February 26th, 2022 marks the 90th birthday of Johnny Cash. Johnny Cash is an iconic figure who transformed the music industry. Celebrate his legacy with these 29 facts about The Man in Black.
29 Facts You Didn’t Know About Johnny Cash
1. What year was Johnny Cash born?
Johnny Cash was born in 1932 on February 26th. 2022 would have been his 90th birthday.
2. Where was Johnny Cash born?
Johnny Cash was born in Kingsland, Arkansas.
3. How tall was Johnny Cash?
Johnny Cash stood at 6 foot 2 inches tall.
4. Who was Johnny Cash married to?
Johnny Cash married his first wife, Vivian Liberto in 1954. They divorced in 1966, and Johnny Cash went on to marry June Carter in 1968. Johnny and June were together until June’s death in 2003.
5. How old were June Carter and Johnny Cash when they got married?
When Johnny Cash and June Carter were married in 1968, June was 39 years old and Johnny Cash was 36.
6. How did Johnny Cash propose to June Carter?
Johnny Cash proposed to June Carter live on stage at the London Ice House in London, Ontario in 1968.
7. Was Johnny Cash arrested for picking flowers?
Although he was never sentenced, Johnny Cash was arrested on 7 different occasions. One of these 7 arrests took place in Starkville, Mississippi where Cash was arrested for picking flowers on private property. The event would inspire his song “Starkville City Jail.”
8. Where is Johnny Cash buried?
Johnny Cash is buried beside June Carter Cash at Hendersonville Cemetery in Hendersonville, Tennessee.
9. What was Johnny Cash’s last song?
Johnny Cash’s final song, recorded shortly before his death in 2003, was a cover of "Engine One-Forty-Three.” It was recorded for his son John Carter Cash's Carter family tribute album, titled The Unbroken Circle: The Musical Heritage of the Carter Family. The song was inspired by the true story of an 1890 train wreck of a luxury passenger train in West Virginia.
10. Was Johnny Cash in Little House on the Prairie?
Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash both made appearances in the series, inspired by Laura Ingles Wilder’s books. The pair played a couple, Caleb and Mattie Hodgekiss, in a 1976 episode of the show.
11. Was Johnny Cash in Columbo?
The Man in Black appeared in another 70s favorite too – Columbo! Cash made an appearance in the 1974 episode “Swan Song” as gospel singer Tommy Brown.
12. Did Johnny Cash serve in the military?
Johnny Cash served in the US Army Air Force from 1950 to 1954. He was honorably discharged as a Staff Sergeant. It was during his time in the Air Force when Cash was inspired to write Folsom Prison Blues.
13. How did Johnny Cash get the scar on his face?
Johnny Cash acquired the distinctive scar on his chin during his time in the Air Force, as a result of a surgery to remove a cyst.
14. Did Johnny Cash know Morse Code?
During his time with the Air Force, Johnny Cash was assigned to the 12th Radio Squadron Mobile in Landsberg, West Germany. Here, he worked as a Morse Code operator intercepting Soviet Army transmissions.
In fact, he was stationed in Germany when the news broke that Joseph Stalin had died, although whether or not Cash was the first American to intercept that news has been the subject of much debate.
15. What guitar did Johnny Cash play?
Throughout his career, Johnny Cash favorited Martin guitars. The most memorable of these is his custom Martin D-35, rumored to be Martin’s first guitar with a polished black finish.
16. How did Johnny Cash become famous?
Johnny Cash broke onto the music scene in 1955, with a deal from Memphis’s Sun Records. By 1969 Cash was an international hit, eclipsing even The Beatles in album sales.
17. How many awards did Johnny Cash win?
The Man in Black became a legend. Over the course of his career and posthumously, Johnny Cash was awarded with 71 awards 11 Hall of Fame inductions. This includes Grammys, Country Music Awards, and Cash’s 2018 induction to the Grammy Hall of Fame for At Folsom Prison.
18. What Nine Inch Nails song did Johnny Cash cover?
Originally recorded by the rock band Nine Inch Nails, Johnny Cash covered “Hurt” in 2002. The cover was so poignant that Nine Inch Nails’ lead vocalist Trent Reznor is quoted as saying “that song isn’t mine anymore.”
19. What Depeche Mode song did Johnny Cash cover?
Johnny Cash also covered “Personal Jesus” by the English electronic band Depeche Mode for his 2002 album American IV: The Man Comes Around.
20. Did Johnny Cash and Elvis ever perform together?
Both Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley kicked off their careers in Tennessee in the mid-1950s. In fact, they were signed to the same record company – Sun Records. The two were reported to be friends as young men in the 50s, and both were famously part of the album Million Dollar Quartet. The album is a recording of a 1956 impromptu jam session featuring Cash, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins.
21. Did Johnny Cash go to college?
Johnny Cash graduated from high school in Arkansas in 1950, after which he enlisted in the Air Force. While he did not go to college, he was awarded several honorary degrees throughout his career, including an honorary Doctorate in Humanities from Gardner-Webb University, and an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from National University.
22. Did Johnny Cash write his own songs?
Johnny Cash wrote many of his best hits himself, including “Cry, Cry, Cry,” “Man in Black” and “Folsom Prison Blues.”
23 Did Cash write “Ring of Fire?”
While he did write much of his own music, the legendary song “Ring of Fire” was actually co-written by June Carter and Merle Kilgore. Originally sung by June’s sister Anita Carter, Cash loved the song and went on to release his own version.
24. How many albums did Johnny Cash make?
Johnny Cash is a legend in American Music and was a prolific songwriter and artist. Over the course of his career, he released 97 albums.
25. Did Cash once release chicks in a hotel?
Johnny Cash and his Tennessee Three bandmates once released 500 baby chickens in the hotel they were staying at. The group bought the animals from a local hatchery and released 100 on each of the building’s 5 floors.
26. Which music legend bought Johnny Cash’s home?
Johnny and June lived in a lakefront Tennessee mansion until their deaths in 2003. After their passing, the property was purchased by another musical legend, Barry Gibb, the lead vocalist for The Bee Gees. Tragically, however, the property was devastated by a 2007 fire while renovations were underway.
27. What spider is named after Johnny Cash?
A 2015 study of tarantulas introduced 14 new species… including one named after Cash! The spider, named Aphonopelma Johnnycashi, is a black, hairy tarantula that was found in abundance near Folsom Prison. Because of this, it was named after The Man in Black, who performed there decades earlier.
28. Was Johnny Cash a minister?
After marrying June, Johnny Cash began to reexamine his life and reconnect with his faith as a Christian. This led to him studying theology and, ultimately, becoming an ordained minister in the early 1980s.
29. Was Johnny Cash an activist?
Johnny Cash was a lifelong activist. He spoke out for Native Americans and championed causes such as prison reform. His advocacy included calls for improvements such as a focus on rehabilitation not punishment, and reclassification of offenses to keep minor offenders out of prison. He also contributed to the SOS Children’s Village, which cared for children who could no longer live with their families.
On his 90th birthday, we’re celebrating the monumental legacy of Johnny Cash. His songs were infused with his pain and humanity, creating music that resonated with listeners worldwide.