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Johnny Cash

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Johnny Cash was born on February 26, 1932 in Kingsland, Arkansas. “The Man in Black” was then raised in Dyess, Arkansas where he worked in the cotton fields. Music was a part of his family’s everyday life. Cash was exposed to a wide range of musical influences ranging from his mother's folk songs and hymns to the work songs from the fields and nearby railroad yards. After his graduation from high school, Cash set off for Detroit in search for work. After working for sometime in Pontiac, Michigan, Cash enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. While in the service Cash organized his first band, the Landsberg Barbarians.

Cash decided to try his luck at the Sun Records studio, but after auditioning for Sam Phillips he was turned down. Cash went back to the studio to record with his band The Tennessee Three. His first recordings at Sun, "Hey Porter" and "Cry Cry Cry", were released in 1955 and met with reasonable success on the country hit parade. Following singles, like "So Doggone Lonesome" and "Folsom Prison Blues", were able to chart in the Top 10. His staple song "I Walk the Line" attained the number one position on the Billboard and stayed there for 43 weeks. It sold over 2 million copies. Cash switched to Columbia Records in search of more artistic freedom he could not achieve with Sun. Through the 50’s and 60’s he continued to create notable records and to chart singles like: "Don't Take Your Guns to Town", "I Got Stripes", "Ring of Fire", "Understand Your Man", and "The Ballad of Ira Hayes".

In the early 1960’s, the extensive touring started to take its toll on Johnny Cash. His marital relation started a downfall ending in divorce and he became addicted to narcotics. With the help of singing partner June Carter, Cash was able to overcome his addiction and revive his career. In 1980 he was introduced into the Country Music Hall of Fame and 1995 into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 1985 he joined Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson to form The Highwaymen (releasing three albums together). Cash passed away in September 12, 2003 from complications from diabetes.

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