71 (passed away Sep. 12th, 2003)
Feb. 26th, 1932
Kingsland, Arkansas, USA
Johnny Cash's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Johnny Cash was born February 26, 1932, in Kingsland, Arkansas. He made his first single, "Hey Porter", for Sun Records in 1955. In 1958 he moved to Columbia Records. He had long periods of drug abuse during the 1960s, but later that decade he successfully fought his addiction with the help of singer June Carter Cash, whom he married in 1968. In 1971 he appeared in the western A Gunfight (1971) with Kirk Douglas (I). Cash made a few films but quite a few appearances on television, both in series and made-for-TV films, and was especially effective as a rural Southern sheriff in the 1930s determined to bring to justice a wealthy landowner who committed murder because he believed he was above the law, in Murder in Coweta County (1983) (TV), a drama based on a true story. In 1975 Cash wrote his autobiography, "Man In Black", which is now out of print. In the late 1980s he moved from Columbia Records to Mercury, then in the next decade moved again to American Recordings.
Amonst his biggest hit records was "I Walk the Line", "Ring of Fire" and "A Boy Named Sue".
After several years of ill health, he died of complications from diabetes on 12 September 2003, only a few months after the death of his beloved wife.
- In the 1980s he found love letters to wife 'June Carter Cash' (qv) from 'Elvis Presley' (qv) in their attic. Upon finding these, he burned them.
- When invited to perform at the White House for the first time in 1972, President 'Richard Nixon' (qv)'s office requested that he play "Okie from Muskogee" (a 'Merle Haggard' (qv) song that negatively portrays youthful drug users and war protesters) and "Welfare Cadillac" (a Guy Drake song that derides the integrity of welfare recipients). It was reported that Cash refused to play either song because he apparently found both songs morally reprehensible. However he refused to play either song because he did not have enough time to learn the songs with the band before the performance. He ended up playing a series of his own more left-leaning,politically-charged songs, including "The Ballad of Ira Hayes" (about a brave Native- American World War II veteran who was racially mistreated upon his return to Arizona) and "Man in Black" (which contains angry, anti-war lyrics, which Cash almost certainly wrote about the Vietnam War).
- In the 1970s he tried to help his close friend, legendary Nashville guitarist 'Hank Garland' (qv), restart his career by bringing him into the studio to record.
- The band 'Coldplay' (qv) were supposed to record a song titled "Til Kingdom Comes" with him for their album "X&Y", but Cash died before that. They added the song as a hidden track and dedicated it to Cash. In their current "Twisted Logic Tour" they are playing this song in all the venues in addition to playing a cover of Johnny Cash's famous song "Ring of Fire". On the two nights(6 & 7 September 2005) at Madison Square Garden, New York they also dedicated the song "Til Kingdom Comes" to the victims of hurricane Katrina.
- 'Elvis Presley' (qv), 'Hank Williams (I)' (qv) and Johnny are the only three musicians to have been inducted both to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame.
- He was voted the 31st Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Artist of all time by Rolling Stone.
- Cash and "American Recordings" posted a "thank you" to the Nashville country music industry in Billboard Magazine after winning the Grammy for best country record for "Unchained" in the form of the infamous photo of Johnny angrily giving the middle finger to the camera taken back in 1969 during his San Quentin prison performance. Cash did this because he was enraged by Nashville having pretty much left behind him and other aging "country" artists who had defined the genre to make room for the more pop-oriented new country artists, like 'Garth Brooks' (qv).
- He was addicted to speed (usually with alcohol or morphine as a chaser) through much of his 20s until 1967, when 'June Carter Cash' (qv) and numerous members of his friends and family staged an arduous but successful intervention. It is thought that Cash had an addiction personality which he may have inherited from his genes, as many members of his family were addicts to various vices.