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Johny Cash

Johny Cash

Hits: 11150

J. R. Cash was born in Kingsland, Arkansas on February 26, 1932. He was the son of Ray and Carie Cash. He was one of seven children. By the age of three the family moved to Dyess, Arkansas, where J. R. was raised. The Cash family was completely of Scottish heritage. Something J. R. wouldn’t learn until decades later when he looked it up.

When J. R. turned five, he had to start work in the cottonfields. It was here that Cash first was introduced to music, as the family used to sing while they were picking. When the work was done, J. R. sat down in front of the radio and listened to country and gospel. Gospel songs and hymns were popular music to both listen to and sing. Carie Cash sang from the “Heavenly Highway Hymns”; a book wich J. R. almost memorized. So it was through the HHH, the work in the fields and the radio that J. R. got the inspiration. He started playing the guitar at a very young age, and already by the age of twelve he had written his own song. When he started high school, he also performed at the local radiostation KLCN. 

On an older age Cash recorded “Hey Porter” and “Cry, Cry, Cry” in 1955. When he signed the contract with Sun in ’55 he would take “Johnny” as a stage name.

J. R. Cash was born in Kingsland, Arkansas on February 26, 1932. He was the son of Ray and Carie Cash. He was one of seven children. By the age of three the family moved to Dyess, Arkansas, where J. R. was raised. The Cash family was completely of Scottish heritage. Something J. R. wouldn’t learn until decades later when he looked it up.

When J. R. turned five, he had to start work in the cottonfields. It was here that Cash first was introduced to music, as the family used to sing while they were picking. When the work was done, J. R. sat down in front of the radio and listened to country and gospel. Gospel songs and hymns were popular music to both listen to and sing. Carie Cash sang from the “Heavenly Highway Hymns”; a book wich J. R. almost memorized. So it was through the HHH, the work in the fields and the radio that J. R. got the inspiration. He started playing the guitar at a very young age, and already by the age of twelve he had written his own song. When he started high school, he also performed at the local radiostation KLCN. 

On an older age Cash recorded “Hey Porter” and “Cry, Cry, Cry” in 1955. When he signed the contract with Sun in ’55 he would take “Johnny” as a stage name.

 

The first single “Hey Porter” made reasonable success at the hit parade, and “Cry, Cry, Cry” made US Country Chart in 1955 at #14. After the first success Cash started with a hit production like few. In 1956 he released the singles wich he really experienced success with. Like cars on an assembly line, “Folsom Prison Blues”, ”So Doggone Lonesome”, “I Walk The Line”, ”Get Rhytm”, “There You Go” and “Train of Love”, rolled out of the Sun Recording studio. 

 

“Folsom Prison Blues” and “So Doggone Lonesome” made #4 on the US Country charts. And Johnny Cash made his first #1 position with the “I Walk the Line”, “Get Rhytm” single. “I Walk the Line” also made it to the US Singles list as #17. Cash released 10 more songs divided on five singles on Sun Records before he moved on to a bigger label. And Sun Records continued to release singles of him well into the ‘60s. 

 


  

In 1957 Johnny Cash was the first artist to release a long-playing album on Sun Records. The LP was called “Johnny Cash With His Hot and Blue Guitar”. This was one of 18 LPs released from Sun. Only two of them where released before Johnny Cash left Sun. With success came heavy drinking and addiction to amphetamines and barbiturates. In many ways cash was losing control of his life, but his creativity still kept delivering hits. In 1963 he released the major crossover hit “Ring of Fire”. The song was written by June Carter (who married John in 1968), and Merle Kilgore. While you’d think it would be referring to the drinking game “ring of fire”, it is really about falling in love. The song reached #1 on the Country Charts and made it to the top 20 (#17) at the Singles charts.

Cash had always felt great compassion for prisoners. Ever since he saw the movie “Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison” and wrote “Folsom Prison Blues”, Cash has worked for better rights for prisoners. Cash started performing in prisons in the late ‘50s, but the successfull live albums were not yet to come. But in 1968, Cash went to the prison that he used in one of his greatest hits, Folsom Prison. This concert resulted with the album “Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison”, with the powerfull rendition of “Folsom Prison Blues” as the introduction.Cash continued his prison concerts, and in 1969 he came to San Quentin. This also resulted in an album; “Johnny Cash at San Quentin”. This album contained the huge hit “A Boy Named Sue”. 

 


At San Quentin is the 31st overall album by Johnny Cash, and a recording of a live concert given to the inmates of San Quentin State Prison. The concert was filmed by Granada Television. The album was a follow-up to Cash's previous live album, the critically acclaimed and commercially successful At Folsom Prison.

