Below is a compiled list of the most interesting facts about Johnny Cash. Check it out!
Johnny Cash was born February 26, 1932, in Kingsland, Arkansas, to Carrie Cash (Rivers) and Raymond Cash. 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 only 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), 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. Amongst his biggest hit records were “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.
Interesting Facts about Johnny Cash
- He had long since kicked his drug habit when, in a bizarre series of events in the early 1980s, he was attacked by a male ostrich he had been keeping on his farm after he had threatened the huge bird. He was put onto painkillers to survive the critical injuries and quickly became addicted. He checked himself into the Betty Ford Clinic, successfully quit them and made friends with Ozzy Osbourne during his stay.
- Grandfather of Dustin Tittle and Kacy Tittle.
- One of his biggest fans is “Jackass” star Johnny Knoxville. The two became friends before Cash died.
- He was invited to perform at the White House for the first time in 1972. President Richard Nixon’s office requested that he play “Okie from Muskogee” (a Merle Haggard song that scorned “hippies”, youthful marijuana users and war protesters) and “Welfare Cadillac” (a Guy Drake song that derides the integrity of welfare recipients). Reportedly he refused to play either song because he found both songs morally reprehensible. However, it was also reported that he refused to play them 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 H. Hayes” (about a Native-American World War II Marine hero who helped raise the American flag on Iwo Jima but was subjected to ferocious racism upon his return to Arizona) and “Man in Black” (which contains angry, anti-war lyrics, which Cash almost certainly wrote about the Vietnam War).
- Is one of the Four Horsemen of the Country Music Apocalypse along with Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings.
- Has a species of tarantula named for him, “Aphonopelma johnnycashi”. The tarantula in question is black, and can be found in the area around Folsom, CA.
- His older brother (the sibling Johnny was closest to as a child) died in a horrible accident involving a buzz saw when Johnny was young, and it was never clear whether it was accidental, suicide, or even murder. Wracked with guilt, Johnny, by most accounts, never got over the death (it was a little-known, personal obsession of his to investigate the incident) and it is widely thought that his dark world view was shaped by it.
- He suffered from a fear of flying and snakes.
- His career was at an all-time low in the 1980s and he realized his record label of nearly 30 years, Columbia, was growing indifferent to him and wasn’t properly marketing him, so to kill the relationship with the label before they did, Cash recorded “Chicken in Black”. An intentionally awful song about Johnny’s brain being transplanted to a chicken, it ironically turned out to be a larger commercial success than any of his other recent material. However, it wasn’t long after “Chicken in Black” that Columbia and Cash parted ways.
- One time his truck caught on fire and burned half of a national forest. He was taken to court, and when the judge asked him why he did it, he said, “I didn’t do it, my truck did, and it’s dead.”.
- Johnny’s “Hurt” was the theme song of WWE’s Raw Tribute to the late Eddie Guerrero. The song plays while Guerrero’s memorial is playing.
- After his good friend Carl Perkins fell from grace due to a crippling car accident and alcoholism, Johnny took him on a touring guitarist and supported Perkins by performing songs written by him.
Personal Quotes by Johnny Cash
For you I know I’d even try to turn the tide.- Johnny Cash
My father was a man of love. He always loved me to death. He worked hard in the fields, but my father never hit me. Never. I don’t ever remember a really cross, unkind word from my father.- Johnny Cash
You’ve got to know your limitations. I don’t know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren’t too many limitations, if I did it my way.- Johnny Cash
I read novels but I also read the Bible. And study it, you know? And the more I learn, the more excited I get.- Johnny Cash
When my wife died, I booked myself into the studio just to work, to occupy myself.- Johnny Cash