Artist Name: Johnny Cash

10 Feb 2006, 14:45 104,784,040 2,806,065

Johnny CashJohnny Cash (born J.R. Cash; February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor, and author. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 90 million records worldwide. Although primarily remembered as a country music icon, his genre-spanning songs and sound embraced rock and roll, rockabilly, blues, folk, and gospel.

Cash was known for his deep, calm bass-baritone voice, the distinctive sound of his Tennessee Three backing band characterized by train-sound 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." He traditionally began his concerts by simply introducing himself, "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash," followed by his signature song "Folsom Prison Blues".

Much of Cash's music contained themes of sorrow, moral tribulation, and redemption, especially in the later stages of his career. His other signature songs include "I Walk the Line", "Ring of Fire", "Get Rhythm", and "Man in Black". He also recorded humorous numbers like "One Piece at a Time" and "A Boy Named Sue"; a duet with his future wife, June Carter, called "Jackson" (followed by many further duets after their wedding); and railroad songs including "Hey, Porter", "Orange Blossom Special", and "Rock Island Line". During the last stage of his career, Cash covered songs by several late 20th-century rock artists, notably "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails and "Rusty Cage" by Soundgarden.

Johnny Cash was born on February 26, 1932, in Kingsland, Arkansas, to Ray Cash and Carrie Cloveree (née Rivers). He was the fourth of seven children, who were in birth order: Roy, Margaret Louise, Jack, J. R., Reba, Joanne, and Tommy (who also became a successful country artist). He was primarily of English and Scottish descent. As an adult he traced his surname to 11th-century Fife, after meeting with the then-laird of Falkland, Major Michael Crichton-Stuart. Cash Loch and other locations in Fife bear the name of his family.

At birth, Cash was named J. R. Cash. When Cash enlisted in the United States Air Force, he was not permitted to use initials as a first name, so he changed his name to John R. Cash. In 1955, when signing with Sun Records, he started going by Johnny Cash.

In March 1935, when Cash was three years old, the family settled in Dyess, Arkansas, a New Deal colony established to give poor families a chance to work land that they had a chance to own as a result. Cash started working in cotton fields at the age of five, singing along with his family while working. The Cash farm experienced a flood during the family's time in Dyess, which led Cash later to write the song "Five Feet High and Rising". His family's economic and personal struggles during the Great Depression inspired many of his songs, especially those about other people facing similar difficulties. Consequently, Cash had sympathy for the poor and working class throughout his life.

Cash was very close to his older brother, Jack. On Saturday May 12, 1944, Jack was pulled into an unguarded table saw at his high school while cutting oak into fence posts as his job and was almost cut in two. He lingered until the following Saturday, when he died. Cash often spoke of the horrible guilt he felt over this incident; according to Cash: The Autobiography, his father was away that morning, but Johnny, his mother, and even Jack himself, all had premonitions or a sense of foreboding about that day. His mother urged Jack to skip work and go fishing with his brother, but Jack insisted on working since the family needed the money at the time. On his deathbed, Jack said he had visions of Heaven and angels. Decades later, Cash spoke of looking forward to meeting his brother in Heaven.

Cash's early memories were dominated by gospel music and radio. Taught guitar by his mother and a childhood friend, Cash began playing and writing songs at the age of 12. When young, Cash had a high-tenor voice, before becoming a bass-baritone after his voice changed.

In high school, he sang on a local radio station. Decades later, he released an album of traditional gospel songs, called My Mother's Hymn Book. He was also significantly influenced by traditional Irish music, which he heard performed weekly by Dennis Day on the Jack Benny radio program.

In 1997, Cash was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease Shy–Drager syndrome, a form of multiple system atrophy. According to biographer Robert Hilburn, the disease was originally misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease, and Cash even announced to his audience that he had Parkinson's after nearly collapsing on stage in Flint, Michigan, on October 25, 1997. Soon afterwards, his diagnosis was changed to Shy–Drager, and Cash was told he had about 18 months to live. The diagnosis was later again altered to autonomic neuropathy associated with diabetes. The illness forced Cash to curtail his touring. He was hospitalized in 1998 with severe pneumonia, which damaged his lungs.

During the last stage of his career, Cash released the albums American III: Solitary Man (2000) and American IV: The Man Comes Around (2002). American IV included cover songs by several late 20th-century rock artists, notably "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails and "Personal Jesus" by Depeche Mode. Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails commented that he was initially skeptical about Cash's plan to cover "Hurt", but was later impressed and moved by the rendition. The video for "Hurt" received critical and popular acclaim, including a Grammy Award.

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 few 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. She's never been one for me except courage and inspiration. I thank God for June Carter. I love her with all my heart. "

Cash continued to record until shortly before his death. His final recordings were made on August 21, 2003, and consisted of "Like the 309", which appeared on American V: A Hundred Highways in 2006, and the final song he completed, "Engine 143", which was recorded for his son John Carter Cash for a planned Carter Family tribute album.

Top Track of Atist: Johnny Cash

Hurt - Johnny Cash

Hurt

1,094,073
8,640,885
I Walk the Line - Johnny Cash

I Walk the Line

760,435
3,918,358
Ring of Fire - Johnny Cash

Ring of Fire

753,917
3,802,811
Folsom Prison Blues - Johnny Cash

Folsom Prison Blues

558,009
2,782,848
Personal Jesus - Johnny Cash

Personal Jesus

401,855
1,917,257
The Man Comes Around - Johnny Cash

The Man Comes Around

382,791
2,096,109
God's Gonna Cut You Down - Johnny Cash

God's Gonna Cut You Down

309,273
1,959,913
Give My Love to Rose - Johnny Cash

Give My Love to Rose

303,816
1,180,581
Get Rhythm - Johnny Cash

Get Rhythm

303,079
1,192,046
Man in Black - Johnny Cash

Man in Black

269,675
1,159,577
Big River - Johnny Cash

Big River

254,002
954,054
I Still Miss Someone - Johnny Cash

I Still Miss Someone

249,260
967,868
One - Johnny Cash

One

244,134
1,321,056
Jackson - Johnny Cash

Jackson

234,510
907,689
I Hung My Head - Johnny Cash

I Hung My Head

227,428
1,011,506
A Boy Named Sue - Johnny Cash

A Boy Named Sue

211,511
792,796
Hey Porter - Johnny Cash

Hey Porter

205,925
726,935
In My Life - Johnny Cash

In My Life

197,814
757,608
Cocaine Blues - Johnny Cash

Cocaine Blues

189,180
844,987
I've Been Everywhere - Johnny Cash

I've Been Everywhere

179,591
712,186
I Got Stripes - Johnny Cash

I Got Stripes

179,321
657,800
Rusty Cage - Johnny Cash

Rusty Cage

173,592
713,069
Solitary Man - Johnny Cash

Solitary Man

166,481
1,015,557
Daddy Sang Bass - Johnny Cash

Daddy Sang Bass

166,205
594,670
Cry, Cry, Cry - Johnny Cash

Cry, Cry, Cry

163,946
571,883
One Piece At A Time - Johnny Cash

One Piece At A Time

162,515
572,067
Sam Hall - Johnny Cash

Sam Hall

162,295
582,686
Desperado - Johnny Cash

Desperado

160,469
579,985
Danny Boy - Johnny Cash

Danny Boy

160,233
530,665
We'll Meet Again - Johnny Cash

We'll Meet Again

159,094
577,920
I Won't Back Down - Johnny Cash

I Won't Back Down

158,238
737,452
Ain't No Grave - Johnny Cash

Ain't No Grave

143,502
743,857
Tear Stained Letter - Johnny Cash

Tear Stained Letter

138,993
450,225
There You Go - Johnny Cash

There You Go

129,614
386,093
Delia's Gone - Johnny Cash

Delia's Gone

128,379
439,990
The Mercy Seat - Johnny Cash

The Mercy Seat

127,437
571,313
The Long Black Veil - Johnny Cash

The Long Black Veil

124,668
405,644
I See a Darkness - Johnny Cash

I See a Darkness

121,081
617,768
Streets Of Laredo - Johnny Cash

Streets Of Laredo

114,650
369,178