On this day, September 12th, in 2003, the legendary Johnny Cash passed away. After a career that spanned almost 50 years, Cash became a country icon and is arguably one of the most influential musicians of the century.
Here are some things you may not have known about the Man in Black.
1. He didn’t think I Walk The Line was a good song.
Cash had often asked Sun records to stop sending the track to radio stations. Why? Because he didn’t like it. “I just didn’t think it was that good of a song. I just didn’t think anyone would like it,” Cash claimed.
2. June Carter Cash wrote Ring of Fire.
She wrote the song about Cash, a song which became his biggest hit.
3. Cash wrote over 10,000 letters to his first wife.
Cash went to serve in Germany during the war and exchanged thousands of letters with his first wife Vivian.
4. He took one voice lesson ever.
The teacher told him he was never to change the way that he sang.
5. His name was actually JR Cash.
Although he was nicknamed Johnny, his real name was in fact JR Cash.
6. He did a killer Elvis impersonation.
7. He was unbelievably kind to his friends.
Roy Orbison’s two sons were killed in a house fire that left the singer devastated and unable to cope with his grief. Orbison later rebuilt a house beside the lot where the original house had stood. Cash bought the original lot and turned it into an orchard. Following the death of Orbison, he signed the lot over to his surviving son.
8. He was the only person ever sued by the US for starting a forest fire.
A leak from Cash’s camper van set the Los Padres National Wildlife Refuge on fire and was sued by the US.
9. He coached Dolly Parton at the Grand Ole Opry.
For her first performance, Johnny Cash coached the country star backstage.