He was the man in black.
He was the father of two talented children Rosanne Cash and John Carter Cash.
He left his first wife for a daughter of the Carter Family clan.
He was a devout but troubled Christian, bothered by addictions of many kinds.
He was given the name “J.R.” because his parents could not agree on a name, only on initials.
He was played in a movie by Joaquin Phoenix with Reese Witherspoon as his wife June.
He created an image of being an outlaw and although convicted of starting a forest fire his time in jail was pastoral – performing to prisoners in places like San Quentin, Folsom and Osteraker Prisons.
His early recordings continue to be repackaged and reissued as yet another Best of Johnny Cash – but those early “boom-chicka-boom” freight train recordings are still fantastic.
After a period of indifference and troubles he was rejuvenated by Rick Rubin and produced a series of incredible recordings of covers and traditional songs in the series American Recordings.
The posthumous American VI has just been released.
Happy birthday Johnny Cash.