On This Date: Johnny Cash Dedicates Final Public Performance To June Carter In 2003

A man playing a guitar

The Man in Black, The Undertaker, simply Johnny…. whatever you call Johnny Cash, his name is synonymous with country music.

The definition of a transcendent artist, Cash could easily be considered to GOAT depending on who you talk to, and if he isn’t, you’d be hard pressed to find anybody that wouldn’t have his face on their Mount Rushmore of Country Artists.

To call him a country music icon doesn’t even begin to do him justice.

The music world said goodbye to Johnny in September of 2003, but his last public performance came a few months before that, 18 years ago to the day, to be exact.

On July 5th, 2003, Johnny Cash made his last ever live performance, appearing at the Carter Family Fold near Hiltons, Virginia. Before singing “Ring of Fire,” Cash dedicated the performance to his late with wife June who had passed a few months prior:

“The spirit of June Carter overshadows me tonight with the love she had for me, and the love I have for her.

We connect somewhere between here and heaven. She came down for a short visit, I guess, from heaven to visit with me tonight to give me courage and inspiration like she always has.

She’s never been one for me except courage and inspiration. I thank God for June Carter, I love her with all my heart.

I would like to do a song that she wrote that she was extremely proud of.”

You can just hear the heartbreak in his voice, and Johnny himself would eventually pass away as well just a couple months later.

“Ring Of Fire”

He also performed “Understand Your Man”

A beer bottle on a dock


A beer bottle on a dock