Johnny Cash


Alternative Country,Rockabilly,Outlaw

Buy this artist on: iTunes, Amazon

Beginning his career as an outlaw to the Nashville establishment, Johnny Cash has come to define country music over the last 40 years. At first, Johnny Cash's unique mix of hillbilly music with gospel and blues made him a perfect fit at Sam Phillips' Sun records, where he recorded such classics as "Folsom Prison Blues" and "I Walk The Line."

From there, Johnny Cash signed with Columbia records and embarked on one of the most remarkable musical careers of the twentieth century. Transforming into The Man In Black, Johnny Cash spent more than thirty years reinventing and contradicting himself--breaking all of the rules of traditional country music only to emerge as the ultimate mythic hero and archetype of the genre. No other artist has touched the world of music quite like Johnny Cash. He is the only person to be inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame, The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and The Songwriter's Hall Of Fame.

Johnny Cash's very name is synonymous with the fight for the rights of the poor and downtrodden and the image of "The Man In Black" is as deeply American as the stars and stripes themselves. Johnny Cash is America.

Born Feb. 26, 1932, in Kingsland, Ark., Johnny Cash was born John R. Cash, one of six children belonging to Ray and Carrie Rivers Cash. When Johnny Cash was 3 years old, his father took advantage of a new Roosevelt farm program and moved his young family to Dyess Colony in northeast Arkansas. There the Cash family farmed 20 acres of cotton and other seasonal crops, and young John worked alongside his parents and siblings in the fields. Music was an integral part of everyday life in the Cash household.

Johnny Cash soaked up a variety of musical influences ranging from his mother's folk songs and hymns to the work songs from the fields and nearby railroad yards. He absorbed these sounds like sponge absorbs water. In later years Cash would draw from his life in Arkansas for inspiration: "Pickin' Time," "Five Feet High and Rising" and "Look at Them Beans" are all reflections on Cash's early life.

Johnny Cash remained in Dyess Colony until his graduation from high school in 1950. As a young man he set off for Detroit in search of work. Johnny Cash ended up in Pontiac, Mich., and took work in an automotive plant. His tenure in the North Country was short-lived and Johnny Cash soon enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. After basic training in Texas (where he met first wife Vivian Liberto), he was shipped to Landsberg, Germany. While in the service Cash organized his first band, the Landsberg Barbarians.

After his discharge in 1954, Johnny Cash returned stateside and married Liberto. He and his new bride soon settled in Memphis where Cash worked a variety of jobs  while trying to break into the music business. In 1954, Johnny Cash auditioned as solo artist for Sam Phillips' Sun Records. He entertained hopes of recording gospel music for the label, but Phillips immediately nixed that idea. By the following spring, though, Cash was in the Sun Studios to record with his band The Tennessee Three. The original group consisted of guitarist Luther Perkins, bass player Marshall Grant and Red Kernodle on pedal steel. Kernodle bailed out of the session and Johnny Cash's first release for the label, "Hey Porter" had a sparse, but highly effective instrumental accompaniment. Though an impressive single, the song failed to chart.

Johnny Cash's follow-up release for Sun, however, fared substantially better. "Cry, Cry, Cry" managed to crack Billboard's Top 20, peaking at No. 14. A long succession of chart singles followed. "So Doggone Lonesome" and "Folsom Prison Blues" both broke into the trade publication's Top 10. But Johnny Cash's fourth chart single proved to be his career song. "I Walk the Line" shot to Billboard's No. 1 position and remained on the record charts for an incredible 43 weeks, ultimately selling over 2 million copies. In 1956, Johnny Cash realized a longtime dream when he was invited to perform on the Grand Ole Opry.

By 1957 Johnny Cash had racked up an impressive string of hits and was working more than 200 dates a year. The following year he switched to Columbia Records in search of more artistic freedom. Johnny Cash still had aspirations of making gospel records and felt he had a better chance of accomplishing this goal at another label. Throughout the remainder of the 1950s and into the 1960s, Johnny Cash continued to produce remarkable records and charted consistently. "Don't Take Your Guns to Town," "I Got Stripes," "Ring of Fire," "Understand Your Man" and "The Ballad of Ira Hayes" all hit the upper registers of the record charts. Appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Tonight Show and other top-rated network programs followed. In the early 1960s, concept albums such as Bitter Tears and Ballads of the True West made Johnny Cash a favorite among the folk music crowd, culminating in an appearance at the Newport Folk Festival.

