Superstar Rewind: “Ring Of Fire” By Johnny Cash, 1963
June Carter Cash and Merle Kilgore both wrote “Ring of Fire,” also known as “The Ring of Fire.” Johnny Cash recorded his version of the song in 1963. That same year, the song was released on his album, Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash. It became one of Cash’s biggest hit songs.
“Ring of Fire” stayed at No. 1 on the country music charts for seven weeks. Though it became one of Cash’s biggest hits, the song was originally recorded by June’s sister, Anita Carter. She featured the track called “(Love’s) Ring of Fire” on her Mercury Records album Folk Songs Old and New.
The song refers to the feeling of falling in love. That’s the feeling June Carter experienced when she was with Cash at the time. Sources claim Carter saw the phrase, “Love is like a burning ring of fire” in one of her uncle’s books of poetry. But Cash’s first wife, Vivian Liberto, claims Cash made Carter co-writer because “She needs the money.”