Kris Kristofferson went into music after studying at Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. He moved to Nashville and made ends meet as a helicopter pilot. After trying unsuccessfully to get Johnny Cash to hear some of his songs, he finally got Cash’s attention by landing a helicopter on his lawn.
Merle Haggard was a 20 year old prisoner at San Quentin when he saw Johnny Cash play his first concert for inmates in 1958. Haggard said it helped turn his life around and inspired him to be a country artist. Cash always told Haggard, “You’re everything that people think I am.”
Johnny Cash performed dressed all in black, in contrast to most of the major country acts in his day – rhinestone suits and cowboy boots. Cash wrote the song “Man in Black” to explain that he wore black for the poor and hungry and those betrayed by age or drugs.
The legendary Johnny Cash fought for the rights of Native Americans and dedicated an entire album to them. Radio stations refused to play any of the album. In retaliation, Cash bought an ad on Billboard asking: “Where are your guts?”
Before he was a famous musician Johnny Cash was a military code breaker for the US Air Force. He worked as a as a Morse Intercept Operator in Germany, handling the hardest jobs, intercepting Russian intelligence & deciphering code transmissions. He copied the 1st news of Stalin’s death.
“Ring Of Fire” popularized by Johnny Cash was actually written by June Carter about her falling in love with Johnny Cash while he was still married to his first wife.
Johnny Cash released a whole album called “Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian” because Cash had been convinced that his ancestry was Cherokee, even by members of the Cherokee tribe. Later he found it he was not Cherokee at all, but Scottish, English and Scots-Irish.
Johnny Cash’s truck caused a massive forest fire that nearly wiped out an endangered species of condor. Upon being sued by the U.S. national government, Cash proclaimed: “I don’t care about your damn yellow buzzards.”
Johnny Cash took only one music lesson, after which his teacher told him, “Always do it your way.”