AUGUST 7, 1954 SATURDAY
One month after his discharge, Johnny Cash married Vivian Liberto at
St. Ann's Roman Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas, and they set up home on Tutwiler Avenue in Memphis. Cash's older brother Roy had found him a job selling appliances, but Cash was, by his own admission, "the world's worst salesman. I spent more time in
my car listening to the radio than I did knocking on doors".
Cash's trips into the black neighborhoods of Memphis gave him his first exposure to black music. "I heard
a lot of blues. I became friends with some of the musicians. I met Gus Cannon one day on the porch of his home. He had written "Walk Right In" way back, and he was sitting there playing the banjo. I sat and listening to him, played with him, and it got to
be quite a regular affair with me".
Once exposed to black music, Johnny Cash became a convert, spending money he did not have at the Home Of The Blues record store at
Beale Street in Memphis. "Southern blues, black gospel, black blues, that's my favorite music", he told Bill Flanagan. "People like Pink Anderson, Robert Johnson, Howlin' Wolf, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe... Blues In The Mississippi Night Alan Lomax did, is
my all-time favorite album", recalled Johnny Cash.
AUGUST 9, 1954 MONDAY
released Tommy Collins; ''Whatcha Gonna Do Now''.
Eleven days after he first played the venue, Elvis Presley makes an unpromoted appearance at Memphis' Overton Park Shell
during a concert that features Slim Whitman, Carl Smith and Webb Pierce, who refuses to go on after Presley.
AUGUST 11, 1954 WEDNESDAY
Webb Pierce recorded ''More And More'' in Nashville at the Castle Studio.
AUGUST 12, 1954 THURSDAY
Jazz guitarist Pat Metheny is born in Lee's Summit, Missouri. He eventually becomes a Grammy nominee in the country genre.
AUGUST 13, 1954 FRIDAY
''Johnny B. Goode'' songwriter Chuck Berry takes part in the first recording session of his career, for Ballad Records, at Premier
Studios in St. Louis, Missouri.
AUGUST 14, 1954 SATURDAY
Ernest Tubb leaves
the Grand Ole Opry, though their split will be mended before the end of the year.
AUGUST 17, 1954 TUESDAY
Pop singer Billy Murray dies of a heart attack at Jones Beach, New York. Fifteen years later, his 1916 hit ''Are You From Dixie (Cause I'm From Dixie Too)'' is reprised as a country single by Jerry Reed.
AUGUST 18, 1954 WEDNESDAY
Joe and Rose Lee Maphis have a son, Jody Maphis. A drummer and guitarist, he plays in bands
with Earl Scruggs and Marty Stuart and appears on Lacy J. Dalton's debut single, ''Crazy Blue Eyes''.
AUGUST 21, 1954 SATURDAY
Guitarist Nick Kane is born in Jerusalem, Georgia. In 1994 he joins The Mavericks, whose accomplished mix of country, rock, pop and Latin sounds makes it a critically acclaimed and commercially under appreciated
force in the 1990s.
AUGUST 27, 1954 FRIDAY
After nearly two years of working
for free on Atlanta's WAGA-TV, Brenda Tarpley debuts on ''Peach Blossom Special'', a weekly show on WRDW-TV in Augusta, George. It marks her beginning as a professional, and the first time she uses the name Brenda Lee.
AUGUST 28, 1954 SATURDAY
Comedian Stringbean leaves the Grand Ole Opry to become a regular on Canada's ''The Tommy Hunter
Ray Price recorded ''If You Don't, Somebody Else Will'' during the morning hours at the Castle Studio in downtown Nashville.
AUGUST 29, 1954 SUNDAY
Ohio's Columbus Citizen reports that Woody Guthrie has just finished a jail sentence at the Columbus
City Prison, his 12th jail stay in six weeks, as he rides the railroads illegally. Guthrie also notes in the story that he wrote ''Oklahoma Hills''.
Dave Cavanaugh, A&R
Representative for Capitol Records, announces that The Four Keys, formerly with Aladdin Records, have been signed to Capitol.
AUGUST 30, 1954 MONDAY
Capitol released Sonny James' ''She Done Give Her Heart To Me''.