Johnny Cash

Induction Year: 1977

Birth Name: J. R. Cash

Birth Date: 02-26-1932

Place of Birth: Kingsland, Arkansas

Death Date: 09-12-2003

Place of Death: Hendersonville, Tennessee

If he had been only a singer, Johnny Cash would still be remembered for the ages. His voice — a deep, sonorous thing quavering between baritone and bass — may be the single most recognizable voice in American music. It suited him perfectly. An honest, working-class voice, it's the musical equivalent of shirtsleeves rolled up, of rough hands and hard work, of bedrock faith and personal doubts. It was tailor-made for telling his stories of the common man, stories he embodied as the son of Arkansas sharecroppers.

But Cash was more than a great singer. He expanded the vision of country music during his nearly 50-year career and dramatically widened its audience. As a recording artist, he effortlessly blurred distinctions between country, rock and folk music. Just as important, he was a songwriter with a knack for indelible lines and vivid storytelling who penned classic songs like "I Walk the Line," "Folsom Prison Blues," "Get Rhythm," "Home of the Blues" and "I Still Miss Someone."

Signed to the independent Sun Records label in 1955, he began issuing a string of self-penned classics on the label, including the iconic "I Walk the Line" and "Folsom Prison Blues." He signed with the larger Columbia Records in Nashville in 1958 and rose to superstardom there in the 1960s. He also created a series of concept albums for the label and memorably recorded live concerts at the San Quentin and Folsom prisons. Cash starred on his own ABC network television series from 1969 to 1971. This helped broaden his fame far beyond country music circles and solidified his national image as "The Man in Black." He also wrote and recorded a hit song with that title in 1971.

He married June Carter in 1968. The daughter of Maybelle Carter of the Carter Family, she became his duet partner. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1980 and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. In the 1980s, he recorded and toured in "The Highwaymen" with fellow living legends Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson. During the same decade, daughter Rosanne Cash became a country music hit maker.

In 1994, Johnny Cash formed an alliance with rock producer Rick Rubin and began issuing a series of spare, stark albums. These drew new attention to him as a songwriter and gave him a late-career "victory lap" via renewed cachet with non-country audiences.
 

"Big River"

Johnny Cash1958 #4 country
Bill Monroe1960 
Ian & Sylvia1967 
Hank Williams Jr.1970 
Chip Taylor1975 #61 country
The Grateful Dead1976 
Bob Luman1977 
Delbert McClinton1978 
Rosanne Cash1979 
Nashville Bluegrass Band1990 
Collin Raye1992 
 

"Cry! Cry! Cry!"

Johnny Cash1955 #14 country
Elvis Costello1982 
Marty Stuart1989 #32 country
David Allan Coe1998 
Joaquin Phoenix2005 soundtrack: <i>Walk the Line</i>
 

"Don't Take Your Guns to Town"

Johnny Cash1959 #1 country, #32 pop
Faron Young1963 
Jerry Douglas1998 
U22001 
Charlie Robison2002 
Wylie & the Wild West2007 
 

"Five Feet High and Rising"

Johnny Cash1959 #14 country, #76 pop

"Folsom Prison Blues"

Johnny Cash1956 #4 country
Porter Wagoner1967 
Johnny Cash 1968#1 country, #35 pop  
Merle Haggard1968 
Conway Twitty1968 
Bobby Bare1968 
Chet Atkins1969 
Flatt & Scruggs1969 
Ferlin Husky1969 
Ernest Tubb1969 
Hank Williams Jr.1970 
Hank Snow1971 
Jerry Reed1973 
Jerry Lee Lewis1981 
Bob Dylan1992 
Keb' Mo'2002 
Joaquin Phoenix2005 soundtrack: Walk the Line
Dierks Bentley2007 
The Grascals2011 
 

"Folsom Prison Blues #2"

(written with Don Bowman)

Don Bowman1974 #74 country

"Get Rhythm"

Johnny Cash1956 #9 country
NRBQ1983 
Ry Cooder1987 
Martin Delray1991 #27 country
Sweethearts of the Rodeo1993 
Carlene Carter1995 
David Allan Coe1998 
Little Richard2002 
Clarence Gatemouth Brown2003 
Joaquin Phoenix2005 soundtrack <i>Walk the Line</i>
 

"Give My Love to Rose"

