Think back to every picture you’ve ever seen of Johnny Cash. Chances are, you have images of a clean-shaven man dressed in a black suit in your mind. Over the course of his decades-long career, the Man in Black often kept the same look. His clean-shaven face and black outfits are almost as iconic as his deep voice.
It didn’t matter if he was making television appearances or posing for an album cover, Johnny Cash almost always looked the same. The only real difference was how much he aged over time. That makes the photo that John Carter Cash shared on his Instagram all the more surprising.
Johnny Cash is sporting a thick mustache in the photo. John Carter Cash says that the photo was taken in Montego Bay, Jamaica sometime around 1986 or 1987 in the caption. At the same time, Cash’s usually-slicked back hair is pretty wild. However, it was taken in Jamaica, so there’s a good chance that this is a look into a Cash family vacation. The Man in Black was probably more interested in making memories and spending time with his family than keeping up his usual clean-shaven and well-coiffed appearance. Who can blame him?
Johnny Cash in the Mid-Eighties
However, hardcore Johnny Cash fans probably won’t be surprised by his facial hair in this photo. This is especially true because of the time period in which it was taken. The album “Johnny Cash is Coming to Town” dropped in 1987. One of the singles from that album was a cover of Tennessee Ernie Ford’s “Sixteen Tons.” Check out the video for the song below.
You’ll notice that Johnny Cash is, in fact, rocking the same mustache as he is in the vacation picture posted by John Carter Cash.
No matter what the Man in Black wore on his face, his voice remained the same iconic booming baritone. The fact that Johnny Cash maintained basically the same look throughout most of his career just means that it is easier to conjure an image of him in your mind. When you hear his voice, you can close your eyes and see him singing. Whether it is one of his more up-tempo numbers like “Cocaine Blues” or his later, slower tracks like “Hurt,” the image is there. Cash left behind a legacy as one of the greatest and most influential artists in musical history. However, it is also nice to see him as a man on vacation. Seeing him spending time with his family and enjoying the tropical weather helps to humanize the legend that is Johnny Cash.