that.
I will dance
I will sing
And my love shall be gay
I will charm every heart
And in his crown,
I will sway
I just thought everybody had
a Mother Maybelle Carter
that picked
a "Wildwood Flower"
on the guitar.
I didn't really know
she was different.

Mother Maybelle was one
of the early
female guitar players
that actually slayed at guitar.
she could straight up play.
[rapid guitar playing]

My little fingers
were so calloused learning
to play the "Wildwood Flower."
That was one of the first songs
I think
that most country kids--
boys or girls--
you want to play.
You know...
I will dance, I will sing
And I'll play
the wildwood flower

And my father was
instrumental in this, too--
Ezra Carter.
Daddy was a wonderful
influence in our life.
Daddy was a brilliant man.
[engine revving]

She was very close to him.
She'd ride
his motorcycle with him.
She saw herself kind of
as a real rough and tumble
little kid, holding onto Daddy
as he drove his motorcycle
through that area.
I think probably the lesson
that my father taught,
the most important one,
was that we be ourselves.
You develop what you have.
You do that as a person.
Don't be a dirty miner
like me
When you grow up like that,
loving that place
and knowing
that's who you are--
when you just
become part of the woods
and the bees and the birds,
and you're just
a bunch of country little kids
running around
and that's your place,
when you have to move away
in order to do
what you need to do,
you carry that with you.

I'm sure you're enjoying
these good old songs
as only the Carter Family
can sing them.
Now here's the three
little Carter sisters,
Helen, June, and Anita.
And what's it gonna be?
"In the Highway."
"In the Highway."
In the highways,
in the hedges
My sisters Helen and Anita
and I went with my mother
to the Texas border stations.
[speaking Spanish]
That was the end
of the world away
from southwestern Virginia.
Well, here's something
that's mighty good.
And that's a solo by June.
What's it going to be, June?
I'm going to sing
"Engine 143."
["Engine 143"]
Along came the FFV
The swiftest on the line
Running o'er the C&O
Well, we get
right on the stage,
and mother Maybelle Carter,
I guarantee you,
if she could hear us
out of tune,
she would just pop up
and let us know about it.
You're on holy ground when
you're playing those songs.
They'll live forever
and ever and ever.
- Yeah, they do.
- But we're all family.
Oh, why don't we sing
that one that we just tried?
Which one was it?
You have heard of
little Moses in the bulrush
You have heard of fearless
David and his sling
You have heard the story
told of dreaming Joseph
Time for the Carter sisters
and Mother Maybelle...
We left those Texas
border stations,
and we worked a lot of shows,
Helen and Anita and I,
with my mother--
just the four of us.
They drove
for hours and hours
and then did
four shows a day sometimes.
And it was relentless
and sometimes brutal work.
At that meeting
in the air
The meeting in the air
Well, I hope you folks
liked that one there.
I'm gonna give you
a little jolt, now.
I'm gonna sing one
that's awful corny
here for you.
It's gonna be loud.
I reckon
I'm Mommy's loudest young'un,
and that's all I can
figure out for myself here.

Well, I might
have gone fishing
I got to think it over
The road to the river
Is a mighty long way
She was not
the greatest singer
in the whole Carter family,
but her personality
and her emotion
made her part actually,
even more interesting,
because she just
would get in there
very much like I do
and just sing right
from the gut and the heart.
Maybelle just turned Mama loose
and let her just be
as zany and crazy
and a kid as she could be.
It's like she would do
anything for a laugh.
I think I tried to be funny
when I couldn't think
of what else to do.
When you didn't know
what else to do,
you just talked,
and so I rattled away,
boogity, boogity, boogity.

[somber guitar music]
There was no way that June
was not gonna be
front and center.
It's hard for her
to stand still
and not interject.

We had come to Nashville,
and we got a call to appear.
And so we went down and went
to work at
"the Grand Ole Opry."

The Grand Ole Opry,
the Grand Ole Opry time
[upbeat country music]

don't let them go
If you were
going to Nashville,
your dream was to be
on "The Grand Ole Opry,"
because everybody
all over the country
listened to it
if you loved country music.

We've got the girl here who
can put an awful lot of humor
in any program.
Let's make welcome
Miss June Carter.
[cheers and applause]
I'm gonna sing
if I can swaller
before I get started 'cause
this song ain't got
no swallerin' place.
Let's try it.
I got a song
It's a pretty good song
Only one thing wrong
with the pretty good song
'Cause a pretty good song
goes along and along
Back in those days,
Saturday night,
you'd turn on WSM Nashville
and listen
to "The Grand Ole Opry."
Get along and along
and along and along
Gonna get me
red in the face
June Carter was
an all-around entertainer.
'Cause it ain't got
no swallerin place
June Carter, here we are.
[cheers and applause]
- What did I do?
- What did you do?
You can quit throwing
that there--
Well, if it ain't
June Carter.
Of all
the knot-headed people,
you are the knotty-headed
of knot-headed--
well, bless his heart.
It's Carl, that's who it is.
Hello, Carl.
- Hello, June.
- How you doing, old buddy?
- Pretty doggone good.

I thought I had seen
pretty girls in my time
But that was
before I met you
I never saw one that I
Carl Smith
was the preeminent
honky tonk singer of the day.
He was a hot hunk,
one of the handsomest men
in country music.
I heard what you
was saying out here.
- What'd I say?
- You said--
I didn't think you heard me.
You said
you knowed me quite well.
I just want you to know,
that I know you
quite well, too.
- Oh.
- And I don't like--
I don't like what I know.
No, I didn't--
Hush, you're on television.
April and spring
is in the air
And June Carter
landed the star.

Of all the women
that wanted Carl,
June is the one that got him.
I saw a little mugwump
sitting in a tree
Until he saw a female
They were the storybook
romance of the "Opry."
They were like,
oh, June Carter
of the famous Carter family,
and Carl Smith,
the biggest hit-maker
of the day.
And you're like, "Wow."
Perfect chemistry,
perfect timing,
perfect everything--
they were, like, the couple.

There was a lot of joy,
a lot of laughter.
It sure had a beautiful outcome
with my sister Carlene.

I'd let you know, June
See, Mama and Daddy looked
like they belonged together,
too, because they had
a very similar sense of humor,
and they got a kick
out of each other.
I'm kind of interested
in you, Carl Smith.
You're quite a ladies man.
And I'm kind of--
Is that right?
Well, all right.
I've got to--
close your big mouth.
Hey, no kidding.
I really am--
You close yours.
I'm liable to fall in.
Well, your big old ears
would hold you out.

]cheers and applause]
I'm gonna do it,
and I just need you to know--
The character you did,
was it you? Or was it--
No, it wasn't me.
I created her.
She would do almost anything
to get a laugh,
and did, and I don't think
it was sincerely me.
No, it's just
a crazy little girl I played.
I just get up, and then
take the time to lay down.
Life gets tedious, don't it?
Because she could
do it so well,
people believed
that June Carter
really was this uncouth hick.
She made it seem effortless.
It was not effortless.
She had thick binders
that had jokes
and songs and routines
that she had honed
over decades.
Miss June Carter.
[cheers and applause]
Nashville at the time
was stuck in this image
of the little homemaker.
The "Opry" was insistent
that women should dress
in those kind of
gingham checks
and be very conservative.
I'm getting
a cold in my nose.
Life gets tedious, don't it?
[light guitar music]
There was a difficult time
in my life
and I wasn't very happy.
It was during the time when
I was in my first marriage.
I was married to Carl Smith.
My mother was working,
and she was going on the road.
And I think that Carl
had a different vision
of what a marriage was
than my mom did.
He wanted her to stay home
and be more of a mom,
and she could still
go play the "Opry,"
but he didn't think
she'd be out on the road.
And Mama always said
that she was covered up
with ambition,
that she was absolutely
filled with ambition.
She had all these things
she wanted to do.
I think she wanted to be--
I think she just wanted
to be a superstar.

