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Before They Were Famous: Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Johnny Cash held a number of jobs before cutting his first record with Sun Records in 1954. He started on his family farm, picking cotton. “The bolls were sharp,” he says in Cash, his 1997 autobiography. “After a week or two, your fingers were covered with little red wounds, some of them pretty painful.”

After high school he moved to the Detroit, Mich. area to land a job in the automotive industry, but that was short-lived. Soon, Cash moved back to Dyess, Ark. and joined the Army, taking a job intercepting Russian Morse code while stationed in Germany. After returning home, the legendary ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ hitmaker took a job selling appliances before he got his break at Sun Records.

Next: Eddie Montgomery

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