- 🇺🇸 Kingsland, AR
- Years Active
1954 - 2003
Johnny Cash is a legend across country, rock and folk music. His distinctive baritone voice, socially conscious lyrics and rebellious spirit resonated with audiences of all ages and solidified his reputation as a voice for the common man.
Cash, born in Kingsland, Ark. in 1932, served in the United States Air Force before launching his recording career at Memphis' famed Sun Records, also the launching pad for Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins. His 1955 single "Folsom Prison Blues" demonstrated his deep empathy for the marginalized and the downtrodden, and in 1968, he traveled to California's Folsom State Prison to perform for its inmates, a moment captured on the classic live LP At Folsom Prison.
Cash scored his first number one country hit with 1956's "I Walk the Line," and his signature sound - characterized by his deep, resonant voice and fusion of country, rockabilly and blues influences - continued to evolve once he signed to Columbia Records in 1958, boosted by classic singles like "Ring of Fire," written with future wife June Carter. During the 1960s, Cash's popularity soared, and he became a dominant figure in country music, even hosting his own ABC television variety series, The Johnny Cash Show.
Cash, whose penchant for taking the stage clad entirely in black earned him the nickname "The Man in Black," struggled with addiction and personal demons throughout his adult life, and in the late 1970s, his creativity and commercial success entered into steep decline. He rebounded by forming the Highwaymen, a country music supergroup also featuring Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson, and in 1993 signed to Rick Rubin's American Recordings to release a series of stripped-down LPs that attracted a new generation of admirers. Cash died in 2003 at the age of 71.
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