Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash

Posted on January 19, 2015

Look up the word “legend” in the dictionary and you’ll find Johnny Cash. From his birth in Arkansas in 1932 through his amazing recording career and marriage to June Carter Cash, he lived life to the fullest right up to the very end. Here’s our Johnny Cash timeline.

Feb. 26, 1932
Johnny Cash is born in Kingsland, Arkansas to Ray Cash and Carrie Cloveree, Southern Baptist cotton farmers.

Brother Jack is nearly cut in half by a table saw and dies after a week of suffering. Cash later says that he felt guilt because he had gone fishing that day.

Marries Vivian Liberto.

Releases his first recording with Sun Records: “Hey Porter” and “Cry Cry Cry.”

Daughter Rosanne Cash is born.

Releases a full-length album on Sun Records.

Releases the album, Bitter Tears.

Johnny Cash Bitter Tears

Bitter Tears

Is arrested in El Paso, Texas for possession of narcotics.

Releases the album, Ballads of the True West.

Johnny Cash Ballads of the True West

Ballads of the True West


Is arrested in Starkville, Mississippi for trespassing on private property. He had been picking flowers.

June Carter and Cash win a Grammy for Best Country & Western Performance, Duet, Trio or Group for their song, “Jackson.”

Oct. 1967
Attempts suicide by crawling into Nickajack Cave in Tennessee. He comes out of the cave after having a religious relevation.

Cash proposes to Carter onstage at a concert in London, Ontario and she accepts.

March 1, 1968
Cash and Carter marry.

Aug. 1968
His guitarist Luther Perkins dies in a house fire.

Oct. 1968
Friend and next door neighbor Roy Orbison’s house burns down, killing two of Orbison’s sons. This event, in addition to the loss of Luther Perkins, affected Cash profoundly.

Releases the album, Johnny Cash at Folson Prison.

Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison

Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison

Releases the album, Johnny Cash at San Quentin. The single “A Boy Named Sue” reaches #1 on the country charts and #2 on the U.S. pop charts.

Johnny Cash at San Quentin

Johnny Cash at San Quentin

His tv show premieres on the ABC network.

Their son, John Carter Cash, is born.

Carter and Cash win a Grammy for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for “If I Were a Carpenter.”

Writes the song “Man in Black” with the lyrics: “I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down, / Livin’ in the hopeless, hungry side of town, / I wear it for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime, / But is there because he’s a victim of the times.”

Publishes an autobiography, Man in Black. It sells 1.3 million copies.

Johnny Cash Man in Black

Man in Black by Johnny Cash

Sept. 27. 1976
Cash and Carter guest star together on an episode of Little House on the Prairie entitled “The Collection.”

Johnny Cash on Little House on the Prairie

Johnny Cash on Little House on the Prairie

At the age of 48, Cash is the youngest living inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Stars in the tv movie, The Pride of Jesse Hallam.

Stars in the tv movie, Murder in Coweta County, co-starring Andy Griffith.

He is attacked by an ostrich in his wild animal park in Tennessee, crushing several ribs and having his stomach torn open. While recovering, he becomes addiction to painkillers.

Dec. 1983
Cash checks into Betty Ford to kick his prescription pill addiction.

Publishes a novel, Man in White.

Johnny Cash Man in White

Man in White by Johnny Cash

July 1986
Columbia Records drops Cash after a decade without a hit.

Sings the vocals on the U2 song, “The Wanderer,” on the Zooropa album.

April 1994
Releases the acoustic album, American Recordings. Produced by Rick Rubin, the success of the album revives his career and brings him a new generation of fans. It wins a Grammy for Contemporary Folk Album of the Year.

Johnny Cash American Recordings

American Recordings

Releases a second album with Rubin called Unchained. The album wins a Grammy award for Best Country Album.

Johnny Cash Unchained


Cash is diagnosed with Shy-Drager syndrome, a neurodegenerative disease related to diabetes.

He is hospitalized with severe pneumonia.

Publishes his second autobiography, Cash: The Autobiography.

Cash the Autobiography

Cash: The Autobiography

Releases the album, American III: Solitary Man. It wins the Grammy for Best Country Male Vocal Performance for the cover of Neil Diamond’s “Solitary Man.”

American III Solitary Man

American III: Solitary Man

Due to heart trouble, June is fitted with a pacemaker.

Releases the album, American IV: The Man Comes Around. One song, “Hurt,” is written by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and becomes a huge hit.

American IV The Man Comes Around

American IV: The Man Comes Around

Oct. 2002
Films the video for “Hurt.” The video receives seven nominations at the MTV Video Music Awards and wins for Best Cinematography.

Feb. 2003
Wins a Grammy for Best Country Male Vocal Performance for the song “Give My Love to Rose.” The video for “Hurt” wins a Grammy for Best Short Form Video.

April 7, 2003
June appears on the CMT Flameworthy Awards to accept an award in honor of Cash.

May 7, 2003
June undergoes heart valve replacement surgery. The surgery appears at first to be a success.

May 15, 2003
Unexpected complications arise from the surgery and she dies at the age of 73 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Sept. 12, 2003
Johnny Cash dies of complications from diabetes at the age of 71. He is buried next to June in Hendersonville, Tennessee.

Nov. 18, 2005
A film about their life, Walk the Line, is released. It stars Joaquin Phoenix as Cash and Reese Witherspoon as June Carter Cash.

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