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Johnny Cash's Stepdaughter Receives Key To The City

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By Brittany Cooper

Sun Valley, Idaho (KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV) The stepdaughter of a country music legend is in Sun Valley this week. The community is embracing Carlene Carter with gifts and a key to the city.

All you country fans out there might recognize this lady by her voice or familiar look. Meet Carlene Carter.

"I'm a third generation member of the Carter family. My grandma was Maybelle Carter, my mom is June Carter Cash, or was, probably still is in Heaven, and my father is Carl Smith, my stepfather is Johnny Cash."

On Thursday, Sun Valley Mayor Dewayne Briscoe presented Carter with the key to the city.

"I was honored and surprised, I don't know why! I'm just so happy about it," adds Carter.

Briscoe also read a celebratory letter from the governor and exposed her to literature in Sun Valley...Leslie Little, an award–winning author of "Paris Icons" and Charles Brandt.

"The author (Brandt) of 'I Heard You Paint Houses', and the author of the forthcoming movie, 'I Heard You Paint Houses, the Story of Jimmy Hoffa'...Hopefully this exposure by Carlene coming in will expose us to a different part of the country and people in Nashville and that area will know more about us."

Carlene came to Sun Valley after a friend recommended the ski destination. She and her husband are enjoying their seventh wedding anniversary.

Carter says, "my husband loves the snow, loves the cold and I thought I'd do something that might be a little out of comfort zone. Now that I'm here, I'm absolutely in love with it!"

This being Carlene Carter's first trip to Sun Valley, Idaho, of course she had to take in a favorite pastime here at the mountain: skiing!"

"I'm having so much fun. I'm sliding down hills, learning how to ski, it's been awesome."

When she's not skiing, Carlene is working on a tribute album to the Carter family.

"It's really been wonderfully healing, trying to somehow carry on their legacy."

Preserving generations of music for years to come.

Carlene Carter has been making records since 1978. She says she plans to visit Sun Valley again in the future.


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