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Country Artists Who Have Served: Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash
Robin Jones

Legend has it that when Soviet leader Joseph Stalin died, Johnny Cash was the first American to hear about it. Cash was a Morse Code Intercept Operator in the Air Force and spent much of his enlistment stationed in Landsberg, Germany. So when news of Stalin’s death broke, Cash was hard at work.

Cash was honorably discharged after four years in the Air Force, earning the rank of Staff Sergeant. He trained at Lackland Air Force Base and Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. Before deployment, he met his first wife, Vivian. They exchanged love letters while he was away and married soon after he returned in 1954. According to his biopic ‘Walk the Line,’ Cash wrote what would become ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ while in Germany.

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