I detected a little sarcasm
in that voice
when I heard you
putting me on.
I said, "What's the matter
with you, anyway?"
Well, you know what
you've done to me, don't you?
I don't know
what you're talking about.
Do you mean this morning?
- Tell 'em what you done to me.
I was helping you, Carl.
I haven't--
Yeah, you was helping me.
Tell them what you done.
I was just
helping you, old buddy.
You was in bad shape,
and I was just giving you
a little, well--
I tell you what.
I tell you what.
He had a bad cold in his head.
- Yeah.
It's not something that you
really did in the mid-1950s.
You really
didn't get divorced.
But by 1955,
and we're talking
less than three years,
they've already decided
they're going
their separate ways...
- Right, I--
You may be a good old girl,
but you don't look too good.
- Oh, is that right?
- No, you don't.
You ought to put some lipstick
on and bring your lips--
But they
still worked together...
Around your eyes...
Where June and Carl
are on stage doing banter...
Bring your hair out
a little, you know?
Well, why don't you try
to sneeze and nod your head
and bring
your teeth out a little?
I like that ol' Carl Smith.
I got his picture at home.
Yeah, I just--
About all that's left.
You are--whee!
You wouldn't know, honey.
You ain't been there
in a long enough time to see.
Her divorce from Carl Smith
was a scandal.
nobody would bat an eye.
But back then, it was a thing.
- I'll see you, old knothead.
In the conservative
she still bore
a scarlet letter.
You were like used goods.
["He Don't Love Me Anymore"]
He don't love me anymore
My eyes
are filled with tears
I think that she had
an existential crisis.
I think that the divorce
put her in a tailspin.
Tell me
where I go from here
She didn't think
that anybody was ever
gonna love her
who, at the same time,
would let her just be able
to do what she wanted to do,
because she just
couldn't give it up.

And it's hard to
Later on in his life,
right before he passed away,
I said, "So what happened
with you and Mom?"
Mom always says
she loved you so deeply
and was so heartbroken.
- Spring is in the air
And Daddy says,
"Your mama never loved me."
And I said, "What?"
And he said,
"She loved the idea of me."
And I kind of understood that
to a certain degree.
The idea of him was,
her idea was that
they would just keep doing
what they were doing.
[bright acoustic music]

All right, you all sound
like you're really honking.
Sounds great.
Yeah, you're just pressing
right along.

There it goes.
Just let me know
when you're ready.
OK, John Carter.
This song explains itself
in a way because
I look back on the days when
I was living in New York City,
and for a while in my life,
I was part of
the rock and roll bunch,
so this goes back
to those years.
OK, here we go.
Well, the place
was New York City
And the hour
was growing late
Had walked from streets
in Harlem
To the
Greenwich Village gate
We were young and foolish
And trying out for fame
This was the time
in her life
when she was
absolutely heartbroken.
She was sort of asserting
her independence.
You know,
like she always said,
she wasn't the best singer
or the best player,
but she had something,
and she needed to find that,
and I think that that was
partly why she ran away.
She went to New York.
Well, I used
to be somebody, Lord
I used to have a friend
I'd like
to be somebody again
And so I went to New York.
And I just took my little girl
and went to New York,
took Carlene with me,
and moved into an apartment,
and I studied there.
June and my sister Rosemary
were studying
with Sandy Meisner
at the Neighborhood Playhouse.
She wanted to be an actress.
And the greatest teacher
of all was Sandy Meisner.
If you think about it,
women just didn't do that
at the time.
Being this person on the road
who lived this life,
that was very unorthodox,
especially for women
at that time who had children.
It was almost impossible,
but June did it.

She had this dual role
that she was playing.
She was still coming home
on the weekends
to work on the "Opry"
on Saturday nights,
and she would leave on Sunday
and go to New York City
and study all week,
and then come back home.
She was flying
back and forth
on propeller planes, people.
There were no jets.

And she was also
working constantly then,
filming television shows.
I did several shows
back during that time.
Well, there's $100 in there.
I want you to take it
down to the jail
and see what you can do
for the Countess.
I worked wherever I could.
I just picked up
what parts I could.
I'll kill him!
You hear me, Kate?
I'll kill him!
I heard you.
She got on an episode
of "Gunsmoke."
Arkansas River.
That big whiskey-guzzling
no-good nothing.
I hope I die just so
he'll hang for what he done.
She's the dance hall girl,
and she goes,
"He shot me, Marshal Dillon!"
When I held the rose
that he gave me
She loved it.
It was the time of her life.
I mean,
she met a lot of people.
- Jimmy Dean, Brando.
- Tennessee Williams.
She was also
traveling back and forth
opening for Elvis at the time.
[cheers and applause]
My mom would always
get a twinkle in her eye
when she talked about Elvis.
You were a friend
of Elvis Presley's.
- Yes.
- Were you--
- That's all I mean.
- Oh, boy.
I didn't know.
Yes, we were friends,
a long time ago.
Yeah, many times, I said,
"Mama, come on, tell me.
You slept with Elvis, right?"
She would giggle
and she would blush a little,
but she said, "No, Elvis
was just a nice young man
when I knew him."
A lot of women
loved Elvis Presley.
Well, I went
with Elvis Presley
to see Brando from afar
She told me
that during that time,
Elvis knew Mama
was heartbroken,
and so he would come
to New York,
and he was apparently
pushing me around
Central Park
in a baby carriage.
My Mama had a sheet music
that she had on the road.
It was Carl Smith's
sheet music,
and Elvis put a mustache
on him and said,
"Painting by Presley,"
and signed it.
And my mother tucked
that away all those years.
That was back
in my rock and roll years
I think that was
when she was emerging
as a person on her own,
and she was just
becoming someone.
And all of these people
were also
just becoming someone.
She was one of them.
She was accepted
as an actress, as a singer.
She was June Carter,
and she was making it
on her own.
I used to be somebody
Good Lord,
where have I been
I ain't never
gonna see Elvis again

She came that close.
She was there.
She was on the cusp.
She was standing
at the Greenwich Village gate.
[soft dramatic music]
And then it slipped away.
[bombastic orchestral music]

And here he is again to sing
our closing inspirational,
the Tennessee Warbler.
- Thank you.
- You know, your life changes.
You take a different course.
You know, Vernon,
I got a lot of hand-holding
to make up for.
I don't think she ever
gave up her ambition.
I think life enters, intervened.
She came home one weekend,
if you will,
and found herself pregnant,
and that was the end
of her movie career.

So I called him Daddy Rip,
and he was the daddy
of my little sister, Rosie.
June and Rip Nicks
were married
very, very quickly.
He had nothing
to do with show business.
He raced speedboats.
His daddy owned a garage,
so he was always, like,
building motors and hot rods,
and he wanted to go fast.

