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Singer Johnny Cash has Parkinson's disease

Johnny Cash October 27, 1997
Web posted at: 9:57 p.m. EST (0257 GMT)

NEW YORK (CNN) - Country singer Johnny Cash announced Monday through his publicist that he has developed Parkinson's disease.

The publicist, promoting "Cash: The Autobiography," released a statement saying the singer has canceled his national book-promotion tour because the disease has progressed.

"Johnny and his wife, June Carter Cash, are sorry to have to postpone personal appearances," the statement said.

"Johnny feels confident that once the Parkinson's is medically stabilized, he can resume his normal work schedule," Cash's manager, Lou Robin, said through the statement.

An upcoming concert tour also had to be canceled because of the 65-year-old singer's worsening medical condition, according to an ABC News radio report.

Cash, long known as country music's "Man in Black," became a standard for a generation of Nashville upstarts.

In the early 1950s he began singing country music, and in 1955, while working as an appliance salesman in Memphis, he auditioned for the legendary Sun Records label.

The result was his first hit, "Hey Porter," which was quickly followed by "Folsom Prison Blues," "I Walk the Line" and other successes stamped with his unmistakable voice and no-frills arrangements.

Among his career cornerstones are songs such as "Busted," "Ring of Fire," "Orange Blossom Special," "Jackson," "Daddy Sang Bass" and "Sunday Morning Coming Down."

At one time, Cash played some 200 concerts a year.

Cash, who had won practically every existing country music award, in 1992 was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Reuters contributed to this report.


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