Johnny Cash Martin Guitar
 
Johnny Cash struttin’ his stuff, jammin’ on his Martin guitar, CA. 1959.

Now Johnny Cash’s life wasn’t exactly a cakewalk back in the day.  Cash was touring like a banshee —  the marriage was crumbling — they (he and first wife Vivian) had 4 baby girls to take care of — he was partying like a fiend — he and his badass buddies, like Waylon Jennings, were taking every pill there was — he gets busted in El Paso for possession — you get the picture, the guy lived hard.  Yet, looking at these pictures, he looks simply amazing.  Cash’s style during this time, with his tight, slicked back hair and crisp, clean tailoring look unbelievable compared to the 1970s ‘bigger is better’ looks that were to follow. I will say though that once you get to 1965-66 — well, you can see that the effects are definitely starting to show on Johnny’s face.  All in all though, he had an amazing run even with all the crap going on, until it eventually caught up with him — and it always does.  

Johnny Cash Johnny
Cash backstage and his awesome custom Gibson with his name inlayed in the fingerboard.

 Johnny Cash

Johnny cash with his custom “Johnny Cash” Gibson guitar, Memphis, TN, ca. 1960.

johnny cash
Johnny Cash holding a to guitar, sitting with daughters Rosanne, Cathy and Tara in 1960.
 
Johnny Cash
Country singer Johnny Cash smokes a cigarette in his hotel room in White Plains, New York, ca. 1959

Johnny Cash Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash Johnny
Cash rehearses with his wife Vivian Liberto for his upcoming appearance on the television show

 

Johnny Cash Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash tunes his guitar backstage in White Plains, New York, ca. 1959.
Johnny Cash tunes his guitar backstage in White Plains, New York, ca. 1959.

 

Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash Jerry
Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, ca. 1956. The Quartet was really an impromptu jam (and publicity photo op, no doubt) between four famous musicians that was recorded by Sam Phillips at his Sun Studios.

 

Johnny Cash
The Man in Black — Johnny Cash, taken in Memphis, TN, ca. 1957.

 Johnny Cash

The Man in Black — Johnny Cash, taken in Memphis, TN, ca. 1957.

Johnny Cash and electric guitarist Luther Perkins perform on stage in White Plains, New York. Cash's hair flies up in the air crazily as he jams to the music, ca. 1959.
Johnny Cash and electric guitarist Luther Perkins perform on stage in White Plains, New York. Cash’s hair flies up in the air crazily as he jams to the music, ca. 1959.

 

Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash in the recording studio looking reflective.

 

Johnny Cash El Paso 1965 Johnny Cash gets busted in El Paso International Airport for drug possession, 1965.

 

Johnny Cash busted in El Paso

October 5th, 1965 – JOHNNY CASH MAKES BOND – Country and Western star Johnny Cash, center, is flanked by a bondsman and a U.S. Marshall as he was transferred from El Paso County Jail to the Federal Courthouse Tuesday. Cash was arrested at International Airport Monday and charged with importing and concealing over 1,000 pep pills and tranquilizers. Bond was $1,500.

Johnny Cash and wife Vivian

December 29th, 1965 – JOHNNY CASH PLEADS GUILTY – Country and Western music singer and recording star Johnny Cash entered a plea of guilty before U.S. District Judge D.W. Suttle Tuesday at his arraignment on charges of possessing 668 Dexadrin and 475 Equanil tablets when arrested Oct 4 at El Paso International Airport. Cash, left, leaves the Federal Courthouse with his wife, Vivian, and attorney Woodrow W. Bean after Judge Suttle deferred sentence on the misdemeanor charge that carried a possible penalty up to $1,000 fine and one year in prison.

Johnny Cash El Paso 1966

March 9th, 1966 – SINGER RELAXES – Johnny Cash, right, Country and Western music star talks to friends in a local restaurant after receiving a $1,000 fine and a 30-day suspended sentence Tuesday in U.S. District Court for possession of illegal drugs. With Cash, second from left, are the Rev. Floyd Bressett, minister of the non-denominational Avenue Community Church, of Ventura, Calif.; El Paso attorney Woodrow W. Bean, who Cash said gave him “strength during my ordeal,” and Johnny Thompson, a friend and former radio announcer.

Johnny Cash
Give ’em Hell, Johnny!
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