And now she had
two daughters,
both of whom were
under three years old,
and so something had to give.
[soft acoustic music]

Come on, Rose.
I'll go sit down.
Your whole
singing bunch is today.
Go, do it.
OK, I'm gonna talk
a little bit.
- You're kidding.
Rosie and I
wrote this song together,
and this is my daughter Rosie.
It's a tough story
after you've been living
in New York a long time,
and you're just worn out.
OK, babies, here we go.
Thump, thump, thump.
Come on, thumper.
["Gatsby's Restaurant"]
I got tired
of New York City
With its sidewalk
and its heat
So I got myself
a great big horse
And I rode him
down the street
And then I hollered,
hi, ho, Silver
And get 'em up, scout
I think it was about 1956.
I was just coming home
on the weekends
to do that "Grand Ole Opry"
on Saturday nights.
June Carter
and Garden Perry.
I was backstage.
I was just coming
across backstage,
and this big, tall guy stops me
and said,
"Hello, I'm Johnny Cash."
Hello, I'm Johnny Cash.

And I knew
who Johnny Cash was.
I'd had listened
to Johnny Cash a lot
for the past two
or three months before that
because I had been traveling
with Elvis Presley,
and Elvis was
a real Johnny Cash nut.
He would always play John
on the jukebox.
He liked the song,
"Cry, Cry, Cry."
"Cry, Cry, Cry,"
was one that Elvis
used to tune his guitar by.
Or I would tune Elvis's guitar
when he would
break the strings.
Only way he could tune
his guitar would go...
Everybody knows where you go
when the sun goes down
And Elvis would try
to get the tune that way.
So he told me an awful lot
about Johnny Cash,
and I kept saying,
"If I ever meet this fella,
"I want to see
what he looks like.
What does he look like?"
Well, he did walk up to me
backstage and just said that.
And I said,
"Well, I'm June Carter."
And he said, "I know.
You know, I know who you are."
I met her in '56.
She was a performer
on "The Grand Ole Opry"
at the time,
and I was doing
my first
guest appearance there.
He told me that I was
his favorite entertainer
at that time from the show.
You have to put yourself
in Johnny Cash's shoes.
I mean,
he was a very, very poor
son of the soil from Arkansas,
and he has grown up
hearing June on his radio.
Running o'er
the C&O road
She's been performing
since she was six years old.
She was with him
down on those Mexican stations
when she was a little girl.
I saw
through his disguise
When I looked into his eyes
I remember
on my senior trip in 1950,
we went to
"The Grand Ole Opry,"
and I was sitting
way up in the balcony,
and there was June Carter
down on the stage,
and I said,
"One of these days,
I'm gonna get her autograph."

This feller's good-looking,
isn't he?
Oh, he's handsome.
And I imagine
he sings pretty good, too.
So good that he's one
of the biggest new stars
in country music today.
- Is that so?
Yes, sir.
Come on over and meet him,
Johnny Cash.
["So Doggone Lonesome"]

Time stands still
when you're waiting
Sometimes I think
my heart is stopping, too
At that time, our life
took us somewhere else.
One lonely hour
seems forever
I was living in Memphis,
and I just didn't see her
for about five more years.
But I guess I'll keep
waiting till you're with me
He went his direction,
and I went mine.
So doggone lonesome
How about that?
By the late '50s,
her options are not
as wide open
as they may have been
just a couple of years before.
[soft acoustic music]
She's got the girls.
Now, Mom worked.
And my step-daddy Rip
did not always have
a 9:00 to 5:00 job.
She used to write commercials
for the "Opry"
to make extra money.
She'd say to me and Rosie,
she'd say,
"You listen tonight,
"Because that
little commercial
"I wrote and made
50 extra dollars,
it's gonna be
on there tonight."
June Carter, Junebug.
I'd like to sing
old Carter family songs
because I think
I know them a little better.
She always said,
used to say to me, she'd say,
"Money ain't everything,
but it sure as hell helps."
June was working
opening drugstores.
June was playing
in the milk aisle
of the grocery store.
If I was on
some foggy mountain top
I'd sail away to the West
She became known
as somebody who was reliable,
and when they would need
the girl singer,
that was always
what the promoters
were looking for--
the girl singer.
He's caused me
to leave my home
That's where June came in.
Oh, the lonesome pines
and good old times
I'm on my way back home
If I was
on some old mountaintop
So just as it happened...
Johnny Cash
& The Tennessee Two!
Johnny Cash had an opening.
[country music]
Got invited to go
on a thing with him.
First, I think
it was Dallas, Texas.
June Carter.
[bright acoustic music]

And there was a magic when
they got on stage together.
There was something
that was unique that happened.
Thank you very much.
Right now, we'd like
to bring out the flower
of Clinch Mountain,
Miss June Carter.
Come here, June.
Hey, will you do
a song for us?
So when they got to doing
more and more dates together,
John offered her a job
as to be in his band.
Goes, "Love is just
a thing of beauty,
and beauty is a blossom."
If you want
to get your finger bit,
poke it at a possum.
- No.
Sing one.
Well, it takes
a worried man
To sing a worried song
It takes a worried man
To sing a worried song
By the time Johnny
puts together his road show,
he's a superstar.
- Hi, folks.
This is Johnny Cash.
And we're gonna tear
the place up.
Y'all stick around late.
And I lay down to sleep
He's this man in black,
this iconic figure
who commanded a stage.
I had shackles
on my feet
When Johnny Cash came out,
he just had that magnetism.
It was--I don't know.
There was just
some kind of a magic.
People gonna
stoop and bow
All 'em women
gonna make me
Teach 'em
what they don't know how
I'm going to Jackson
It just got to me, you know?
And I got
the biggest crush on him.
You would not believe it.
I even thought about him
when I was at home,
and you know, when I was
in sleeping or whatever,
I'd think about Johnny Cash.
I'm going to Jackson
His name is Johnny Cash.
He and June Carter,
they've been touring
around the world.
- Oh, she's very good, Pete.
Very proud of her.
We went all over the Far East.
And she was so homesick,
I guess,
that she asked me to go up
to see her old home place
up at Macy Springs, Virginia.
- [laughs]
- Golly.
All right.
Oh, I'm thinking tonight
of my blue-eyes
Who is sailing
far over the sea
Yes, I'm thinking
tonight of him only
And I wonder
if he ever thinks of me
This was a time
I woke up one morning,
and I came to the realization
that I thought,
"Oh, my goodness,
I think I'm falling in love
with Johnny Cash."
For the pleasures
we've both seen together
Scared the daylights out of me.
It was not an opportune time.
I thought,
"This is not gonna work
"because we had two lives
of our own
going in other directions."
And it wasn't convenient.
It just wasn't.
She was married,
and he was married.
He had four girls.
My mom was truly
in love with my dad,
and they made a life together,
and my dad
was gone all the time.
June was there.
They had this thing about
being on the road
in their blood,
this constant motion,
this striving.
They were both artists.
Won't you come, dear,
and shed just one tear
And say
Everything was wrong.
Everything was crazy.
He was off
on another planet somewhere.
You were singing one
back there in the dressing room
about the family.
That's what I understood.
That within three years--
be back in a second.
- Ooh, pardon.
- There we go.
Your lighter, I assume.
it causes me to tremble
Tremble, tremble,
tremble, tremble
By the time he and June
were falling in love
and she was traveling
with him,
he was a full-blown addict.
I tried to encourage him
to get clean.
He would try.
And I wouldn't see him
for a long time.
He had come back on the road,
and he'd be using again.
When they nailed him
to the cross
It was a terrible cycle
that he was in.
Rosie and I would say
our prayers every night,
and Mama would always say,
"Don't forget tonight,
pray for Johnny Cash,
because he's a good man."
So these little girls
are praying for Johnny Cash,
who's not their daddy.
Tremble, tremble, tremble,
tremble, tremble, tremble
I didn't want
to fall in love with him,
didn't mean
to fall in love with him,
was scared to death of him.
So I did a lot of just running
and trying to sit in a corner
by myself because I
wouldn't even admit it
to myself for a long time.
[cheers and applause]
Johnny Cash
& The Tennessee Three!
I didn't want
to hurt anybody.
I didn't want to do anything
that would hurt him
or his family
or me or my family,
and I'd always been raised
a real religious girl.
June was
a good Christian girl.
I mean, you didn't go to bed
with somebody
unless you were married.
And I had never in my life
meant to be married
more than once.
[cheers and applause]
Mr. Johnny Cash.
[soft acoustic music]
And yet,
she was deeply, deeply,
fiercely in love with John.

