Both Johnny Cash and his beloved wife, June Carter Cash were always fond of the holidays and celebrating by spending time with their large family, so there’s no wonder they stopped by Billy Graham’s television show and sang for all the children there!
During this stunning moment in 1977 at what Graham called “A Family Christmas,” Cash first suggested that he and his wife sing a song together.
“You know, I was really happy when I heard that you were calling this ‘a family Christmas’ because I thought that meant I could sing a song with June Carter.”
“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” is a poignant carol with origins dating back to the 19th century. The lyrics were adapted from the poem “Christmas Bells” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1863 during the American Civil War. Longfellow wrote the poem during a time of personal despair and national turmoil, reflecting on the despair of war and his search for hope.
The lyrics were later set to music by various composers, including John Baptiste Calkin and Johnny Marks, leading to the creation of the hymn we know today. Despite its origins in a time of strife, the song’s message of hope, peace, and the eventual triumph of good over evil resonates deeply, making it a cherished part of the holiday season.
The pairing of these legend’s voices is a beautiful sound that will get you in the spirit for the holidays!
If you loved the years of Johnny & June’s television Christmas specials, then you’re sure to love this incredibly festive performance in the video below!