71 (passed away Sep. 12th, 2003)
Feb. 26th, 1932
Kingsland, Arkansas, USA
Johnny Cash's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles2014 - The Winding Stream
2013 - My Father And The Man In Black
2007 - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin' Down a Dream
2007 - Pete Seeger: The Power of Song
2003 - The Hunted
1961 - Five Minutes to Live
Guest TV Roles
Himself - Special Guest Star
Himself - Musician (segment "Johnny Cash")
Himself - Singer
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.
- Although he could bear it, he disliked being defined as a "country" artist, feeling that his music wasn't really genre-defined and noting that he often stood well outside of the Nashville mainstream (particularly towards the end of his career). Technically, his music contains elements of rock 'n' roll, folk music, bluegrass, blues and gospel as well as country-style music.
- Proposed to wife 'June Carter Cash' (qv) over 30 times before she finally said "Yes".
- He was given the name J.R. on his birth certificate, because his parents couldn't agree on a name, only on initials. He adopted John R. Cash as his given name when he joined the Air Force, which did not accept initials.
- 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.
- His songwriting went from a brief process to a very long one as he aged and his health declined. He wrote the song "Big River" while on a short boat-ride across the Hudson River in the 1950s, while he spent weeks crafting "The Man Comes Around," one of the last songs he wrote.
- 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).
- Stated in an interview with 'Larry King (I)' (qv) that his favorite country singer is 'Dwight Yoakam' (qv).
- He was often at odds with his producers after he had discovered with his first producer ('Sam Phillips (IV)' (qv)) that his voice was better suited to a stripped-down musical style. Most famously he disagreed with 'Jack Clement' (qv) over his sound, Clement having tried to give Cash's songs a "twangy" feel and to add strings and barbershop-quartet-style singers. His successful collaboration with 'Rick Rubin' (qv) was in part due to Rubin seeking a minimalist sound for his songs.