With more than 50 million albums sold, Johnny Cash is one of the greatest and most popular performers in country music history. He is also the only person to be named to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Winner of 13 Grammy awards and owner of 14 number #1 hits on the country charts, his career began with his first recordings in 1955 on Sam Phillips' Sun Records and continued to his death last September 12, 2003 at the age of 71.
He enjoyed several renaissances over the years, most notably in the 1980s with the Highwaymen (Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Jennings) which garnered them two AMA awards and gold records, and most recently in mid-1990s, thanks to Rick Rubin of American Recordings, which led to five more Grammy Awards. Cash appeared on many popular television shows such as the Simpsons, Sesame Street, Columbo, Little House On The Prairie, as well as his own yearly Christmas Specials, the Johnny Cash show from 1969-1971, plus numerous films such as Gospel Road (which he wrote and produced), The Last Days of Frank and Jesse James and The Gunfight with Kirk Douglas.
Following the passing of his beloved wife June Carter Cash on May 15, 2003, Johnny returned to the studio to record "American V" to be released in August of 2004. Writer of hundreds of songs, many about the downtrodden and the disenfranchised, and a traveler of more than 45 years on the road, Cash has transcended country music status and become a worldwide icon to several generations.
June Carter Cash, born in 1929, was brought up in the first family of country music. Her mother Maybelle made history with sister Sarah and brother-in-law AP to make some of the earliest recordings of country music in 1927, including such classics as "Wildwood Flower" and "Will The Circle Be Unbroken." AP, Sarah and Maybelle broke up in the late 1930s and June, with sisters Anita and Helen, continued the tradition with their mother, touring with Maybelle in the 1940s and `50s. June joined Johnny Cash's country touring show in 1960, marrying him in 1968 and continuing to perform with him for the next three decades.
In 1967, Johnny and June won their first Grammy for their duo performance of "Jackson" and just three years later scored their second duo award for their recording of "If I Were A Carpenter." The Cashes continued to record and tour around the globe until health reasons forced them to stop in 1997.