But all was not well. Johnny Cash was spinning out of control. His marriage was collapsing and divorce seemed inevitable. Too, his grueling tour schedule (which was now up to 300 shows a year) had taken its toll. Johnny Cash became dependent on narcotics to keep up the hectic pace. By the mid-1960s, Cash was a wreck and it began to impact his career. By 1967, though, Johnny Cash managed to overcome his addiction with the help of his singing partner June Carter and her family. In 1968, he and Carter were married and his career experienced a renaissance.

Throughout the remainder of the decade and into the 1970s, Johnny Cash was at the top of his game. A pair of live recordings made at Folsom Prison and San Quentin both went gold and a passel of awards followed including the Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist awards in 1969. The final payoff though, was a network television spot. Premiering in 1969, The Johnny Cash Show aired on ABC. Taped at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, the show featured an eclectic mix of guests ranging from Bob Dylan and Neil Young to Louis Armstrong and Merle Haggard. Through his selection of guests, Johnny Cash helped bridge the generation gap and break down musical barriers. Johnny Cash also used the show as a forum to discuss and raise the country's collective consciousness about social issues of the day such as the plight of the Native Americans, prison reform and the conflict in Vietnam. The show ceased production in 1971, but Cash continued to host numerous specials for several years.

In the mid 1970s, Johnny Cash's popularity and number of hit songs began to decline, but his autobiography (the first of two), titled Man in Black, was published in 1975 and sold 1.3 million copies. A second, Cash: The Autobiography, appeared in 1997.

His friendship with Billy Graham led to the production of a film about the life of Jesus, The Gospel Road, which Johnny Cash co-wrote and narrated. The decade saw his religious conviction deepening, and he made many evangelical appearances on Graham Crusade platforms around the world.

In 1980, at the age of 48, Johnny Cash became the youngest living inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame bestowed its honor on him in 1995, thus making him one of a handful of country artists in both organizations.

In 1985, Johnny Cash joined friends Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson to form The Highwaymen. The supergroup released three albums between 1985 and 1995, scoring a No. 1 hit with the single "Highwayman" from their first album, The Highwaymen. At a hospital visit in 1988, this time to watch over Waylon Jennings (who was recovering from a heart attack), Jennings suggested that Cash have himself checked into the hospital for his own heart condition. Doctors recommended preventive heart surgery, and Johnny Cash underwent double bypass surgery in the same hospital. Both recovered, although Cash refused to use any prescription painkillers, fearing a relapse into dependency. Johnny Cash later claimed that during his operation, he had what is called a "near death experience". He said he had visions of Heaven that were so beautiful that he was angry when he woke up alive.

Although battling serious health problems in the late 1990s, Johnny Cash entered a professional renaissance after signing with rap producer Rick Rubin's American record label. American Recordings, released in 1994, won a Grammy for best contemporary folk album. The follow-up, 1996's Unchained, earned the Grammy for best country album in 1997. His 2000 release American III: Solitary Man, included a cover of Neil Diamond's "Solitary Man," which won Johnny Cash a Grammy for best male country vocal performance in 2001. In 2002, Johnny Cash released American IV: The Man Comes Around which included the Nine Inch Nails single "Hurt."Cash earned three CMA awards in 2003, and the acclaimed video for "Hurt" won an MTV award and a Grammy.

After losing his wife June Carter Cash unexpectedly in May 2003, Johnny Cash passed away Sept. 12, 2003 at Baptist Hospital in Nashville, Tenn. from complications from diabetes. In 2005, a film version of his early romance with Carter, titled Walk the Line, was Oscar-nominated for Best Picture. A single-disc compilation titled The Legend of Johnny Cash was also released in 2005 and went on to sell more than two million copies. The following year, Lost Highway released the final installment of his American recordings, American V: A Hundred Highways, featuring his last sessions with Rubin.

