This section includes the years from 1950 until 1954.
– Joined Air Force in 1950
– Met Vivian Liberto
– Was sent to serve in Landsberg
– Married Vivian in 1954
– Moved to Memphis, Tennessee
– Salesman and studying
– Met the Tennessee Two
– Auditioned at Sun Records
Man in Blue
When J. R. Cash signed up for the air force he couldn’t have only initials. It was then that J. R. adopted John R. Cash as his legal name.
After basic trainging at Lackland Air Force Base and technical training at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio, he was sent to U.S. Air Force Security Service unit in Landsberg.
John had still the interest for music and actually bought his first guitar while he was in the Air Force.
It was also in Germany that he saw the B-movie “Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison (1951)”, and he wrote the very famous Folsom Prison Blues.
Cash had met the girl Vivian Liberto when he was at the training base in Brooks. And after John’s service ended in July, 1954, he went straight to Vivian and married her. They got married August 7 the same year.
Together they would have four doughters; Rosanne, Kathleen, Cindy and Tara, before divorcing in 1966 (wich I will get back to in another period).
Rosanne Cash would get quite a career within music.
Salesman in Memphis
When John and Vivian got married, they moved to Memphis, Tennessee. Here Johnny Cash made to his living by selling appliances, a career that didn’t go as well as the music later would.
At the same time he was studying to be a radio announcer. He was from young age very interested in the radio, and performed at the local radio station as a kid.
At night he would meet up with guitarist Luther Perkins and bass player Marshall Grant. These two would later be known as the Tennessee Two. John, Luther and Marshall would play gospel songs and songs John had wrote, with a dream of once cutting a record.
It wouldn’t go long until John had worked up enough courage to visit Sam Phillips at the Sun Recording Studio. John and The Tennessee Two would sing mostly gospel songs at the audition, wich Sam Phillips didn’t see any future in. He told John Cash to “go home and sin, then come back with a song I can sell”.
But John wouldn’t give up, and he continued recording demo’s at Sun up until 1955.