Make your own free website on
Johnny Cash

J. R. Cash was born Feb. 26, 1932, in south 
Arkansas (Kingsland, Cleveland County) and 
raised in north Arkansas (Dyess, Mississippi 
County). Cash got his first radio exposure 
perfoming on KLCN in Blythville, Arkansas, 
as a high schooler. In his late teens, he moved 
to Detroit, and from there joined the Air Force 
as a radio operator in Germany. In 1954, he 
left the Air Force, got married and settled in 
Memphis. While working as an appliance salesman, 
he began recording for Sam Phillips and Sun 
Records in 1955 with the Tennessee Two. 
Soon, the Cash-penned hits started coming -- 
"Cry, Cry, Cry," and in 1956, "Folsom Prison 
Blues" and "I Walk The Line." All of these made 
the top 20 of the country charts; soon, Cash's 
popularity branched to the public at large. His 
1963 hit "Ring of Fire" reached the top of both 
the pop and country charts -- a harbinger of 
things to come. The song was co-written by his 
future wife, June Carter of the Carter Family, 
and Cash's version of the song scandalized the 
Nashville establishment with the inclusion of a 
trumpet. This was also a harbinger of things to

Johnny Cash has become a living legend in his 
nearly 50 years in the public eye. Along the 
way, Cash has blurred the lines between country, 
rock, rockabilly, folk and gospel music -- and 
sold millions of records. He recorded with 
everyone from the Carter Family, Willie Nelson 
and Carl Perkins to Bob Dylan, U2 and Rick Rubin 
and he is the only man inducted into the Country 
Music Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of 
Fame, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and 
the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame. Through 
Cash's ups and downs, hits and flops, marriages 
and divorces, addictions and recoveries, he has 
never forgotten his Arkansas roots. In "Cash," a 
recent autobiography, the Man in Black waxes 
nostalgic of his days growing up in northeast 
Arkansas, where he learned to play guitar by 
watching family and friends and listening to 
fellow Arkansas native Sister Rosetta Tharpe 
on the radio -- all while picking cotton, 
and dodging cottonmouths,  and listening to
the panthers howl. He currently resides 
in Jamaica; a recent Rolling Stone article 
indicates he is recording a new album.

Official Johnny Cash Website

back to Arkansas Artists