Johnny Cash was born on this day February 26, 1932, in Kingsland, Arkansas. He was one of seven children born to Ray Cash and Carrie Cloveree. Here are 11 random facts about Johnny Cash you might not have known:

  1. He recorded 96 albums and over 1500 songs through his career.
  2. He once got in a fight with an ostrich and lost. The ostrich broke his ribs.
  3. Despite singing songs about going to prison, he never served time. He spent a few nights in jail for misdemeanors, however.
  4. Johnny once made a deal with Roy Orbison that they would both grow ponytails. Johnny chickened out, and Roy passed away a few months later. When Johnny walked up to Roy’s casket, he laughed when he saw Roy had grew that ponytail.
  5. He started smoking at age 12.
  6. He owned a camper van he named Jesse James. The van was used to drive out into the desert so he could binge on amphetamines. The windows were all painted black.
  7. He was the only person ever successfully sued by the US for starting a forest fire.
  8. Once, on tour in the late 1950’s, Cash and his band members bought 500 baby chickens and a hundred of them loose on each floor of a hotel.
  9. Johnny and Ozzy Osbourne became good friends at the Betty Ford Clinic in the 80’s.
  10. He sat on the steps of Sun Records until Sam Philips finally relented and agreed to listen to his songs.
  11. He covered songs by a wide variety of musicians, from Hank Williams to Soundgarden.