Johnny Cash (born John R. Cash; February 26th 1932 - died September 12th 2003)
Johnny Cash was an influential American songwriter, as well as an actor and an author.
Johnny Cash: Net worth
Johnny Cash's net worth was estimated at $7 million by Forbes in 2005.
Johnny Cash: Childhood
Johnny Cash was born in Kingsland, Arkansas and was raised by his parents, Ray and Carrie Cash in Dyess, Arkansas. He was registered as JR Cash, as his parents could not decide on a name, only on initials. When he joined the US Army, however, they would not allow initials, so he was forced to adopt the name John R. Cash. When he started performing, he used the name Johnny Cash.
Johnny Cash had six siblings, of whom Tommy was also a successful country music artist. The Cash family's financial struggles inspired many of Johnny's songs, including 'Five Feet High and Rising' which depicted the tale of a flood on his family's farm. His brother Jack died after being pulled into a table saw and Johnny suffered tremendous guilt over the incident.
Johnny Cash: Music
Johnny Cash studied to become a radio announcer and at night, he would play guitar with Marshall Grant and Luther Perkins (known as the Tennessee Two). Cash eventually plucked up the courage to audition for Sam Phillips at Sun Records but was initially unsuccessful. Eventually, he won Phillips over and 'Hey Porter' and 'Cry Cry Cry' were released in 1955.
Johnny Cash became the first Sun Records star to release an LP, following the success of 'Folsom Prison Blues' and 'I Walk the Line'. With Elvis Presley having left Sun Records and Sam Phillips devoting much of his energy to Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash signed a lucrative deal with Columbia Records, with his single 'Don't Take Your Guns to Town' becoming one of his biggest hits.
In the early part of the 1960s, Johnny Cash toured regularly with the Carter Family. He later went on to marry June Carter. In 1961, Cash starred in a film entitled Five Minutes to Live, for which he also wrote the theme tune. The film also starred Ron Howard and Donald Woods.
Despite his burgeoning drug addiction at that time, Johnny Cash's music career went from strength to strength, with 'Ring of Fire' becoming a huge crossover hit.
He developed a compassion for prisoners which resulted in two successful live albums recorded in prisons: Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison and Johnny Cash at San Quentin.
In 1969, The Johnny Cash Show began airing on the ABC television network. The Statler Brothers opened every episode of the show, which also featured stars such as Louis Armstrong, Neil Young, Carl Perkins, Kenny Rogers and Bob Dylan. Cash also performed a duet with Dylan on Dylan's country album Nashville Skyline.
Johnny Cash's autobiography, Man In Black, was published in 1975 and sold over 1 million copies. However, his music sales were dwindling. At the age of 48 (in 1980), Johnny Cash became the youngest living inductee to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Yet still, his impact on the country music charts was waning, despite tours with Kris Kristofferson, The Highwaymen and Willie Nelson.
In 1986, Johnny Cash teamed up with Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins at Sun Studios in Memphis to record an album entitled Class of '55.
In the 1990s, Johnny Cash's career enjoyed a renaissance. This was due in part to his appearance singing vocals on 'The Wanderer' on U2's album Zooropa. The producer Rick Rubin approached Cash with the offer of a recording deal with his label American Recordings. With Rubin at the helm, Johnny Cash recorded American Recordings, which would rejuvenate his career and expanded into a series, which featured covers of songs written by contemporary artists such as Nine Inch Nails and Danzig. American III and America IV also reflected on his long-term illness, from which he died in 2003.
Johnny Cash: Personal life
Johnny Cash married Vivian Liberto in 1954 during his Air Force training. They lived in Memphis and had four daughters: Rosanne, Kathy, Cindy and Tara. They divorced in 1966 due to Cash's drug addiction and infidelity.
He married once again in 1968 to June Carter with whom he had one son named John Carter Cash. They often performed together on stage before June died in 2003. Johnny Cash passed away just four months later.
In his early career, he developed a dependance on amphetamines and barbiturates after sharing an apartment with Waylon Jennings. In the late 60s, he gave it up in favour of Christianity.
Cash was diagnosed with neurodegenerative disease Shy-Drager syndrome in 1997 with left him hospitalised and killed him six years later. He was buried near his home in Hendersonville, Tennessee.
Johnny Cash has been portrayed by a number of people in film and theatre. Most notably, Joaquin Phoenix played him in the 2005 biopic 'Walk The Line'.