“Hello, I’m Johnny Cash.” Can you remember these famous lines? If you do, put on your dancing shoes and enjoy the “boom-chicka-boom.” On the contrary, if you are wondering what’s going on, these are Johnny Cash’s famous introduction lines and his songs’ trademark sound, respectively.

Johnny Cash was a legendary musician who fought many battles to create a name for himself. From his “outlaw” nature to his deep baritone voice and the famous “Johnny Cash Show,” here are a few Johnny Cash facts to help you reminisce about the good old times.

1. His Name Was J.R Cash

Before “Johnny,” there was simply J.R., a young boy from Arkansas. After completing high school and was ready to join the military, he made up the name Johnny. The recruiter wouldn’t accept his initials for an official name.

Ironically, most people, including Sam Phillips, Johnny’s first record producer, thought “Cash” was a made-up name.

2. All He Needed Was a Guitar and His Voice

Many musicians have tried and failed to reach the standards that Johnny Cash did. His supporters knew him for his musical ingenuity – with only a guitar and his deep baritone voice, he created magic. Johnny’s voice remained even in the later years when his health deteriorated. Additionally, his love for black attire also formed a part of his trademark.

Johnny Cash’s version of “Hurt” perfectly illustrates how he used his voice to conquer the industry. It’s widely accepted as one of the most touching songs he ever did. Aside from his many collaborations, the legend released 91 albums and about 170 singles over his lengthy career.

3. He Was Often a Guest of the State

Johnny Cash had several personalities. On one hand, he inspired people with his music and shared his winnings, but on the other side, he wasn’t afraid of breaking some laws. To put this into perspective, Cash was arrested 7 times. Most of his crimes included driving under the influence and drug possession.

Interestingly, some of his best-selling albums, “Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison” and Johnny Cash at San Quentin,” were written, recorded, and released while he was in prison. Here, he learned of inmates’ plights and sympathized with them. It explains how he eventually fought so hard for their rights.

4. His Second Wife Helped Him Fight Addiction

Before June Carter Cash, Johnny Cash was married to Vivian Liberto, a controversial union that ended after 13 years. At the time, the legendary musician was addicted to drugs and needed help. As it turns out, his second wife, June Carter, would be his saving grace.

Together, they fought through the dark period until Johnny Cash completely quit. They stayed together until 2003 when they passed away 4 months apart.

5. Johnny Cash Was a Devoted Christian

Cash was born into a Christian family and maintained that throughout his existence. Even though sometimes he did not act like it (his rebellion and drug addiction), he quickly accepted his errors and made amends.

He was so committed that he joined and graduated from a theological school in the 70s. Johnny was an active and recognized minister. In fact, he officially oversaw his daughter’s wedding.

6. He Was a Philanthropist

As much as Johnny Cash portrayed the image of a tough, outlaw person, he gave much back to the community. Immediately he became a millionaire from the sales of his songs, he delved into various philanthropic acts, including:

  • He supported mental health associations
  • Funded a home for autistic children
  • Facilitated groups such as YWCA, the American Cancer Society, and Youth for Christ
  • He campaigned for prison reforms and performed for inmates

7. Johnny Cash Was Inducted In Several Hall of Fames

Johnny Cash’s music impacted his listeners in various appreciated ways. This was evident in the 11 Grammy Awards he scooped over time. He was also inducted into multiple Hall of Fames, including Rock and Roll, Songwriters, and Country Music.

His other musical achievements include a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, an NMA, and the Kennedy Center Honors.

8. He Wasn’t a Native American

Many people often ask, “Was Jonny Cash Native American?” The answer is no, he wasn’t. Cash associated himself with Cherokee for the longest time but later changed that stance. As history has it, the country music icon was of English and Scottish descent. A DNA test on his daughter Rosanne further confirms that he wasn’t a native.

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Last Update: July 25, 2023