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Although he was in many ways spiraling out of control, Cash could still deliver hits due to his frenetic creativity. His rendition of "Ring of Fire" was a crossover hit, reaching number one on the country charts and entering the top 20 on the pop charts. It was originally performed by June's sister, but the signature mariachi-style horn arrangement was provided by Cash. - Johnny Cash interviewed on the Pop Chronicles (1969). Johnny Cash is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 90 million records worldwide. Johnny Cash sang country, rock and roll, rockabilly, blues, folk, and gospel. He said that it had come to him in a dream. Vivian Liberto claimed a different version of the origins of "Ring of Fire". In her book, I Walked the Line: My Life with Johnny, Liberto says that Cash gave Carter the credit for monetary reasons. - Liberto, I Walked the Line: My Life with Johnny.
Well, my daddy left home when I was three, and he didn't leave much for ma and me, just this old guitar and an empty bottle of booze. Now I don't blame him 'cause he ran and hid, but the meanest thing that he ever did was before he left, he went and named me Sue.
For Johnny Cash, black stage attire was a "symbol of rebellion — against a stagnant status quo, against hypocritical houses of God, against people whose minds are closed to others' ideas". - Cash, Johnny; Carr, Patrick (2003). Cash: The Autobiography. Harper Collins.
"Rock Island Line" is an American folk song. Ostensibly about the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad, it appeared as a folk song as early as 1929. The first recorded performance of "Rock Island Line" was by inmates of the Arkansas Cummins State Farm prison in 1934.
His other signature songs include "I Walk the Line", "Ring of Fire", "Get Rhythm", and "Man in Black". He also recorded humorous numbers like "One Piece at a Time" and "A Boy Named Sue"; a duet with his future wife, June Carter, called "Jackson."