Yesterday, February 26th, we celebrate the birthday of the infamous Johnny Cash. Born in 1932, Cash was destined to be one of the world’s top musicians of his time and his legacy in music lives on today. Some of his chart-toppers include “I Walk the Line” (1957), “Hurt” (2002), “Ring of Fire” (1963), and my personal favorite, “Folsom Prison Blues” (1957). We all know Cash as an influential father of country music, but I’m writing this article to tell you a little bit about the legend that you may not know yet.
The “Man in Black” is characterized as a rebellious and talented musical artist but few people know that his real name is not “Johnny Cash.” The name on his birth certificate and high school diploma is “J.R. Cash” and once he joined the Air Force he changed his name to “John R. Cash.” Many know Cash to have been arrested before but few know how many times. Cash was arrested seven times, the most publicized of which was when he was caught crossing the border carrying hundreds of amphetamine pills. Also, he did not write one of his most popular songs, “Ring of Fire.” Anita and June Carter co-wrote the song and June based the lyrics off her strong feelings for Johnny Cash while they were both in committed marriages. The two eventually put out their rings of fire and got married in 1968.
Those were some biographical fun facts, but here’s some real fun facts that I know you don’t know yet. We all know Cash was a rebellious figure and had been arrested several times. Well, one of those times, he broke his toes trying to kick the bars out of the jail cell. Injuries bring me to my favorite Johnny Cash fun fact which is that he was once attacked by an Ostrich that broke his ribs by kicking him in the chest. Because Cash was such a strong, rebellious figure, it’s difficult to imagine that he felt fear, but sources say that he was terrified of flying and snakes. So, “Snakes on a Plane” was not Cash’s favorite move I suppose. Finally, Johnny Cash’s infamous facial scar is not from some brutal bar fight or skirmish of honor, but from a botched surgical procedure. His doctor came into the surgical room drunk and performed an improper cyst removal on the musician. This Doctor should be arrested for harming such a beautiful face.
We celebrate the life of Legend Johnny Cash who gifted this earth with music for 71 years. I urge you while on your walk to class or driving in the car to queue up “Ring of Fire” or “I Walk the Line” in honor of this musical Icon. R.I.P Johnny Cash (1932-2003).