Johnny Cash

Active - 1961 - Present  |   Born - Feb 26, 1932 in Kingsland, Arkansas, United States  |   Died - Sep 12, 2003   |   Genres - Music, Drama

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Emerging into the public's consciousness in 1958, country & western performer Johnny Cash hit his first popularity peak in the mid-'60s with his hard-driving prison, train, and "underdog" ballads. Changing tastes, coupled with his own volatile temperament, resulted in as many lows as highs in the late 20th century, but Cash is a survivor, and was still very much on hand for the country & western upsurge of the late '80s. His first film appearances were in shapeless semi-concert pictures like Hootenanny Hoot (1963), but he went on to excel as a naturalistic actor in such Westerns as A Gunfight (1971) and The Last Days of Frank and Jesse James (1986). Johnny Cash is shown to best cinematic advantage as "himself" in the 1970 documentary Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music, which features Cash's wife, June Carter. Cash was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from Lincoln Center in 1997.

Still hugely popular as the millennuim turned, the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards found Cash's video for the song "Hurt" nominated for no less than six awards. The reflective video ultimately took home the prize for Best Cinematography, cementing Cash's status as an artist whose musical stylings truly knew no boundries. Shortly thereafter, in early September of 2003, Johnny Cash died of complications of diabetes in Nashville, TN. at the age of 71. His death came just four short months after that of his longtime wife June Carter Cash.

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Factsheet

  • Earned his first royalty check for $2.41 with the 1955 single "Cry, Cry, Cry."
  • First met June Carter in 1956 and introduced himself by saying "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash and I'm going to marry you someday"; 12 years later, he did.
  • Was banned from the Grand Ole Opry for a spell after a 1965 incident in which he smashed the footlights.
  • Won the CMA Award for Album of the Year three times (1968's Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison, 1969's Johnny Cash at San Quentin Prison, and 2003's American IV: The Man Comes Around). In 1969, he won Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Single of the Year (for "A Boy Named Sue") and Vocal Group of the Year (with June Carter Cash).
  • Showcased top names on his 1969 to 1971 ABC series The Johnny Cash Show, including Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Glen Campbell, Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor and Neil Young. The performance of another star of the era, Eric Clapton, was a highlight of a box set of Clapton's released in 2011.
  • Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1980, and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.
  • A posthumous album, American VI: Ain't No Grave, was released in 2010, on what would have been his 78th birthday; it was promoted that year as his last album. It featured songs penned by the likes of Tom Paxton and Kris Kristofferson, whose career received a major boost from Cash's early support.