May 19 ~  Ring of Fire Among My Klediments

"Love is a burning thing
and it makes a firery ring
bound by wild desire
I fell into a ring of fire..."
~ June Carter Cash/Merle Kilgore, Ring of Fire

June Carter Cash

In the throes of their passionate connection, country singer/songwriter June Carter Cash (1929-2003) co-wrote Ring of Fire (1963) with Johnny Cash.

"Wild desire...ring of fire..."

The two met backstage at the Grand Ole Opry and they married in 1968. In 1987, she called her husband as "the most unusual, fine, unselfish person I've known."

Valerie June Carter Cash was born in Maces Spring, Virginia, the daughter of Maybelle Carter, a member of the pioneering Carter Family. She began performing with her family from the time she was six years old.

Before meeting Cash, she studied acting with Lee Strasberg and toured with Elvis Presley. She gave Johnny Cash the love and stability to fight his addictions. He often credited her with saving his life.

"I've always walked along right by his side, and he's always supported everything I do," she said of her her husband of 35 years. "I'm proud to be walking in the wake of Johnny's fame."

In 1997, she appeared as Robert Duvall's mother in The Apostle. The Grammy-winning Press On (1999), June's first solo venture in 25 years, retold her life in song and included a new arrangement of Ring of Fire.

In his biography, Johnny Cash said of his wife, "What June did for me was post signs along the way, lift me when I was weak, encourage me when I was discouraged, and love me when I was alone and felt unlovable. She is the greatest woman I have ever known. Nobody else, except my mother, comes close."

Oh, but the fire went wild...