Johnny’s lost Ir­ish tour

For­got­ten record­ings of Man In Black cap­ture the early stages of his love af­fair with fu­ture wife June Carter

Irish Daily Mail - - News - By Lynne Kelle­her news@dai­ly­

‘He had no airs or graces about him’

NEWLY un­earthed record­ings of Johnny’s Cash tour of Ire­land in 1963 give a re­mark­able glimpse into the start of his re­la­tion­ship with June Carter.

Their re­la­tion­ship, which be­gan when they were both mar­ried, was fa­mously de­picted on the big screen in the Os­car-win­ning movie, Walk The Line.

But RTÉ’s Doc­u­men­tary On One’s re­veals new record­ings of their Ir­ish shows, which were per­formed at the start of their re­la­tion­ship and give a glimpse of their chem­istry.

The ra­dio doc­u­men­tary, Johnny Cash’s Lost Tour Of Ire­land, on his 10-day 12-date tour of ball­rooms and halls all over the coun­try in Oc­to­ber 1963, re­veals Cash’s life just months into his volatile re­la­tion­ship with the love of his life, June Carter, which was kept un­der wraps be­cause they were both mar­ried at the time.

In the clip in one of the Ir­ish shows, he tells the au­di­ence that she is the ‘sweet­est lit­tle thing we known this side of Ten­nessee’. At an­other point Cash tells her: ‘You sure look pretty tonight.’

Around the time of the tour, the singer was strug­gling with al­co­holism and an ad­dic­tion to am­phet­a­mines.

He and Carter mar­ried five years later.

In the record­ings, June Carter is heard be­ing self-de­pre­ci­at­ing about her own tal­ents af­ter walk­ing on stage af­ter Ir­ish coun­try star Eileen Reid.

She said: ‘I just wanted all you folks to know how sin­cerely glad I am to be in Dublin. It’s my first time here and I’m kind of proud to meet some of my kin­folks too, I am not the best singer that could have come from Amer­ica but I’m a good ol’ girl.’

Ms Reid re­mem­bers June Carter as be­ing ‘very quiet’.

She said: ‘I have a pho­to­graph of June Carter. She was gor­geous and she was so nice.’ Ms Reid, who played sup­port to the pair on the tour all over the coun­try, re­calls in the doc­u­men­tary how Cash stumped an Ir­ish wait­ress when he or­dered a full steak din­ner for break­fast.

‘He said he wanted a steak, a big, big steak, and pota­toes’, said Eileen.

‘The lit­tle one said “I’m sorry you’ll have to wait for the lunch,” but he said, “I want it now” and she had to go and do it for him.

‘He came down [one morn­ing] and he was re­ally the worse for wear be­cause he was dy­ing with the flu.

‘I’m not sur­prised be­cause I re­mem­ber go­ing up to June Carter’s room and it was like open­ing an oven. They thought it was very cold here.

‘I loved he was so nat­u­ral, no airs and graces about him. He was just a big softie,’ she added.

The doc­u­men­tary con­tains pre­vi­ously undis­cov­ered record­ing of his tour dates recorded by sound en­gi­neer Enda Shorthall.

Doc­u­men­tary on One: Johnny Cash’s Lost tour Of Ire­land airs on RTÉ Ra­dio 1 to­day at 1pm.

Re­la­tion­ship: Johnny Cash and June Carter

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