So there was a real conflict
going on there.

I tell you,
you can kill people like me
when something
like this happens.

One night, I know I woke up
in the middle of the night,
and I was crying
when I woke up,
and I thought,
"I can't do this. I can't.
This is driving me crazy."
Because all I could feel
was pain.
And I'd been writing songs
with a guy
named Merle Kilgore,
a great songwriter,
and he had encouraged me
to write.
OK, we ready?
Give me a minute.
The next morning,
Kilgore came in,
and I said, "We've got
to hone a little bit on this,
but I really think
I've written a great song."
Here we go.
All right,
we're just pressing on.
I'm gonna sing
this song for you,
and I'd like
to try my version,
the way it was written
in the beginning.
["Ring of Fire"]
Love is a burning thing
And it makes a fiery ring
Bound by wild desire
I fell into a ring of fire
You know, I don't know
if a lot of people
know that she wrote
"Ring of Fire."
I feel like people
say to me all the time,
Johnny Cash
wrote "Ring of Fire."
But June wrote "Ring of Fire."
- She wrote "Ring of Fire," OK?
And the flames
went higher
And it burns, burns, burns
The ring of fire
My father heard
this beautiful song.
And the story goes,
he had a dream
that he heard Mexicali trumpets
on the "Ring of Fire."

Love is a burning thing

And it makes a fiery ring

Bound by wild desire
There's no country song
than "Ring of Fire,"
I don't think.
I fell
into a ring of fire
It's a song
that is everlasting.
I mean, "Ring of Fire,"
when Johnny recorded it,
you're talking about
this thing that came
from this really deep,
like, I'm going to hell.
I'm in a ring of fire.
I'm gonna burn in hell
because of what I feel.
And then you have
this angelic chorus
of these Carter girls up there.
The ring of fire,
the ring of fire
The Juxtaposition of it,
there are just so many things
that shouldn't work,
and yet it works
because it is unusual.
That's the wonderful thing
about music.
Sometimes those things
that seem like they don't fit
are what make
the magic of the music.
I fell into
a burning ring of fire
I went down, down, down
And the flames went higher
And it burns, burns, burns
The ring of fire,
the ring of fire

She felt like the world
was just gonna swallow her up
during that time period.

So many religious people
think, well, you stay married,
is what you do.
And I'm thankful to them
if they can manage to do that,
but that time came in my life
when I couldn't
manage to do it.
[soft acoustic music]
She took me and Rosie
to New York
to see the World's Fair,
and she told us
that when we went home,
that Daddy Rip
wouldn't be there anymore,
that he was gonna be
living somewhere else.
I got a divorce,
and I got it so quietly
that I didn't tell John
or any of them
that I was divorced
for about two or three months.
They didn't know it.
I was very ashamed of it.
She was following her heart,
having the courage,
when back then,
I'm sure people thought
she was a whore, you know?
I understand him.
We understand each other.
I understand his pain.
Well, she had fought
that pill habit that I had.
She had fought it
with everything she knew,
that demon in me.
I thank God
for people like her
that still believed that there
was a little good in me.
I flushed
things down the commode.
I flushed down
his amphetamines
and his barbiturates.
I did everything that I could.
And I did things that I would
have never done ordinarily,
but I think I did it
only because
I didn't know what else to do.
I thought he would die.

There were people
that said to me
that the only person
in the 1960s
who believed in Johnny Cash
was June Carter.

That there was no one else,
that no one saw any light
at the end of Cash tunnel,
except for June.
June believed.

