If an actor is nominated for an Oscar portraying you, then you know you've had either a successful or a controversial existence. Johnny Cash had both. Cash's career began in 1955 with hits "Hey Porter" and "Cry! Cry! Cry!". Hanging out with the likes of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins, Cash's success was immediate. He regularly had albums and records in the Hot 100 until his death in 2003. In 1968, Cash married his second wife June Carter, who he would be married to until her death in 2003. The film Walk the Line was a biopic of Cash's life, especially his time with June Carter, and was nominated for five Oscars.
Johnny Cash was born in Kingsland Arkansas during the Great Depression and was picking cotton by the age of five to help support his family. He started playing guitar and writing songs at a young age. He joined the Air Force and served in Germany where he formed his first band. In ’54 he left the army and moved to Memphis Tennessee where he started his singing career. In ’55 he released his first country music singles and in ’56 he took part in a recording session with early rock icons Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis Presley. That same year he released the album, ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ featuring the hit single "I Walk the Line" which went to the top of both country and pop charts; followed quickly by his signature classic song, "Ring of Fire."
During the 50’s and 60’s Cash continued to release hit singles and cultivate an outlaw image. He was arrested and jailed many times on different charges, but in ’68 he stopped using drugs. He hosted ‘The Johnny Cash Show’ from ’69 to ’71, and guest starred on several TV shows in the 70’s and 80’s. Starting in ’94 he released several Grammy winning albums that brought him to a brand new audience: ‘American Recordings,' ‘Unchained,' ‘American III: Solitary Man,' and ‘American IV: The Man Comes Around.' In 2003 his wife June Carter Cash died, and 4 months later Johnny Cash passed away.
Johnny Cash is remembered as one of the great country, rock, and pop musicians ever, with a deep bass voice, poignant lyrics, and for always wearing black. He wrote the song, "Man in Black" in ’71 and explained, "We're doing mighty fine I do suppose / In our streak of lightning cars and fancy clothes / But just so we're reminded of the ones who are held back / Up front there ought to be a man in black."