Johnny’s lost Irish tour
Forgotten recordings of Man In Black capture the early stages of his love affair with future wife June Carter
‘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