I just never did let go.
I think if you really feel
that way about somebody,
you just cannot leave them.
How can you leave them?
You don't care if it hurts.
You go on through it,
from my point of view,
because I loved him.
And I told him, if he could
stay clean for six months,
then I would consider
marrying him.
When my father
turned his life around
in the late 1960s,
he went to the Carters
for help because
they had so much love to lend.
Oh, have you seen
He loved my grandma
and grandfather.
He stayed at grandma
and granddaddy's house.
He had his own room there,
and they were just trying
to get him straight
and keep him straight.
My mother and father
and a couple of other friends,
we did a lot of praying
and fought a lot of demons.
The storms
are on the ocean
During that time,
her deep faith
was something
that she communicated
a lot to Johnny.
In my troubles in my sorrows
and in my confusions in life,
I've looked to that
higher spiritual plane.
The world may lose
its motion, love
If I prove false to thee
I'm the luckiest man alive.
I don't think there would be
another man alive
that's as lucky as I am
to come through.
I would like
to introduce to you
a family
that I am very close to,
and they are very dear to me.
Let's make welcome
Mother Maybelle,
Helen, June, and Anita--
the Carter family.
Hi, Mother.
Hi, how are you doing?
Hi, girls.
I was standing
with my family
in front of about 7,000 people
in London, Ontario, Canada.
Keep on the sunny side,
always on the sunny side
And he walked up
to the microphone
and said, "Will you marry me?"
Just like that, on the stage.
- What did you say?
- I choked.
I said, "You've got
to be kidding," you know?
I said, "Quit.
This is not happening to me.
Shut up. Hush."
You know, I wanted to answer
with some kind of glamour,
but there's no glamour to it.
It's yes or no.
So the show must go on,
and I said yes.
Clouds and storms
will, in time, pass away
And the sun again
will shine bright and clear
keep on the sunny side,
always on the sunny side
Well, I got married
in March the 1st, 1968.
Here's your lovely wife,
June Carter.
It will guide you
all the way
If we keep
on the sunny side of life
June, you've been
a guiding light and inspiration
in John's life.
I had the two daughters,
Carlene and Rosie,
and we took our suitcases,
and we went out
to live with John.
June's daughters,
Carlene and Rosie.
When Mom
and John got married,
Rosie and I were grooving.
We were really excited
about having some sisters.
We were gonna have
four sisters.
It was like, "Yeah."
And God love them,
they were not that thrilled,
and I don't blame them.
I remember at 12
when that happened.
It broke my mother's heart.
In some ways, I think
it broke my dad's heart.
It was giving up
a certain idea of his life.
I think
there's times in your life
where you know that this is
the fork you're gonna take
and that you have to take.
It doesn't mean there's not
grief for what you lose.
Your four daughters
are in school in California,
and they wanted to say hello
to their daddy.
The family
is really important to me,
all of the girls.
- Hi, Daddy.
We love you very much,
and we hope
you have a wonderful day.
Roseanne and Kathy and Cindy
and Tara are all John's girls.
So long for now, Daddy.
It took a little time
for us all to become family,
and it was kind of decided
amongst everyone
that it was too complicated
to say this is my step-sister.
It was just,
"This is my sister."
So it seemed like
the most normal thing.
On the far end
is our daughter Rosie,
over there,
then our daughter Carlene,
our daughter Roseanne--
Because people want to ask,
"Well, whose kid is that?"
Miss June Carter.
[cheers and applause]
["Keep on the Sunny Side"]
There's a dark
and a troubled side of life
There's a bright
and a sunny side too
And though we meet
with the darkness and strife
The sunny side
we also may view
My mother was told that she
could not have another baby.
But by 1969,
she's 40 years old,
and she's pregnant.
It will brighten
all the way
If we'll keep
on the sunny side of life
And they saw that
as a miracle in itself,
that I was able
to come into the world.
If we'll keep
on the sunny side of life
Your and June's son,
John Carter Cash.
Hey, Johnny Carter.
Hi, sir.
- There's your son, John.
- Hi, sir.
- John Carter.
- How you doing?
All of us felt like
we were having that baby too.
It was like, "oh,
John and June
"are having a baby together.
This is so wonderful."
Because it was like
the icing on the cake somehow.
- Thank you.
- Thank you, girls.
I'll sing to you.
And I think
that I'm the best.
You had so many things
going for your career
when you and John got married.
And I realized your career
has gone on in its own right,
but do you ever think
that perhaps,
if you hadn't
married John Cash,
you might be
a bigger star individually?
Well, I think I had
to make a decision
when it came to John,
and when I decided
that I wanted to marry John,
that that's
what I wanted to do,
I did make a decision
that where he goes,
I will go,
and what he does, I will do.
Thank you.
If I were a carpenter
And you were a lady
Would you marry me anyway?
Would you have my baby?
If you were a carpenter
And I were a lady
I'd marry you anyway
I'd have your baby
If a tinker was my trade
Would I still find you?
I'd be carrying
the pot you made
Following behind you
Save your love
through loneliness
Save your love
through sorrow
Would you folks
here at Opryland
join me in welcoming
Mr. and Mrs. Johnny Cash
to "Pop! Goes the Country"?
During the time
she was married to Carl Smith,
she didn't take on the name
June Carter Smith.
The same
when she married Rip Nix.
She did not take on
Rip's last name.
And your
soft shoe shining?
Save your love
through loneliness
She becomes officially
and commercially
and makes a statement
to the world
that I am June Carter Cash.
I'm very pleased to be
any place that my husband is
because I've been
completely totally happy,
and I guess the word
is liberated,
since I've been married
to Johnny Cash.
And you were a lady
She felt that when
she gave up her independence,
things were different then.
I mean, she even, like,
would change her voice.
Since I've become
Mrs. Johnny Cash...
I've been
happy since I've come
to that conclusion in my life.
I used to have great ambition,
and I used to want to be
this or want to be that,
and now I'm just happy
being Johnny Cash's wife.
She would say,
"I just pal around
after Johnny now."
And it's like, "What? No."
go on down to Jackson
Go on down to Jackson
Go ahead
and wreck your health
Go play your hand,
you big talkin' man
And make a big fool
of yourself
Yeah, go to Jackson
And I'm not gonna feel bad
about the situation at all
because by the time
I came into his life,
he had so many miles on him,
there's no way
I'll ever catch up with him.
- Whoa! Whoa!
June understood
that she was very important
to holding him up
and that Johnny Cash
was not Johnny Cash
without June Carter.
I think
she was his lifeline,
and he knew it.
I'm going to Jackson
You turn-a loose-a my coat
I'm going to Jackson
When I was born,
my father was at
the very top of his career.
Well, they'll laugh
at you in Jackson
They had
the live television show.
Hello, I'm Johnny Cash.
They were on the tongue tip
of everyone in America.
And Dad could also go
to Germany, England, Ireland,
Australia and sell out
many, many tickets.
At one time, he was
the fifth most recognizable
human on this planet.
Oh, you big talkin' man
And so they decided
they would just
take me with them.
Well, now we got
married in a fever
He's a good traveler too.
He loves airplanes.
He sleeps on planes,
sleeps in cars.
He's no trouble.
And we traveled
the world together.
Ever since
the fire went out
I'm going to Jackson
We even went
to the White House.
we're going to Jackson
Ain't never coming back
And if I ever have a boy,
I think I'm gonna name him
John Carter.
Yeah, Johnny Carter.
And that's what we named him.
John Carter Cash, take a bow.
Check him out there.
There wasn't a time
that I didn't go on stage
and perform
or that I was onstage
as part of a performance.
It was just part of family.
It's part of what we did.
Give it up for the band,
to Marshall and Fluke.
Come on.
[cheers and applause]
Thank you very much, sir.
And my mother,
what she told me
when I was a kid,
was that when you walk up
on that stage and you stand
in front of that audience,
remember they already love you.
It's not as if you have
to prove it to them.
Good afternoon,
and welcome
to the home of Johnny Cash.
We moved,
and, suddenly,
we're in this giant house
that we're not used to.
And we had all these people
hanging around outside,
and we had guards,
and me and Rosie
are on, like, one end,
and they're on the other end.
It was just so different.
What else do you do at home
when you're not on the road?
Oh, we do a lot
of different things.
We sometimes have friends in
when we get a chance.
June made their house
a north star
for the music community
in this city.
It was a tradition
that they would have
other musicians over
for an evening.
You would go downstairs,
and there was this
blue velvet--rock and roll--
big sofa.
- All right.
Well, almost always,
Roy Orbison was there
because he was
our next door neighbor.
George and Tammy
would be there,
all done up
like George and Tammy.
And you'd sit around
and pass the guitar around
and sing your newest song.
Shel Silverstein
showed my father the lyric
for "A Boy Named Sue."
Graham Nash
played "Marrakesh Express"
for the first time ever,
and the same thing
with Bob Dylan
with "Lay Lady Lay."
So I got the bug
to write songs.
I cut my teeth in front of
a lot of really cool people.
I had to follow Paul McCartney
one night.
That's a lot to do with
good friends of ours,
and some of them
are people who've made it.
A lot of them are young artists
who haven't made it yet,
who are struggling,
and there's been several
struggling people
in our house singing
at some of these
picking sessions
who have made it since then
and that we're proud of.
She was really good
with young music people
and allowing them to bloom
and wanting them to bloom.
June heard me sing a song
called "Help Me."
And she wrote my name down
on the back of a blank check,
and I became
one of her babies.
The greatest cowboy
of them all
Larry Gatlin!
Once he rode
into the sunset
Larry Gatlin,
Kris Kristofferson,
and, of course,
Waylon would come over.
Waylon Jennings.
I have known Waylon
since he was 17.
She would be
championing them,
you know,
like slipping tapes to John
from Kris Kristofferson.
We'd like to sing
a song for you.
It's a brand new
Kris Kristofferson song.
I'd like to dedicate this
to my daughter Cindy
who is here tonight.
- Kris Kristofferson.
- He's one of my babies.
He's one of those
that was poor
and trying to make it,
and I felt that he had
a real talent, and I talked
to a lot of people about him.
Help me make it
through the night
It's part of what we do.
They hold up my arms
and let me be Moses
now and then.
That's true,
it's a highly spiritual time,
but there are other things too
that come along
at Christmastime.
Yeah, like
Christmas presents.
Just kind of sitting
around by the fire, you know?
- And Christmas presents.
- And Christmas presents, yes.
I stood over on the side,
and I watched,
and I learned
and was grateful for it.
[soft country music]
And there again,
were it not for June,
so it really comes back
to the matriarch.
And any hairy legged man
who says it ain't true
is lying his ass off.
O come, let us
Adore Him
So I remember one day
June said,
"Well, come on, honey,
let's do some Christmas
shopping at Stein Mart."
So we got in her blue Rolls.
She took Janine off
in her new Rolls-Royce
that John had just bought her,
left me with John.
I barely knew him.
So I had played some
of Ronnie's songs for them,
and she said, "Well,
I'm just gonna tell you,
he's pretty good."
she goes like this...
[sucks teeth]
"He might have
a couple of hits.
He might."
And she goes, "Honey,
"I just need you to understand,
"It just seems like the ones
that really make it,
they're all a little crazy."
In other words don't do it.
You know, don't do it.
And Janine comes back
after a few hours,
and she was just kind of pale,
you know?
And I'm thinking, "Oh God,
she spent a lot
of money or what?"
No, it was that June had
read her the riot act about,
you know, dating a musician.
It was just funny.
She's right though.
They are.
That's it,
ladies and gentlemen.
Thank you very much
and good night!
[cheers and applause]
The rigors of the road
are difficult for a couple.
And when you work together
and live together, it's a lot.
Plus the constant glare
from the public
and the projections on them
to live up
to some kind of myth, I mean,
that's almost impossible.
It was like a religion.
[cheers and applause]
I said, "I don't know
who this man is."
- Hello, I'm Johnny Cash.
- I know that.
Hello, I'm Johnny Cash.
Hello, I'm Johnny Cash.
We had one of those
storybook kind of marriages
in the beginning
that just was unbelievable.
We had no problems
for the first 10,
12 years of our marriage.
I mean, it was like something
you would read about in books.
The first 10 years
they were together,
they were never apart
ever, ever.
If she went shopping,
he went shopping with her.
And I just was like,
"I would shoot myself."
The home I grew up in,
there was a beautiful
intimate relationship
that was going on.
My father was clean.
He wasn't on anything
in the early 1970s.
It was very peaceful
and very together as a unit
up until I was eight
or nine years old,
when their relationship
changed a great deal.
By 1980 or so,
my father rekindled
an addiction.
It would sneak up on him.
Something would trigger him,
or he'd get hurt,
and you gave John
a bottle of anything
and didn't monitor him on it,
he's going to take it all.
June did not save my dad.
You can't save another person
from their own addiction.
Thank you very much.
I'd like to do my new record.
Bills, love, and pills
And drink,
and wine, and song
June really struggled
to keep him looking good
when he was in public,
you know, guarding him
from people
who might be disappointed
if they saw him in that shape.
He chose to, you know,
just give himself to people.
God bless you
and good night.
That's tired and gone
There were a lot
of characters around him
who were there
for the wrong reasons.
June was kind,
but she could be ruthless.
It took a lot,
but if it was clear
that you were not trustworthy,
she'd cut you out.
[soft acoustic music]
Their relationship
suffered greatly.
They were fighting every day.
They were very angry
with each other,
mostly my mom
angry with my father.
I knew that they
were having trouble.
My mother, my sister, and I
were having lunch
at a restaurant in New York.
And she was there,
and she said,
"There's a problem.
"Either he gets
straightened out
or I have to leave,
and I don't want to leave."
She just was at her wit's end.
So whatever happened,
it must have been
something horrible.

