a week on the scene


By 1939, June had joined her mother and sisters on the road, which included trips through Texas. During the coldest months of the year from 1939 to 1942, when they would have had trouble

traveling in Virginia, the Carter Family lived in San Antonio. On Thursday afternoons, they recorded their Good Neighbor Get-Together radio show on large acetate-and-aluminum transcription discs in a small building that still stands near Jefferson High School. The transcriptions were shipped to Mexico and played over several of the 500,000-watt "Border Blaster" radio stations, like XERA in Del Rio. The border radio stations could be picked up all over the United States, and it was said that the signal was so powerful, you could hang a tin can on a barbed wire fence and pick up the Carter Family.

During their time in SA, the Carters lived in boarding houses, and all the kids went to public school. It was in school that June developed her first comic routines. When the original Carter Family broke up in 1943, Maybelle continued in show business with her three daughters as Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters. Little Junie Carter played bass fiddle and sang comic songs such as "Keep Them Cold, Icy Fingers Off of Me." By 1950, the group was a regular at the Grand Ole Opry, and was recording for Decca and Columbia. In 1952, June married Opry star Carl Smith, and the two performed successfully together for five years. Their daughter, Carlene, was born in 1955, and became a country star in the '70s.

June joined the Johnny Cash Show in the early '60s; she co-wrote his 1963 hit, "Ring of Fire." The two became friends, and she helped him kick his long-time drug addiction. They were married in 1968, later recording popular duets, including "If I Were a Carpenter." June's sisters and Mother Maybelle became an important part of the Johnny Cash Show.

On May 15, 2003, 73-year-old June Carter died from complications following heart surgery. Her husband and her children were at her side.


Taco Land will be closed and all May shows at the venue have been cancelled until further notice. Owner Ram Ayala recently had some unexpected health problems. Contact Roland "Nightrocker" Fuentes for more information at [email protected]. •

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