On the original LP release, the song order was changed and several songs were cut, presumably for space reasons. Despite the title of the version released on CD in 2000 – At San Quentin (The Complete 1969 Concert) – the CD does not contain the entire concert uncut, but does feature additional tracks and running order that parallels the actual setlist. In 2010, the album was reissued on vinyl by Sundazed Records with the original Columbia catalog number LP 5362. The reissued Sundazed vinyl is an exact copy of the original record except that the back cover has a barcode and indicates it is a Sundazed issue. Performed but not included were the songs "Jackson" and "Orange Blossom Special", which are included in the video release of the show. Two songs were somehow slowed down by half a step ("Starkville City Jail" and "Blistered"), possibly due to using another tape machine while the tape on the original machine was changed. The album was certified gold on August 12, 1969, platinum and double platinum on November 21, 1986, and triple platinum on March 27, 2003 by the RIAA.

 

The album was nominated for a number of Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year and won Best Male Country Vocal Performance for "A Boy Named Sue."

 

 

 

 

 


 

From 1969 until 1971, Cash had his own TV show on the ABC network. “The Johnny Cash Show” had celebrities coming as guests and “The Statler Brothers” opened for him in every episode. 

 

 


In the early ‘70s, Cash’s image led the public to call him “The man in black”. He would often perform in all-black suits, wearing long black coats. His clothes weren’t anything like the other country artists at the time, who dressed in rhinestone nudie suits and cowboy boots. 

Cash wrote a song called “Man in Black” in 1971, to explain the public why he always dresses in black. The song has got 8 verses where he explains how he wears the black “for the poor and the beaten down”. And he made with this song a statement that things in this world are unfair, and that “until things are brighter, I’m the man in black”.

 


Ever since he got introduced to Richard Nixon in 1972, he became friends with every U.S. President up to the last two (Clinton and Bush). The last to reigned in a period when Cash was getting worse health and he also didn’t trust the two men. 

In 1972, Cash was invited in to the White House to hold a concert for, amongst others, President Nixon. Cash created a little controversy here to, when he didn’t want to play the pro-war, no to drugs songs that the administration asked him to do. Cash excuced himself with not having the time to learn them, but when he replaces the with songs like “The Ballad of Ira Hayes”, “Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima”, “Man in Black” and "What is truth”; wich are right about the opposite of what they wanted.

 

Cash claimed that the presidential friends had nothing to do with politics, they were just charming persons. Although he supported the Democratic Party.Cash’s closest friend (when it comes to presidents) were Jimmy Carter. Cash had much respect for the man and what he stood for, both as president and as person. 


 

Althoug in the 80's his albums weren’t a success he still toured with sold-out concerts and after being kicked and critically wounded by an ostrige at his farm, Cash was admitted to a hospital. He suffered from serious abdominal pain, and recieved painkillers as a part of the treatment. These pills were addictive, and Cash was once again adiccted to drugs. But it didn’t last long. In 1986 he recovered at the Betty Ford Clinic. While recovering here, he became friends with Ozzy Osbourne, who happened to be there for the same reason as Cash. 

Cash’s career hit an all-time low in the ‘80s, and his general relationship with the Nashville establishment was falling apart. After almost 30 years with Columbia records, Cash realized that they were growing in a different direction than Cash. He felt that he wasn’t believed in and that they were not properly marketing him. Cash said himself in his autobiography that he felt “invisible” during that time. 

Cash wrote a self-parody, intentially awful song called “Chicken in Black” in 1984. The song was about Cash’s brain being transplanted into a chicken. Althoug this song actually turned out to be quite a large commercial success, Cash was hoping to kill the relationship with Columbia. 

After leaving Columbia Records, Cash returned to Sun Studios in Memphis to record the album “Class of ’55”. He would on this album be accompanied by Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins. This was kind of like the “Million Dollar Quartet” from ’56, but Elvis Presley was replaced by Orbison. The new quartet wrote a song together called “We Remember the King”, as a tribute for their late friend.

 

 

In 1997, Cash was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease Shy-Drager syndrome, a form of multiple system atrophy. The diagnosis was later altered to autonomic neuropathy associated with diabetes. This illness forced Cash to curtail his touring. He was hospitalized in 1998 with severe pneumonia, which damaged his lungs. The albums American III: Solitary Man (2000) and American IV: The Man Comes Around (2002) contained Cash's response to his illness in the form of songs of a slightly more somber tone than the first two American albums. The video that was released for "Hurt", a cover of the song by Nine Inch Nails, fits Cash's view of his past and feelings of regret. The video for the song, from American IV, is now generally recognized as "his epitaph," and received particular critical and popular acclaim.

 

 


 

June Carter Cash died on May 15, 2003, at the age of 73. June had told Cash to keep working, so he continued to record, completing 60 more songs in the last four months of his life, and even performed a couple of surprise shows at the Carter Family Fold outside Bristol, Virginia. At the July 5, 2003, concert (his last public performance), before singing "Ring of Fire", Cash read a statement about his late wife that he had written shortly before taking the stage:

"The spirit of June Carter overshadows me tonight with the love she had for me and the love I have for her. We connect somewhere between here and heaven. She came down for a short visit, I guess, from heaven to visit with me tonight to give me courage and inspiration like she always has."

 

 

 



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