I was traveling with them,
and, you know,
I remember one night
hearing my dad's breathing
being very labored.
He would breathe
all the way out,
and then
his breath would stop,
and then after
a little bit, he'd...
[sniffs, gasps]
and he'd start breathing again.
Well, at one point, it stopped,
and he didn't start back.
[soft dramatic music]
Scenes of my life
passed before my eyes.
I saw myself at my peaks
and I saw myself walk through
my deepest, darkest valleys.

I ran in,
and I got my mother,
and we got him up,
and we put him in the bathtub,
and we poured water
all over him.
I remember he woke up,
and he was very incoherent.
I was afraid.
I was overwhelmed.
I was crying my eyes out.
I mean, I was a kid, you know?
But it wasn't long after that
many changes began to occur.
There was a time
There was an intervention.
We had an intervention.
We all wrote letters
to my dad.
It was very hard
for me to do that.
We read them all to my father,
and he agreed
to go to treatment
at Betty Ford Center.
[tender country music]
When I saw him again
in California,
that person was back,
my old dad was back again.
Hey Willy Wallacky,
hey John Dougal-y
A lane, quo'Rushity,
noo, noo, noo

Have I told you lately
That I love you?
And at that point, there was
a great forgiveness in place.
You know, my mother was like,
"It's hard to be Johnny Cash."
It's like,
"How did she forgive him?"
She had a way of forgiving
as if it was
from East to West.

[cheers and applause]
And maybe a lot of times,
they did buy into
their own myth,
for better or for worse.
Maybe that kept them going
at a time
when they could have broken up.
You know, it's like, well,
we have this thing together
that's bigger than us.
I mean, that's what
it looked like
from the outside,
and you never know
what goes on
in people's marriages anyway.
[light strumming]
It's real easy.
I don't know if you can
learn it fast enough or not,
but we might
could get it down.
It's one I wrote just
before I sent them to Vicky.
- "Wings of Angels."
Bare me up
on wings of angels
Let me hear
the choir sing
Let me see the faces
Of the cherubim

Lift me up
on wings of angels
I was in the lobby
at the Betty Ford Center.
We went back there to visit
them, and John was in rehab.
And June was
at the codependency center.
Jesus, I'm trying
To get to you
When she went
into Betty Ford Center,
there was an education
that happened
in her life of what
codependency is that she
had never conceived of before.
She said to me,
"Oh, honey, I just learned
I'm going to die before John."
I said, "Why?"
She goes,
"Well, because codependency
"is really, really hard.
We become super parents."
And I said, "Well,
what do you do in the unit?"
And she goes, "We paint.
We play with clay.
"We fly kites.
We learn to be kids again.
"And I'm telling you this
because you
need to know this."
Being codependent,
which means sometimes
you're too good
for your own good,
where you put others
too much ahead
of your own needs.
You helped him to heal
a lot of those scars.
Well, that would be nice
if I could say I did that.
I think all of us girls would
like to be able to claim
that we healed our husbands.
You know, if it doesn't work,
you just pop them in the head
and holler "heal."
It doesn't work.
You sound like
you kind of regret some
of the things that go along
with the status
you've achieved
in the business.
Oh, I don't
regret any of that.
There is pain
in everybody's life.
It's something we all
are confronted with.
Every one of us has pain.
It helps us, you know?
If you've put it behind you,
boy, it'll push you.
It'll stick you right
through the rest of the world
if you'll stick it behind you.
Don't let it hang with you.
Don't put it in front of you.
That's what I say.
[cheers and applause]
[bright acoustic music]

There comes a point
in every entertainer's life,
you're faced
with the mortality,
your own, and the mortality
of your career.
And it happened
to John and June.
In the early 1980s,
my father didn't
have very many hits at all.
And 1984, after he sort of
picked back up his life again,
it was actually--
he was actually dropped
by his record label
at the time.
It was a dramatic slowdown.
You know, I saw Johnny
and June the first time
for 16,000 screaming fans.
And then the '80s,
we would sometimes
go to clubs with 300 people.
They'd been the biggest
stars in the world
for six, eight, ten--
and then it started
not being that way.
- Good night.
- Good night.
I think June was
unsettled by that.
At the same time,
she was so strong.
It was like,
he's going to be OK.
You're going to be OK.

We went
to Montreux, Switzerland
at the invitation
of John and June.
They decided they wanted
to do a Christmas special
with their best friends.

