His hit recordings and memorable live performances have a lot to do with it, but the way that he lived his life certainly does, too. He embraced tradition, and yet he exercised the freedom to follow his own mind; he was both a god-fearing Christian and a rebellious outlaw; he moved among presidents and yet remained a man of the people; he believed in home and family and yet spent much of his life on the road performing for thousands of people. These contradictions made the "Man in Black" the compelling figure he was, and along with the integrity he exhibited throughout his life, they invested his music with a unique power that continues to resonate long after his passing. Unfortunately, becoming a legend often translates into becoming an image more than a human being. But Cash was much more than a defiant gesture, a fashion statement, and a few records recorded in prisons. He was a complex man with varied and unusual life and career. Upon first meeting Cash for the first time, Sam Phillips, the producer of his first records, thought that Cash had made up his last name. He was still J. The recruiter would not accept a candidate with a name comprised of initials, so J. Cash experienced tragedy in his family at a fairly early age, when he was
He helped dig his brother’s grave
Where people listen
Johnny Cash is not his real name
These two recordings are part of the continuation of Johnny Cash: Forever Words, a multi-year project by John Carter Cash, who has combed the Johnny Cash archive for unreleased poems, prose and lyrics. These new tracks by Ruston Kelly and The Lumineers will be included in a future installment of the next compilation. Jump to. Sections of this page. Accessibility Help. Email or Phone Password Forgot account? See more of Johnny Cash on Facebook.
John R. Cash born J. Born in Arkansas to poor cotton farmers, Cash rose to fame in the prominent country music scene in Memphis, Tennessee , after four years in the United States Air Force. Cash was known for his deep, calm bass-baritone voice, [a]  the distinctive sound of his Tennessee Three backing band characterized by train-like chugging guitar rhythms, a rebelliousness   coupled with an increasingly somber and humble demeanor,  free prison concerts,  and a trademark, all-black stage wardrobe, which earned him the nickname "The Man in Black". Much of Cash's music contained themes of sorrow, moral tribulation, and redemption, especially in the later stages of his career.