Listen to Johnny Cash Here


Album Title Year Label
Johnny Cash with His Hot and Blue Guitar1957Sun Records
Sings the Songs That Made Him Famous1958Sun Records
The Fabulous Johnny Cash1958Columbia Records
Greatest!1959Sun Records
Hymns By Johnny Cash1959Columbia Records
Songs of Our Soil1959Columbia Records
Now, There Was a Song!1960Columbia Records
Ride This Train1960Columbia Records
Johnny Cash Sings Hank Williams and Other Favorites1960Sun Records
Ride This Train1961Columbia Records
Now Here's Johnny Cash1961Sun Records
The Lure of the Grand Canyon1961Columbia Records
All Aboard the Blue Train1962Sun Records
Hymns From the Heart1962Columbia Records
The Sound of Johnny Cash1962Columbia Records
Blood, Sweat and Tears1963Columbia Records
Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash1963Columbia Records
The Christmas Spirit1963Columbia Records
Bitter Tears (Ballads of the American Indian)1964Columbia Records
The Original Sun Sound of Johnny Cash1964Sun Records
I Walk The Line1964Columbia Records
Keep On The Sunnyside1964Columbia Records
Sings the Ballads of the True West1965Columbia Records
Country Round Up1965Fontana
Orange Blossom1965Columbia Records
Everybody Loves A Nut1966Columbia Records
Happiness Is You1966Columbia Records
Mean As Hell1966Columbia Records
That's What You Get For Loving Me1966Columbia Records
Greates Hits, Vol 11967Columbia Records
Carryin' On With Johnny Cash & June Carter1967Columbia Records
At Folsom Prison1968Columbia Records
Legends And Love Songs1968Columbia Records
From Sea to Shining Sea [LP VINYL]1968Columbia Records
The Heart of Johnny Cash1968Columbia Records
Old Golden Throat1968Columbia Records
Get Rhythm/Story Songs Of Trains And Rivers1969Sun Records
At San Quentin1969Columbia Records
Original Golden Hits, Vol. 11969Sun Records
Grand Canyon Suite1969Columbia Records
Showtime1969Sun Records
Hello, I'm Johnny Cash 1969Columbia Records
Story Songs of Trains and Rivers1969Sun Records
Jackson1969Columbia Records
The Holy Land1969Columbia Records
Johnny Cash1969Columbia Records
The Singing Storyteller1969Sun Records
More of Old Golden Throat1969Columbia Records
Original Golden Hits, Vol 21970Columbia Records
Country Comeback1970Sun Records
Legend1970Sun Records
Rough Cut King of Country Music1970Sun Records
The Johnny Cash Show 1970Columbia Records
Sunday Down South/Sings Hank Williams1970Sun Records
The World of Johnny Cash 1970Columbia Records
The Walls of Prison1970Columbia Records
Man In Black1971Columbia Records
His Greatest Hits, Vol 21971Columbia Records
I Walk The Line1971Columbia Records
Sings Hank Williams1971Sun Records
The Man, The World, His Music1971Sun Records
Understand Your Man 1971Harmony Records
International Superstar1971Columbia Records
Magnificent Johnny Cash1972Harmony Records
Give My Love To Rose1972Harmony Records
Johnny Cash Songbook1972Harmony Records
A Thing Called Love1972Columbia Records
Original Golden Hits, Vol 31972Sun Records
Orginal Rockabilly1972Sun Records
America: A 200-Year Salute in Story and Song1972Columbia Records
Starportrait1972Columbia Records
Christmas & The Cash Family1972Columbia Records
Cash Family Christmas1972Columbia Records
Sunday Morning Coming Down1972DCC
Johnny Cash Family Christmas1972Sony Records
Any Old Wind That Blows 1972Columbia Records
Country and Western Superstar1973Columbia Records
Mighty 1973Hallmark
Johnny Cash & His Woman1973Columbia Records
This Is Johnny Cash1973Harmony Records
På Österåker1973Columbia Records
The Gospel Road Pt. 11973Columbia Records
The Gospel Road Pt. 21973Columbia Records
Johnny Cash, The Gospel Road Sountrack From The Movie1973Columbia Records
John R. Cash1974Columbia Records
The Junkie & the Juicehead Minus Me1974Columbia Records
Five Feet High & Rising1974Columbia Records
A Gentle Giant of Country1974Columbia Records
Ragged Old Flag1974Columbia Records
