Happy Birthday J. R. Cash

He was the man in black.

He was the father of two talented children Rosanne Cash and John Carter Cash.

His first wife Vivian wrote a book about her time with him.

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 met June Carter in 1968 and later she would help write the hit “Ring of Fire” and become his wife.

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 QuentinFolsom 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.

With his wife June he fronted an eclectic television series – the Johnny Cash show, and later the Johnny Cash Christmas special.

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.

He featured as a guest on the Simpsons,  the Muppets , and Dr Quinn Medicine Women, and you can listen to his authorized biography read by his friend Kris Kristofferson.

The posthumous American VI has just been released.

Happy birthday  Johnny Cash.