YOU LOOK SO MONEY — JOHNNY CASH | SLICKED BACK STYLE OF THE ’50s & ’60s

 

Johnny Cash Martin Guitar

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

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Now Johnny Cash’s life wasn’t exactly a cakewalk back in the day. Johnny 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.  God bless Johnny Cash.

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Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash 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.

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johnny cash

Johnny Cash holding a to guitar, sitting with daughters Rosanne, Cathy and Tara in 1960.

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Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash smokes a cigarette in his hotel room in White Plains, New York, ca. 1959.

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Johnny Cash passes the time in his hotel room by making a cat's cradle with a piece of string, ca. 1959.

Johnny Cash passes the time in his hotel room by making a cat’s cradle with a piece of string, ca. 1959.

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Johnny Cash Johnny Cash

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Johnny Cash

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

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Johnny Cash Johnny Cash

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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.  –Photo by Marvin Koner

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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.

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Johnny Cash

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

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Johnny Cash

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

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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.  –photo by Martin Koner

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Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash in the recording studio looking reflective.

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Johnny Cash El Paso 1965

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Johnny Cash –photo by Leigh Wiener

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Johnny Cash

Give ‘em Hell, Johnny!  –Photo by Leigh Wiener

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23 thoughts on “YOU LOOK SO MONEY — JOHNNY CASH | SLICKED BACK STYLE OF THE ’50s & ’60s

  1. JP you are disappointing me right now….have we forgotten the orginal OG country hero…HANK WILLIAMS!!!!

    Considering Johnny used most of his songs and looked to Hank as a hero I would have to give Hank “The Best of All Time” award…just my thoughts.

    • I hear ya’ I totally love Hank too… but because of Johnny’s genre & media crossover I put them into totally different categories.

  2. Don’t get me wrong. I love Hank, and Cash is undeniable but where is all the love for Lefty and Merle. Both men where contemporaries of each respective artist, and both were every bit the songwriter and performer as the other two. Hell, Merle is still around making great country albums when that whole genre no longer really exists.

  3. Post like this make me watch this blog daily. I enjoy every time i enter here, all photos are so appealing visually and so interesting, they’re some sort of a reflection of better past times: James Dean, Brando’s “Wild One”, Old School Tattoos, Chet Baker, The Clash (the only band that matters!).

    Receive a cordial greeting from Barcelona.

    P.D. You should look at Bruce Davidson’s book “Brooklyn Gang”, i’m sure it won’t disappoint you. Sorry for my lame english.

  4. i saw that custom gibson…with the “batwing” pick guard at the rock n roll hall of fame this past summer… it was one of the highlights of the whole place..that and maybe the original lyrics to “Cherry Bomb” xoxo

  5. Ok…now we got a real discussion.

    I am still saying Hank is the single most important country muscian. He influeneced not only whte artist, but black artist such as Ray Charles. His song writing, style and persona have magnified themselves into various genres and singers.

    Today Wayne Hancock, Hank Williams III amongst others are all taking a cue from Hank and singing and songwriting in his same style. Johnny was HUGE and I was a fan of him before Hank…but for sheer impact on music overall, Hank takes the cake.

    Seriously….best site ever and wish I had more old photos on file to share.

  6. If you are talking cultural importance, I would think it’s hard to argue that any country artist is going to eclipse Johnny Cash. If you are arguing most influential and important for the development of country music I would submit that it’s hard to argue with Lefty Frizzell. Hank and Johnny were both true originals, but other than some modern day copy cats (who I enjoy quite a bit) I’m not sure any one really ever sounded like them. Lefty’s songwriting and style shaped the bulk of country music through the 50s and 60s, on into the 70s. I think I could name at least ten artists off the top of my head who bear the direct influence of Lefty’s music starting with Merle Haggard.

  7. Pingback: YOU CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH CASH | JOHNNY AT FOLSOM PRISON 1968 « The Selvedge Yard

  8. Poor Vivian. She looks very worried in the photo taken while leaving the Federal Courthouse. She never stopped loving Johnny even after their divorce. Johnny and Vivian started out as the all American couple. Johnny with his 6 foot two inch height and jet black hair and Vivian with her beautiful Italian features. They got along well until Johnny got involved with drugs and June Carter. In the beginning of Johnny’s career, Vivian sewed Johnny’s stage clothes, traveled with him, and encouraged him. She was totally supportave until Johnny betrayed her while intoxicated and drugged up. He simply got involved with the wrong crowd once Stu Carnall became his manager and talked Johnny into moving his family to California. Vivian was always a graceful lady even when humiliated by her famous husband and the ruthless media. She was a beautiful person inside and out. Her book “I Walked The Line” moved me to tears. She raised Roseann, Kathy, Cindy, and Tara alone in California and did an excellent job with them. Johnny Cash’s second wife June Carter did all she could to make a fool out of Vivian. June’s daughters Carlene and Rosey were spoiled beyond belief and had drug problems of their own. All Vivian wanted was a home and family. I hope she is resting in peace now.

  9. Pingback: “The Selvedge Yard”: the story behind the pictures « miss mass

  10. Pingback: LADIES LOVE OUTLAWS | WAYLON, WILLIE, JOHNNY, KRIS & COMPANY « The Selvedge Yard

  11. I want his mugshot on a shirt so bad, your blog rules, sorry for the inundation of comments today but i can’t help myself :D

  12. Pingback: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA & GOD BLESS JOHNNY CASH « The Selvedge Yard

  13. Pingback: BEFORE ELVIS THERE WAS NOTHING. « The Selvedge Yard

  14. yeah johnny is the man . one of the very few country artist that is loved and revered by rock n rollers a bad ass original . my dad named me after him .

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