Friday on My Mind: Memorable Musical Couples

It’s time again for the weekly installment of Friday on My Mind. This post is a collaborative effort between KEXP and King 5 News, in which we mull around a musically inclined idea each and every week.

Yesterday would have marked the 44th wedding anniversary of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash. Today we’re saluting Johnny and June, as well as a few other Memorable Musical Couples we think are worth noting.

Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash

First and foremost, we salute Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash. The pair married on March 1st, 1968 in Franklin, Kentucky. Johnny proposed to June only a week prior while the two were on stage during a performance. As individuals, each had music careers that stood on their own merit; Johnny had several country hits throughout the 50’s and 60’s. June had been performing since she was a child and was already an established singer- songwriter, actress, as well as a member of the legendary Carter Family. Beyond their individual music careers, as a couple, they won 2 Grammys together for their duets, “If I were a Carpenter” and “Jackson”. Their marriage endured for 35 years until June Carter Cash passed away from complications after heart surgery in May of 2003. Johnny passed on four months after June. Johnny and June are buried next to each other in Hendersonville, Tennessee. It was just announced that a Johnny Cash Museum will be opened in Nashville over this summer. In response to the museum announcement, the couple’s son, John Carter Cash, stated that “My Father and Mother had a way through honesty and truth of spirlt…this is about spreading their spirit”- that about says it all.

Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash performing “Jackson” at the Grand Ole Opry in 1968:

Sonny and Cher

While the duo of Sonny and Cher may seem an obvious choice, the perseverance and mutual support that this musical couple displayed makes them worthy of a shout out. Cherilyn “Cher” Sarkisian and Salvatore “Sonny” Bono met while at a coffee shop during the early 60’s. They eventually began working together as session backup singers for Phil Spector and in fact their voices can be heard on recordings such as The Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” and The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby”. During the 60’s, they charted with the hits, “The Beat Goes On” and “I Got You Babe”. As the 70’s began, they failed to maintain their steam, but despite the lull they continued to trudge on and make a living through the club circuits and honed their stage act.. They paid their dues and eventually landed their very own Variety show on CBS and before divorcing in 1975, they had sold more than 80 million albums. Beyond their divorce and up until Sonny’s death in a skiing accident in 1998, he continued to represent Cher’s business interests, and when couples can continue to support each other even after divorcing, we have to salute them.

Sonny & Cher performing “The Beat Goes On” during the opening of The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour:

Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore

Many have coined Sonic Youth the “godfathers of alternative music” and behind the band stands Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore. Sonic Youth formed in 1981 and their sound has evolved through the genres of no wave, noise rock, punk, grunge, and alternative. Gordon and Moore married in 1984 and Gordon gave birth to their daughter Coco ten years later in 1994. Gordon and Moore have been the poster couple of ultra cool for many a indie kids for decades. During Fall 2011, the couple sadly announced that they were heading for divorce after 27 years of marriage. Despite this announcement, the couple and band continued to tour. The fate of Sonic Youth is still uncertain, but their impact will continue to live on regardless.

Sonic Youth’s Video for “Teenage Riot”

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One Comment

  1. Damon Creed
    Posted March 4, 2012 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    No love for Chris & Cosey?

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