Johnny Cash1957 #13 country
George Jones1962 
Hank Williams Jr.1970 
The Statler Brothers1977 
Bruce Springsteen2002 
 

"Happy to Be With You"

Johnny Cash1965 #9 country
 

"Hey Porter"

Johnny Cash1955 
Hank Williams Jr.1970 
Ry Cooder1971 
The Earl Scruggs Revue1975 
Bob Luman1977 

"Home of the Blues"

(written with Lillie McAlpin, Douglas G. Tubb)

Johnny Cash1957 #3 country, #88 pop
Ernest Tubb1957 
Hank Williams Jr.1970 
Billy Swan1976 
Dwight Yoakam1988 
Nashville Bluegrass Band1991 
Joaquin Phoenix2005 soundtrack <i>Walk the Line</i>
 

"I Got Stripes""

(written with Charlie Williams)

Johnny Cash1959 #4 country, #43 pop
Dale Watson2001 
George Jones2011 

"I Still Miss Someone"

(written with Roy Cash, Jr. )

Johnny Cash1958 
Joan Baez1964 
Flatt & Scruggs1965 #43 country
Webb Pierce1965 
The Statler Brothers1964 
Roy Clark1968 
Skeeter Davis1968 
International Submarine Band1968 
Hank Williams Jr.1970 
Linda Ronstadt1972 
Bill Anderson1975 
Don King1981 #38 country
Bill Monroe & Johnny Cash1984 
Stevie Nicks1989 
Emmylou Harris1989 #51 country
Suzy Bogguss & Chet Atkins1994 
Nanci Griffith1998 
Jimmy Buffett2003 
Martina McBride & Dolly Parton2005 
Tracy Nelson2007 
Charlie Louvin2010 
Chris Isaak2011 

"I Walk the Line"

Johnny Cash1956 #1 country, #17 pop
The Wilburn Brothers1961 
Patti Page1961 
Burl Ives1962 
The Everly Brothers1963 
Dean Martin1963 
The Ventures1963 
Bill Anderson & Jan Howard1967 
Flatt & Scruggs1969 
Hank Williams Jr.1970 
Waylon Jennings1979 
Hoyt Axton1982 
Dolly Parton1984 
Shelby Lynne1990 
Travis Tritt2002 
Willie Nelson & Jimmy Sturr2005 
Joaquin Phoenix2005 soundtrack <i>Walk the Line</i>
Norah Jones2007 
Chris Isaak2011 
 

"I Will Rock and Roll with You"

Johnny Cash1979 #21 country
 

"Luther Played the Boogie"

Johnny Cash1959 #8 country
 

"Man in Black"

Johnny Cash1971 #3 country, #58 pop
 

"Next In Line"

Johnny Cash1957 #9 country, #99 pop
 

"Pickin' Time"

Johnny Cash1958 
Walter Brennan1962 
Grandpa Jones1963 
Faron Young1964 
Lester Flatt1996 
Rosanne Cash2011 
 

"Ragged Old Flag"

Johnny Cash1974 #31 country
Moe Bandy1997 
 

"Rock 'n' Roll Ruby"

Warren Smith1956 
 

"Singing in Viet Nam Talking Blues"

Johnny Cash1971 #18 country
 

"So Doggone Lonesome"

Johnny Cash1956 #4 country
Ernest Tubb1956 
The Osborne Brothers1984 
 

"Straight A's in Love"

Johnny Cash1960 #16 country, #84 pop
 

"Tennessee Flat-Top Box"

Johnny Cash1961 #11 country, #84 pop
Cowboy Copas1963 
Hank Williams Jr.1970 
Rosanne Cash1988 #1 country
 

"The Matador"

Johnny Cash1963 #2 country, #44 pop
 

"Train of Love"

Johnny Cash1957 #7 country
Doc Watson1995 
David Allan Coe2000 
Bob Dylan2002 
Jimmie Dale Gilmore2005 
 

"Understand Your Man"

Johnny Cash1964 #1 country, #35 pop
Buck Owens1964 
Chet Atkins1965 
Hank Williams Jr.1970 
Dwight Yoakam2002 
 

"What Is Truth"

Johnny Cash1970 #3 country, #19 pop
 

"You Beat All I Ever Saw"

Johnny Cash1967 #20 country
Waylon Jennings1967 
Ernest Tubb1967 

Johnny Cash

Induction Year: 1977