Johnny Cash (February 26, 1932 - September 12, 2003)
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Growing up, he was called J.R., and when he enlisted in the Air Force it was as John R. He took the name Johnny when he started recording for Sun Records.
Much of his childhood was spent working in his family's cotton fields. He was a teenager when he started playing guitar and writing songs.
In October 1965, Cash was arrested upon returning from Mexico when US Customs agents searched his luggage and found hundreds of illegal pills. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined $1,000.
In 1968, he married June Carter from the legendary Country music Carter Family. Cash credits her for saving his life, as she helped him break his drug habit.
Cash is a member of the Songwriters' Hall Of Fame, Country Music Hall Of Fame and the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France, for all above)
From 1969 to 1971, he hosted The Johnny Cash Show on ABC TV. Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Louis Armstrong all appeared as guests.
He died at age 71 due to complications from diabetes. (thanks, Melanie - Moncton, Canada)
The 2005 film Walk The Line is about Cash's life. He was portrayed in the movie by Joaquin Phoenix, who sang as Cash for the stage scenes.
He had his daughter Rosanne with his first wife, Vivian Liberto. Rosanne Cash became a prominent Country singer of her own, and had a crossover hit in 1981 with "Seven Year Ache." (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
Barry Gibb from The Bee Gees bought the Tennessee house Cash lived in from 1968 until his death. In 2007, while the home was being renovated for Gibb, it caught fire and burned to the ground. (thanks, Julian - Oakland, AR)
Cash played many free concerts at prisons throughout his career. His first was on New Year's Day, 1960 when he played San Quentin prison in San Rafael, California. Merle Haggard, who was serving time for burglary, was in the audience. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
A requirement at Johnny Cash shows was an American flag on stage in full view of the audience.
During his time serving in the Air Force, Cash was employed as a code breaker based in Germany, intercepting Morse Code transmissions from Russia.
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