Hello, I'm Johnny Cash.
Hello, I'm Johnny Cash.
Hello, I'm Johnny Cash.
Hello, I'm Waylie Kris.
Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson,
Kris Kristofferson,
and Waylon Jennings,
all of whom
were on the downside
of fame at that time.
You know, living with
the likes of good ol' boys
like John, and Willie,
and Kris, and Waylon,
well, it's just not that easy.
You don't know all we know.
Because these are a bunch
of wives that have a lot to do.
all: We're married to a star,
yes, we are
Our men are legends
in their time
All these guys have
been real close to us.
We were all sitting
around in the room,
and they were all singing,
and they decided,
this really shouldn't
stop right here.
We should do something else.
And that's when they did their
first Highwaymen album.
I was a highwayman
Along the coach roads
I did ride
With sword
and pistol by my side
And they reawakened
all their careers.
Many a young maid lost
her baubles to my trade
And then it just evolved
to a ten-year touring.

On the road
with the Highwaymen,
my mother would have been
the resounding matriarch.
She was tough,
and she was funny.
And, you know, if you're
married to Johnny Cash,
you've got to be tough.
I fly a starship
across the universe divide
And when I reach...
I'm good friends
with all the wives--
- The Highwomen.
- The Highwomen.
It was just the Highwaymen.
And they didn't know how
to add the Highwaymen and June.
There was some discussion
whether John and June
could do a song together.
And it just, nobody knew
quite how to work it out.
June Carter,
who wrote "Ring of Fire,"
my wife is here tonight.
Stand up and take a bow,
would you?
[cheers and applause]
Where are you, baby?
Hey, here she is,
back over here.
All right.
It ended up that June,
during every show,
would stand up
in the audience.
And they put
a spotlight on her.
And she would look around
at everybody and wave.
Been the one time
in my life when I've got
to sit and enjoy it kind of.
Really have enjoyed
the time with the boys
and with their wives as well.
["Ring of Fire"]

There's an awkwardness,
and I don't understand,
because I'm not an artist,
how that decision is made.
So how June ended up
never being on stage
during those years,
I really don't know.
But it probably
was hard on her.

That's part of the thing
that's hard about her ego
because that ambition
was there.
And she had
to kind of squelch it.
She didn't know what
to do with herself.
You can't be on the road
all your entire life
and suddenly not
have it anymore.
["Where We'll
Never Grow Old"]
I have heard of a land
On the faraway strand
'Tis a beautiful home
of the soul
Built by Jesus on high
She started going
back to Virginia a lot.
She started spending
a lot of time in the home
that she grew up in
as a little girl.
She was experiencing memories
of what the fire smelled like
in the fireplace,
of which flowers in particular
grew in the woods
in the backyard.

She got back in connection
with those things
from when she was at a period
of innocence and beauty.
June started
to look at her life
to sort of remind herself,
I think,
of who she was and to remind
everybody else,
you know,
here's who I really am.
I'm not Mrs. Johnny Cash.
I'm June Carter.
And this is my story.
We'll never grow old
He said, you need Vicky,
is what you need.
And I said, OK.
Anyway, she's got
this new record company
that she started.
I would have never thought
in a million years
that I would, like,
make that record with June.
But she started calling me.
You know, June said
she had to get this music out.
She had a legacy
to leave behind, you know?
That was what she was
trying to accomplish.
I didn't know how I was going
to pay for it or anything
like that.
But June had more faith
than anybody on the planet.
She was always optimistic.
You know, something
really terrible could happen,
and she would figure out
a way to take lemons
and make lemonade out of it.
Nothing to it.
[clicks tongue]
She would always say,
"It's OK.
"We'll get through this.
Just press on, honey.
Just press on."
And that was
her philosophy in life.
Those two words
are absolutely how
I would and do remember June,
press on.
OK, let's press on.
Let's start with "I Used
To Be Somebody" first.
June and I,
we put on the blinders,
and it happened.
We made the record.
All right, Marty.

My mother came to me
and asked me if I would
the album "Press On."
I was nervous in a certain way
because this was one
of the first things
that I had ever recorded.

But she gave me the energy.
She gave me the strength.
She's like,
"Oh, you can do this.
Oh, yes, you can do this."
Go back to the top of that
verse, that different verse,
because everybody's
still working on that.
One, two, three, four.
["Tall Lover Man"]
Two lovers stood
in the white, white sand
Dark-eyed maiden
and her tall lover man
With surprise
and pain in her eyes
It was my mother's time
to shine.
It was as if every dream
that she had,
when she went
to New York City in the 1950s,
they were all coming back real.
When are you coming back?
Around that time,
she did "The Apostle"
with Robert Duvall.
I just--
I'm just a little chilly.
Hold on now, hold on.
We did the way we were
taught from Sandy Meisner,
who was both
of our teachers in New York
at the Neighborhood Playhouse.

Well, she was always ready.
She was great to work with,
just wonderful.
She had her own sense
of being strong-willed.
She can't do that, son.
You know she can't.
She was so excited
to be in that film with him.
She just adored Robert Duvall
and had become
good friends with him.
I just wish he had
given me another part.
Why did he have to give me
one where I'm older
than he is, when he's older--
When he's older than I am?
Good sense of humor,
good sense of humor.

That's about where
we do it right there.
Johnny is with me now.
He goes wherever I go.
And it's kind of,
he likes to be where I am,
and I like to be where he is.
I like this one.
That's good.
I've grown wearier

During the recording,
Johnny's health
was pretty fragile.
So John was in intensive
care literally the day
before the first day
of recording.
He was very shaky.
His hands were shaking.
And he didn't have
much energy for it,
but he said, you know, he--
I was amazed by the
professionalism of this guy.
- Quick.
- I gotta settle down first.
He wanted
to play backup guitar
and sing harmonies with her.
He wanted to be there for her
as she was for him
in so many different ways.
["Far Side Banks of Jordan"]
I believe my steps
Are growing
wearier each day
He comes out there to do
"Far Side Banks of Jordan."
Got another journey
on my mind
That song meant
so much to them.
They sang that every night
on stage from the late 1970s
until the end
of their performance career.
Wanna stay,
and my one regret
Is leaving you behind

But if it proves
to be his will
That I am first to cross
And somehow, I have
a feeling it will be

When it comes
your time to travel
Likewise, don't feel lost
For I will be the first one
that you'll see
both: And I'll be waiting
On the far side banks
of Jordan
People have come
to me and said,
"What's it like to be
the product of the greatest
love affair that ever was?"
they were not there, right?
Because they had struggles.
But by the end of their life,
my mother and father
were more in love
than they ever had been.
They loved each other.
And they were great friends.
They both loved
what the other did.
Love is what made
their relationship.
It wasn't fame.
It wasn't power.
It was what love really is.
And people forget
what love is.
It's patient, it's kind,
it's long-suffering.
But the beauty
is what stands out.
And what's so great is to get
a window into that strength
and into that beauty, we have
but to listen to the music.
both: And I'll be waiting
On the far side banks
of Jordan
I'll be sitting,
drawing pictures in the sand

