Johnny Cash was a countryman through and through.
The Man in Black had a reputation for his deep, bass-baritone voice, sorrow tunes, and his Tennessee Three band that brought along chugging guitar sounds and an overtone of rebellion.
Before he was introducing himself in front of packed concerts by saying, “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash,” the “I Walk the Line” singer was living out in Kingsland, Arkansas.
Johnny Cash Life on the Farm
A recent photo from Johnny Cash’s official Twitter account shows the legendary artist posing on the farm. He’s wearing a straw hat and an iconic thinly striped flannel.
He was born to poor cotton farmers before he eventually rocked the scene in Memphis, Tennessee as one of the best-selling artists of all time. He was the son of Carrie Cloveree and Ray Cash. When he was only 3, his family settled on land in Arkansas as part of the New Deal in 1935. It gave different families the opportunity to work on land and eventually be able to own it.
Cash would maneuver through the fields working alongside his family and singing with them as he worked when he was only 5. He would drag along a six-foot-long canvas sack through the fields to pick cotton.
“The bolls were sharp, and unless you were really concentrating when you reached out for them, they got you. After a week or two, your fingers were covered with little red wounds, some of them pretty painful,” he wrote in his 1997 autobiography, “Cash.”
Although times were tough for the Cash family, the experience would eventually factor into his music. He always had a soft spot for the poor and working-class and it was often a focus in his songwriting. He was also adamant about prisoner rights and would perform free concerts inside of different prisons.
In addition to tough days in the fields, Johnny Cash’s older brother Jack also passed away when he was just a young boy. He was almost cut in half by a table saw and died a week later.
Cash’s Adult Life
Cash’s love for the outdoors and farming didn’t fade into his adult life, either. He bought a property in the early 1970s in Bon Aqua, Tennessee. It was a peaceful and gorgeous 107-acre farm where he ended up spending about 30 years of his life.
The farm was purchased by fans of Cash in 2015 and turned into the Storytellers Hideaway Farm and Museum. When Cash bought the land, he used to do weekly concerts over at a nearby general store. He once deemed the land “the center of his universe.”
For many music fanatics, Johnny Cash feels like the very center of their musical universe. Despite passing away in 2003, Cash continues to draw in new waves of fans. There’s even a new live album coming out on October 29 called “Bear’s Sonic Journals: Johnny Cash, At The Carousel Ballroom, April 24, 1968.”
We got our first taste of the album on August 26 when “The Ballad of Ira Hayes” was released early.