Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: June Carter

Ring of Fire

First recorded (as “Love’s Ring of Fire”) by Anita Carter (1963).
Hit versions by Johnny Cash (US #17/C&W #1/AUS #12 1963), Eric Burdon & the Animals (UK #35/AUS #10/GER #10/NETH #4 1969).

From the wiki: “Co-written by June Carter Cash (wife of Johnny Cash) and Merle Kilgore, ‘Ring of Fire’ was originally recorded by June’s sister, Anita Carter, on her Mercury Records album Anita Carter Sings Folk Songs Old and New.

Billboard gave Carter’s recording, upon its release in January 1963, a very favorable review: ‘A most unusual tune is sold in winning fashion by the thrush who shows her own individual and exciting style here, supported by blue grass guitar work.’ Alas, although it rated enough regional radio airplay to ‘bubble under’, her single did not chart on either the Hot 100 or Hot Country Singles charts.


First recorded by Billy Edd Wheeler (1963).
Also recorded bv The Kingston Trio (1963).
Hit versions by Johnny Cash & June Carter (C&W #2 1967), Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood (US #14 1967).

From the wiki: “‘Jackson’ is a song written in 1963 by Billy Edd Wheeler and Jerry Leiber, and was first recorded by Wheeler. It is best known from two 1967 releases: a pop hit single by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood and a country hit single by Johnny Cash and June Carter, the latter duo for whom ‘Jackson’ became a signature-song.