June Carter                                             23.6.1929-15.5.2003


Valerie June Carter Cash (June 23, 1929 - May 15, 2003) was an American singer, songwriter, actress, dancer, comedian, and author who was a member of the Carter Family and the second wife of singer Johnny Cash. Prior to her marriage to Cash, she was professionally known as June Carter and occasionally was still credited as such after her marriage (as well as on songwriting credits antedating it).

She played the guitar, banjo, harmonica, and autoharp, and acted in several films and television shows. Carter Cash won five Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame in 2009. She was ranked number 31 in CMT's 40 Greatest Women in Country Music in 2003.


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Background information From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Biography

Early life

June Carter Cash was born Valerie June Carter in Maces Spring, Virginia, to Maybelle Carter and Ezra Carter. She was born into country music and performed with the Carter Family from the age of 10, beginning in 1939. In March 1943, when the Carter Family trio stopped recording together at the end of the WBT contract, Maybelle Carter, with encouragement from her husband Ezra, formed "Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters" with her daughters, Helen, Anita, and June. The new group first aired on radio station WRNL in Richmond, Virginia, on June 1. Doc (Addington) and Carl (McConnell) - Maybelle's brother and cousin, respectively, known as "The Virginia Boys", joined them in late 1945. June, then 16, was a co-announcer with Ken Allyn and did the commercials on the radio shows for "Red Star Flour", "Martha White", and "Thalhimers Department Store", just to name a few. For the next year, the Carters and Doc and Carl did show dates within driving range of Richmond, through Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. June later said she had to work harder at her music than her sisters, but she had her own special talent - comedy. A highlight of the road shows was her "Aunt Polly" comedy routine. Carl McConnell wrote in his memoirs that June was "a natural-born clown, if there ever was one." (Decades later, Carter revived "Aunt Polly" for the 1976 TV series Johnny Cash & Friends.) She attended John Marshall High School during this period.

After Doc and Carl dropped out of the music business in late 1946, Maybelle and her daughters moved to Sunshine Sue Workman's "Old Dominion Barn Dance" on the WRVA Richmond station. After a while there, they moved to WNOX in Knoxville, Tennessee, where they met Chet Atkins with Homer and Jethro.

 

In 1949, Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters, with their lead guitarist, Atkins, were living in Springfield, Missouri, and performing regularly at KWTO. Ezra "Eck" Carter, Maybelle's husband and manager of the group, declined numerous offers from the Grand Ole Opry to move the act to Nashville, Tennessee, because the Opry would not permit Atkins to accompany the group onstage. Atkins' reputation as a guitar player had begun to spread, and studio musicians were fearful that he would displace them as a 'first-call' player if he came to Nashville. Finally, in 1950, Opry management relented and the group, along with Atkins, became part of the Opry company. Here the family befriended Hank Williams and Elvis Presley (to whom they were distantly related), and June met Johnny Cash.

 

June and her sisters, with mother Maybelle and aunt Sara joining in from time to time, reclaimed the name "The Carter Family" for their act during the 1960s and '70s.

 

With her thin and lanky frame, June Carter often played a comedic foil during the group's performances alongside other Opry stars Faron Young [image above] and Webb Pierce.


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