The Johnny Cash Children's Album1975Columbia Records
I Forgot To Remember1975Hallmark
Johnny Cash 1975Columbia Records
Kings of Country1975Musidisc
Ridin' The Rails:The Great American Train Story1975Columbia Records
Spotlight on Johnny Cash1975Sun Records
Johnny Cash Sings Precious Memories1975Columbia Records
Destination Victoria Station1976Columbia Records
At Folsom Prison and San Quentin1976Columbia Records
One Piece At A Time1976Columbia Records
Making a Legend1976Charly
Strawberry Cake1976Columbia Records
Story of a Broken Heart1976Hallmark
Johnny Cash the Last Gunfighter Ballad1977Columbia Records
Names and Places1977Embassy
The Rambler1977Columbia Records
20 Foot-Tappin' Greats1978Columbia Records
Johnny & June1978Bear Family
Gone Girl1978Columbia Records
Sun Sounds Special1978Sun Records
I Would Like to See You Again1978Columbia Records
The Unissued Johnny Cash1978Bear Family
A Boy Named Sue and Other Story Songs1979Columbia Records
Folsom Prison Blues1979Sun Records
Greates Hits1979Colmbia Records
I Walk The LIne1979Sun Records
Tall Man1979Bear Family
Portrait1979Columbia Records
Rock Island Line1979Hilltop
Silver1979Columbia Records
Johnny Cash, a Believer Sings The Truth1980Columbia Records
Greatest Hits, Vol 31980Columbia Records
I'm so Lonesome I Could Cry [LP VINYL]1980Hallmark
Classic Christmas1980Columbia Records
Rockabilly Blues1980Columbia Records
A Free Man1981Columbia Records
Encore1981Columbia Records
THE BARON1981Columbia Records
The Adventures of Johnny Cash1982Columbia Records
Johnny Cash1982Time Life
Inside a Swedish Prison1982Bear Family
The Cowboys1982Ronco
Survivors Live1982Razor and Tie
Johnny 991983Koch Records
Koncert v Praze (In Prauge Live)1983Independent
20 Super Hits1984Bellaphon
Biggest Hits1984Columbia Records
Great Songs1984Astan
I Believe-songs of Inspiration1984Supraphon/Columbia Records
Rainbow1985Columbia Records
Highwayman1985Columbia Records
Country Boy1986Columbia Records
Believe in Him1986Word Records
Johnny Cash1986Bellaphon
Heroes1986Razor and Tie
Up Through the Years, 1955-19571986Bear Family
Columbia Records 1958-19861987Columbia Records
First Years1987Allegiance
Johnny Cash Is Coming to Town1987Mercury Records
Home of the Blues1987Topline
Classic Cash: Hall of Fame Series1987Polygram
Vintage Years:1955-19631987Rhino Records
I Love Country1987Columbia Records
18 Golden Hits1988Spectrum
Water from the Wells of Home1988Mercury Records
Water from the Wells of Home1988Charly
Lil' Bit of Gold1988Rhino Records
Boom Chicka Boom1989Mercury Records
Patriot1990Columbia Records
I Walk The Line and Other Great Hits1990Rhino Records
The Man in Black: 1954-19581990Bear Family
The Sun Years1990Rhino Records
Highwayman 21990Columbia Records
The Mystery of Life1990Mercury Records
Giant Hits1990Columbia Records
America1991Bear Family
Blood, Sweat and Tears1991Bear Family
Come Along and Ride This Train1991Bear Family
From Sea to Shining Sea1991Bear Family
Bring It Back Alive1991Realive
Many Shades of Johnny Cash1991Sony Records
Country Christmas1991Laserlight
The Man, The World, His Music1992Bellaphon
Get Rhythm1992Bellaphon
Gospel Glory1992Sony Records
The Gospel Collection1992Sony Records
The Essential Johnny Cash 1955-19831992Columbia Records
Hey Good Lookin', Vol 31993CeDe
Hits1993Sony Records
American Recordings1994American
Super Hits1994Sony Records
Personal Christmas Collection1994Sony Records
Wanted Man1994Mercury Records
The Road Goes on Forever1995Capital Records
Unchained1996Warner Brothers Records
The Man in Black: 1963-19691996Bear Family
Many Sides Of: 36 All-Time Greates Hits1996Sony Records
The Best of Johnny Cash1996Columbia Records
Johnny Cash The Hits1996Mercury Records
The Christmas Spirit1996Sony Records
Folsom Prison Blues1997Kiosk
Ring of Fire1997Kiosk
Live and on the Air1997Double Gold
Crazy Country1998Sony Records
Blue Man1998Sonotec
