..Johnny was and is the North Star; you could guide your ship by him – the greatest of the greats then and now. I first met him in ‘62 or ‘63 and saw him a lot in those years. Not so much recently, but in some kind of way he was with me more than people I see every day.
~Bob Dylan (Statement on Johnny Cash – Sept 2003)
Johnny Cash was one of the most imposing and influential figures in post-World War II country music. With his deep, resonant baritone and spare percussive guitar, he had a basic, distinctive sound. Cash didn’t sound like Nashville, nor did he sound like honky tonk or rock & roll. He created his own subgenre, falling halfway between the blunt emotional honesty of folk, the rebelliousness of rock & roll, and the world-weariness of country.
~Stephen Thomas Erlewine (allmusic.com)
“The song is about the transformative power of love and that’s what it has always meant to me and that’s what it will always mean to the Cash children.”
– Rosanne Cash
“Ring of Fire” or “The Ring of Fire” is a country music song popularized by Johnny Cash and co-written by June Carter Cash (wife of Johnny Cash) and Merle Kilgore. The single appears on Cash’s 1963 album, Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash. The song was originally recorded by June’s sister, Anita Carter, on her Mercury Records album Folk Songs Old and New (1963) as “(Love’s) Ring of Fire”.
Anita Carter – Love’s Ring of Fire:
According to the Rolling Stone magazine’s Top 500 Songs, June Carter wrote this song while driving around aimlessly one night, worried about Cash’s wild man ways – and aware that she couldn’t resist him.
“There is no way to be in that kind of hell, no way to extinguish a flame that burns, burns, burns”
Not long after hearing June’s sister Anita’s take on the song, Cash had a dream that he was singing it with Mariachi horns. Cash’s version became one of his biggest hits, and his marriage to June 4 years later helped save his life. The song was maybe inspired by the poem Love’s Ring Of Fire, and it was originally recorded in a more folksy manner by June Carter’s sister, Anita, as “Love’s Fiery Ring.”/”Love’s Ring of Fire”. Cash held back on his single to give her version a chance to chart.
Continue reading Today: Johnny Cash recorded Ring of Fire in 1963