I'm here mostly
because my life,
the way it's turned around
in the last little bit.
For the past several years,
I just followed
Johnny Cash around the world
wherever he went.
And I worked a whole lot
harder than he did,
but you all didn't know that.
So I'm glad to have
the opportunity to tell you.
You know, June,
it's been many years
since she has had
a new album out, "Press On."
Called "Press On,"
first solo album in 25 years.
She was one of the stars
in Robert Duvall's
film "The Apostle."
And now with her brand-new CD
called "Press On,"
here is June Carter Cash.
I fell
into a ring of fire
I fell into a burnin'...
This is the June Carter Cash
album right here.
And I listened
to this this afternoon.
And my goodness, what a lovely,
touching, sweet collection
of music this is.
"Press On," I think,
caught everybody by surprise.
That is true timeless music.
It was never a trend-based.
It never chased anything.
June's songs are just based
on basic human emotion,
things that
everyone could relate to.
It is a privilege
to introduce
the great June Carter Cash.
Here's June Carter Cash.
Here she is,
June Carter Cash.
The only June Carter Cash.
Thank you very much.
This is a big night for me.
Burnin' ring of fire
Went down, down, down
It is the true spirit
of American music.
And it won her a Grammy.
Ring of fire
[cheers and applause]
"Press On" won a Grammy.
It was, like,
really surprising.
I mean, I had no idea.
And it was just such an honor
that that happened.
[soft music]
Yeah, I mean, she was very,
very proud of that.
You know, Johnny had
countless Grammys.
And this was her own Grammy.
So, yeah, she was
really proud of that.
Everybody pooh-poohs it.
Everybody goes,
oh, Grammy award.
But you know what, when you get
one, it means something.
It really means something.
It's like,
it's music's highest accolade.
And you might not think
you wanted it,
but you know you really did.
Please give a Grand Ole Opry
welcome to June Carter Cash.
[cheers and applause]
And then they would
start shouting for June.
Thank you very much.
Gosh, what a big room.
You know she had
to feel vindication.
Oh, thank you.
You know that she--
in her final years,
people are screaming for June.
Oh, thank you.
You've almost made me cry.
She is standing up
there giving us
a life lesson of what
it means to stick it out.

OK, son?
Let's do one more.
Press on, Norman.
[folk music playing]
And then she was back
in the studio again...

In Virginia at the house
where she was raised.
Oh, give to me
a winding stream
She gave it every bit
of energy she had,
14 songs within three days.
But I will dance,
I will sing
And my laugh shall be gay
You know, moss did not
grow on my mama's feet.
She had a lot of energy.
Her work ethic,
period, was like--
she was like
a superwoman to me.
But I'm longing to see him
and regret the dark hour
It's gone and neglected
OK, I'm ready
to press on, son.
- One second.
- OK.
No--I'll tell you how it is.
I'll just tell you again.
We don't want
to think about death,
but sometimes I do.
Sometimes I feel
like I'm on a hill,
and it's John's grave
I'm kneeling on.
And if you can imagine me
just sitting there
trying to talk to him.
When death shall
close these eyelids
And this heart
shall cease to beat
And they lay me
down to rest
In some flowery
Bound retreat
Will you miss me?
all: Miss me when I'm gone
Will you miss me?
all: Miss me when I'm gone
Will you...
I remember my mother
was coming out the door.
And I remember seeing her get
in the car and her telling me,
"I've got to go
to the hospital."
I look back now,
and I remember
the look in her eye.
It was this joy,
but such sadness
and weakness at the same time.
And she went to the hospital.
And come sit along...
When I got the phone call,
I was shocked
because John had been the one.
I think everybody
kind of expected John
from his illness
over the last ten years,
that he would be
the first to go.
Will you miss me?
all: Miss me when I'm gone
Her death was sudden.
And it hit all of us really
hard, the whole community.
It was just confusing.
It was like, oh, no,
there goes the tent pole
for everybody, you know?
It was a hard one.
It was a hard one.
But I could not
hide my sorrow
when they laid her
in the grave
Can the circle...
It's hard even
now remembering
that whole few days.
Lord, by and by
There's a better...
When we went
to June's funeral,
Johnny Cash was so sad,
oh, my God.
He just could hardly sit there.
I just remember him saying,
"I put her in a blue dress
because of her eyes."
And then when I walked
past him in the church,
he said, "Is that Katie?"
It was agonizing to watch him
go through that experience.
It was really tough.
She was so full of life.
We wave to her
from this shore
as she drifts out of our lives.
What a legacy she leaves us.
It still,
to this day, kills me
for her to be gone.
She was my dearest friend
and my mommy.
Under a June blue sky
waving her scarf to greet us.
I just had
this vision of June.
Almost her whole life
flashed before me.
And I almost felt
like this song
just--she just dropped it in
my lap as she was flying over.
Like, here, I'm going
to give you one more thing.
And I wrote this song called
"The Strong Hand."
She was a strong hand
A good sister
and a daughter
I was standing
next to John Carter.
And I had my arm around him.
Lisa Kristofferson
was there to support me.
At one point,
his knees were collapsing.
And he's a large man.
It's like
she could tell right
when I emotionally cracked,
because I did
emotionally crack.
And I heard June say,
"I'm right here, son."
And it's a miracle
How one soul finds another
And I had
this super strength,
I held up this huge man.
Lisa held me with such love.
Lisa held on
to me like a mother.
As they walk
this world together
She was a holder upper
in that moment,
you know, in a dimension
that I don't
really know or understand.
But there is no doubt
in my mind that it was real.

After June died,
John would call me a lot.
And he was really down.
And I could tell.
And, you know, we'd talk
about this thing or that thing.
But what he was
really wanting to do was
get somebody to take his mind
off of the whole thing.

He really struggled.
I mean, all of us children
were holding our breaths,
like he's not going
to last long without her.
And he didn't.
He lasted four months.

One of the last things
he wrote
on a plain piece of paper was,
"I love June Carter.
"She is an angel.
I am not."
Oh, it's a sad thing
Here she is right now,
Miss June Carter!
The other and fly up
where the voice rings
She was very special.
And, you know,
there's nobody
that can replace her.

She was a very free spirit.
There was a great depth
of love of the people.
At the heart of it, there
is this enduring personality
that is there
of a young girl riding
on the back of a motorcycle.
For it's
a miracle how...
When you look
at little girls,
they're capable
of so much more.
And life is a series
of girdles, and corsets,
and bras,
and straitjackets, and gingham.
And sometimes, it takes
that little girl out of you.
I believe
But June was able
to tap into that.
And so she kept that little
girl growing and going.
But I think a lot of times,
we don't see that in women.
And we don't give them
the opportunity
to continue to develop
all those dreams
and wonderful things that
they thought as young girls.
I'm going to shout
and sing until heavens ring
When I'm bidding
this world goodbye
It has 580 verses.
That's the way my family
always wrote songs,
just in case you wanted
to go sing two or three days
without stop.
That's what you did.
OK, we're pressing on.
[June Carter Cash's
"It's My Lazy Day"]

Well, I might
have gone fishing
all: Might have
gone fishing
I got to thinkin'
it over
all: Thinkin' it over
The road to the river
all: Is a mighty long way
It's a mighty long way,
it must be the season
all: Must be the season
No rhyme or no reason
all: No rhyme or no reason
- I'm just taking it easy
all: It's my lazy day
- It's my lazy day
I'm finding it easy
all: Finding it easy
To mind my own business
all: Mind my own business
I'm keepin' my nose
out of everyone's way
Everyone's way,
just gonna look stupid
all: Gonna look stupid
- Don't wanna meet Cupid
all: Wanna meet Cupid
- Just taking it easy
It's my lazy day,
it's my lazy day

I ain't askin'
no questions
all: Askin' no questions
- I ain't givin' advices
all: Givin' advices
- I ain't doing no datin'
all: Ain't wanting to play
- Ain't wanting to play
I'm just gonna look stupid
all: Gonna look stupid
I don't wanna meet Cupid
all: Wanna meet Cupid
Just taking it easy,
it's my lazy day
It's my lazy day
[rhythmic clapping]