The Best Of Johnny Cash1998Mercury Records
VH1 Storytellers1998Sony Records
Ring Of Fire & Other Great Hits Live1998Country Stars
A Country Christmas1998Jingle Bell
16 Biggest Hits1999Sony Records
Johnny Cash - The Man in Black: His Greatest Hits1999Columbia Records
The Essential Sun Collection1999Recall
The Complete Original Sun Singles1999Varese Fontana
Vol. 1 & 2: Original Golden Hits1999Collectables
Just as I Am1999Vanguard
American III: Solitary Man2000American
God2000Columbia Records
Love2000Columbia Records
Murder2000Columbia Records
Johnny Cash - Love, God, Murder2000Columbia Records
The Sun Years, Vol. 12000Original
Return to the Promised Land2000Renissance
Return to the Promised Land2000See Miles
Simply the Best2001Sony Records
Roads Less Travelled: Sun Recordings2001Varese
The Legends Collection2001Dressed To Kill
16 Biggest Hits, Vol. 22001Sony Records
Man in Black: The Very Best of Johnny Cash2001Sony Records
The Sun Years, Vol. 22001Original Sun
His Sun Years2001Charly
At Folsom Prison/At San Quentin/America2002Columbia Records
Essential Sun Singles2002Varese
The Essential Johnny Cash2002Columbia Records
At Madison Square Garden2002Columbia Records
American IV: The Man Comes Around2002Universal
Live at Town Hall Party 19582003Sundazed
Live at Town Hall Party 19592003Sundazed
A Concert: Behind Prison Walls2003Eagle Entertainment
Covered By Cash2003Sterling Entertainment
Louisiana Hayride2003Emergent
Unearthed (5CD)2003American Recordings
Christmas With Johnny Cash2003Columbia Records
I Walk the Line and Other Hits2003Rhino Records
The Original Sun Sound of Johnny Cash2003Varese
Cash Sings Cash2004Varese
Hayride Anthology2004Cleopatra
My Mother's Hymn Book2004American Records
Lonesome in Black: The Legendary Sun Recordings2004Metro Doubles
A Pair of Brothers2004K-Tel
Country Legend, Vol 12004Madacy
Country Legend, Vol 22004Madacy
The Mercury Years2004Polygram
Complete Live at San Quentin2004Sony Records
The Christmas Collection2004The Christmas Collection
The Original Sun Albums: Complete Collection2005Varese
The Legend2005Columbia Records
The Legend2005Ultimate Christmas Collection
The Legend of Johnny Cash2005Islan/American/Columbia
Johnny Cash Live: Good Evenin' Asbury Park2005Hyena
At Folsom Prison/At San Quentin: The 2 Classic Prison Concerts2006Columbia Records
Traveling Cash: An Imaginary Journey2006Bear Family
We the People2006Folk Era
Personal File2006Columbia Records
Collections2006Sony Records
Live at the Louisiana Hayride: Johnny Cash & June Carter2006Cbuj
American V: A Hundred Highways2006American Records
Live from Austin TX2007New West Records
The Man In Black: Definitive Collection2007Sony Records
The Outtakes (Sun Studio Recordings)2007Bear Family
Cash: Ultimate Gospel2007Columbia Records
The Great Lost Performance2007Island Records
Christmas With Johnny Cash2007Ingerity Music
The Best Of The Johnny Cash TV Show: 1969-19712008Columbia Records
Johnny Cash2008Columbia Records
Gospel Music of Johnny Cash2008EMD
Country Boy2008Etertain Me
The Definitive Collection2008Mercury Records
Folsom Prison Blues2008Entertain Me
The Legend Of Johnny Cash: Volume II2007Island Records
Ring of Fire:Live San Antonio 19742008Emtertain Me
Wanted Man: The Johnny Cash Collection2008Sony/BMG
The Legendary Performance2008Entertain Me
Hit Collection2008Sony/BMG
Blue Train2008Delta Records
Best of Johnny Cash2008Phantom Sound & Vision
You Think You KNow What Happened That Day...?2008Sony/BMG
At Madison Square Garden/Man in Black: Live in Denmark 19712008Columbia Records
The Legend2008WNTS
Original Sun Singles '55-'582009Sundazed
16 From Four2009Sony Records
16 Biggest Hits (Limited Edition Collector's Crate)2009Sony Records
American VI: Aint No Grave2010American Recordings





United States

Record Label:

Sun Records/Columbia Records/Mercury Records/American Recordings

Christian Label:


Years Active: