Johnny Cash and Billy Graham Through the Years

By   •   September 10, 2015

On the platform during the 1976 Detroit Crusade. "They both were like a brother and sister to Ruth and me," Billy Graham once said. "We loved them. ... I look forward to seeing Johnny and June in heaven one day."
Franklin Graham and Billy Graham attended the 1993 tribute to Roy Rogers and Dale Evans in Los Angeles with Johnny and June Carter Cash. "In his heart, Johnny Cash was an evangelist. … Johnny Cash often sang at my father’s Crusades, bringing in countless people who otherwise might never have heard the Gospel," said Franklin of the country music legend. "He was a great friend of our ministry."
Backstage during the 1974 Norfolk Crusade.
After his conversion to faith, Johnny Cash made it a priority to be a part of Billy Graham's ministry. Here, the two sit onstage during a 1987 Crusade in Columbia, South Carolina.
The decades-long friends visit backstage during the 1985 Ft. Lauderdale Crusade in Florida. "He and I spent a lot of time talking the issues over, and we determined that I wasn't called to be an evangelist," Cash said of Graham in his 1997 autobiography. "He had advised me to keep singing 'Folsom Prison Blues' and 'A Boy Named Sue' and all those other outlaw songs if that's what people wanted to hear and then, when it came time to do a gospel song, give it everything I had."
1978: June Carter Cash and Ruth Graham joined their husbands for the Kansas City Crusade.
Billy Graham and country music singer Barbara Mandrel appeared on the Johnny Cash Christmas Special in 1976.
Billy Graham appeared numerous times on The Johnny Cash Show, which ran from 1969-1971. This photo was taken during a 1971 appearance. Cash's show was one of the first places he made headlines for sharing his faith.
Ruth Graham, June Carter Cash, Johnny Cash and Billy Graham worship together on the platform during the 1979 Tampa Crusade. The Cash and Graham couples were very close, having spent time in one another's homes, even when the other couple was away. Billy Graham said that once, Johnny and June stayed at their home in the North Carolina mountains while he and Ruth were away. They returned to funny and heartfelt notes left around the house.