Coming Soon – Q2 2022
Johnny Cash, officially named J.R. Cash at birth, was born into an Arkansas cotton farming family on February 26, 1932. After completing the evening chores, the Cash family would gather on their front porch to sing hymns, folk ballads, gospel tunes, and traditional southern music – music that would strongly influence Johnny’s style throughout his career.
Enlisting in the U.S. Air Force after high school, Cash was stationed in Germany, where he purchased his first guitar. His first band started with buddies from the Air Force, played the various nightclubs, and entertained the other servicemen around the base.
After leaving the service, Cash moved to Memphis. He worked in a factory and as a door-to-door salesman as he attempted to break into the music industry. Signing with Sun Records in 1954, his early recordings, “Hey Porter” and “Cry Cry Cry,” introduced listeners to his distinctive baritone voice and brought him considerable attention in the country-western music world. The next year, his release of “Folsom Prison Blues” and “I Walk the Line” elevated Johnny Cash to country music stardom. By 1957, Cash was rated as the top country-western recording artist.
Over the next several decades, Cash’s hits, “Ring of Fire,” “Sunday Morning Coming Down,” “A Boy Named Sue,” “Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison,” and many others, cemented his legacy as one of the top recording artists in history. During his career, Cash earned 53 Gold or Platinum Records from the Recording Industry Association of America.
Known throughout his career as “The Man in Black,” Cash explained the purpose of his all-black attire on an episode of the Mike Douglas Show in 1971. Cash stated that the lyrics to his song, “Man in Black,” contained the answers. Black was worn to remind others of those who are held back and left behind in society, including the poor, the sick, the lonely, and the young lives taken by war. Cash’s lyrics, “But just so we’re reminded of the ones who are held back, upfront there ought to be a man in black,” encapsulated the purpose of his attire.
Cash was father to four daughters and one son, and a stepfather to two daughters from his wife of 35 years, June Carter Cash.