Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash

link icon

Link copied

With a voice as distinctive as a fine, aged whiskey, Johnny Cash seemed destined to be a singer.

While serving in the military in the 1950s, Cash began writing his own songs. He moved to Memphis to pursue music full-time once he was released, and it was in that city where he auditioned for legendary producer Sam Phillips, who signed Cash to Sun Records in 1955.

He quickly rose to popularity as a country and western artist in the late 1950s, becoming the top recording artist in the genre. But his struggles with drug addiction interfered with that early career success.

After completing treatment for his addiction, Cash released the now-legendary album At Folsom Prison in 1968. It captured his wry sense of humor and magnetic stage presence, as Cash performed in front of 2,000 inmates at California’s Fulsom Prison. 

Based on the success of the album, Cash went on to host his own variety show The Johnny Cash Show between 1969 and 1971. 

Despite a quieter mid-career release slump, Cash received critical acclaim from two major institutions: He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1980 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

He began a steady output of releases toward the end of his life, including the series American, which began with American Recordings in 1994 and included five total LPs. The posthumous album American V: A Hundred Highways came out in 2006. 

The winner of multiple honors, including 13 Grammys and the Grammy’s prestigious lifetime achievement award, Cash’s legend survives beyond the many trophies he collected. He left his mark on country and western music, transforming the genre with his renowned voice and songwriting.

  • Full name: J. R. Cash
  • Born: February 26, 1932
  • Died: September 12, 2003
  • Hometown: Kingsland, Arkansas
  • Genre: Country, Outlaw Country
Holler Country Music

GUIDEA Guide To: Country's Most Iconic Couples

By Jof Owen, February 11, 2021

A look into some of country music’s famous love stories throughout history, proving the old adage that the couple that sings together, stays together. Well, most of the time.

Holler Country Music

GUIDEA Guide To: Outlaw Country

By Nathan McLaren Stewart, April 5, 2021

Nelson, Jennings and Kristofferson set out to change country music's future in the early 1970s. The result of their work, now some 50 years on, is still prolific in paving the way for Nashville and country music as a whole.

Johnny Cash

ESSENTIALSThe Funniest Johnny Cash Songs

By Jof Owen, February 18, 2021

A list of the silliest and funniest songs from The Man In Black to lift your spirits ahead of what would've been his 89th Birthday next week.

A Guide To: 95 Years of the Grand Ole Opry graphic

GUIDEA Guide To: 95 Years of the Grand Ole Opry

By Zoe Hodges, December 18, 2020

The Grand Ole Opry is undoubtably the beating heart of Nashville and Country Music - but how did a weekly radio concert become so significant, not just within Country, but the music industry itself?

Holler Country Music

GUIDEA Guide To: Sun Studio

By Zoe Hodges, January 5, 2021

An in-depth guide to the home of The Man In Black and The King, the Beale Street Blues and a monument of popular contemporary music.

Cousin Minnie Pearl & Roy Acuff At the Grand Ole Opry

GUIDEA Guide To: Comedy In Country

By Zoe Hodges, June 9, 2021

Comedy and humour are deeply rooted in country music’s foundations - and not just in specific songs or performances, but in its very culture.