World of Wonder: Celebrating Johnny Cash’s Birthday
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – J.R. Cash was born on February 26th, 1932 in Kingsland, Arkansas.
One of seven children, Cash grew up poor working the family farm to survive. Raised on gospel music and with guitar lessons from his mother, young J.R. was writing songs by the time he was 12.
In 1950, 18 year old J.R. enlisted in the Air Force. When he was told initials weren’t used, he changed his name to John, serving as a morse code operator in Germany, where he started his first band.
After his honorable discharge in 1954, he married sweetheart Vivian Liberto and moved to Memphis.
While selling alliances during the day and playing gigs at night, Cash began recording some of his originals at Sun Records, the studio that made Elvis famous.
During the next decade, Cash lived a troubled life. He began drinking, popping pills, went through divorce, and landed in jail seven times.
But Cash never slowed down, he went on to record hits like “I Walk the Line”, “Ring of Fire” and “A Boy Named Sue.”
In 1966, he found love again with country music star June Carter, and by the late sixties, was starring in his own television show.
An activist at heart, Johnny Cash gave free concerts at prisons and was dedicated to Native American causes.
Known as the man in black for his outfits, Cash was one of the few to be inducted into the country music, rock and roll and gospel music halls of fame, selling 90 million records world-wide.