Valerie June Carter Cash (June 23, 1929 – May 15, 2003) was an American singer, dancer, songwriter, actress, comedian and author who was a member of the Carter Family and the second wife of singer Johnny Cash. She played the guitar, banjo, harmonica and autoharp, and acted in several films and television shows. Carter Cash was inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame in 2009. She was ranked No. 31 in CMT's 40 Greatest Women in Country Music in 2002.
June Carter Cash was born Valerie June Carter in Maces Spring, Virginia, to Maybelle Carter and Ezra Carter. She was born into country music and performed with the Carter Family from the age of ten, beginning in 1939. In March 1943, when the Carter Family trio stopped recording together at the end of the WBT contract, Maybelle Carter, with encouragement from her husband Ezra, formed "Mother Maybelle & the Carter Sisters" with her daughters, Helen, Anita and June. The new group first aired on radio station WRNL in Richmond, Virginia, on June 1. Doc (Addington) and Carl (McConnell)—Maybelle's brother and cousin, respectively—known as "The Virginia Boys," joined them in late 1945. June, then 16, was a co-announcer with Ken Allyn and did the commercials on the radio shows for "Red Star Flour", "Martha White," and "Thalhimers Department Store", just to name a few. For the next year, the Carters and Doc and Carl did show dates within driving range of Richmond, through Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania. June later said she had to work harder at her music than her sisters, but she had her own special talent—comedy. A highlight of the road shows was her "Aunt Polly" comedy routine. Carl McConnell wrote in his memoirs that June was "a natural born clown, if there ever was one." She attended John Marshall High School during this period.