With the recent surge of media interest leading up to the release of the film Walk The Line, I feel compelled to post a little note on my all-time favorite musician – Mr. Johnny Cash.
My father is a Man In Black aficianado, and he introduced me to the distinctive style and voice of this legend when I was a young boy. I can’t tell you how many times we sat around our living room listening to 1969’s At San Quentin which is in my opinion, one of the greatest live albums ever made. To this day, you will probably find Johnny Cash records, tapes, and CDs in virtually every Aubrecht house and vehicle.
Most entertainers agree that there has never been anyone as pure as Johnny Cash (both on the stage and off). More than just a country star, Johnny was an activist, a poet, an outlaw, a singer, a songwriter, a guitarist, an actor, an author, and most importantly, a Christian. His rise from rags to riches is the personification of the “American Dream” and his legacy will live on forever in both his music and his words.
Over the years, accolades that have honored him don’t even begin to tell the story of his contributions to the 20th Century. In addition to countless country music awards, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1980 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. In 1996 he was honored with a Kennedy Center Award, and he has a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Cash was one of the initial recipients of the Library of Congress Living Legend medal in 2000. In 2002, he was honored at the Americana Awards show with a Spirit of Americana Free Speech Award.
Glad to see another Johnny fan! I too listened to that live album as a kid, and it was my favorite. Funny though - never thought of him as a "country artist"... closer to folk IMO. What ever - he's the best storyteller in music. Nothing like listening to "Sunday Morning Coming Down" when you're in a mellow mood...
To keep it more Civil War, Johnny was a gun collector too and earlier this year I got to hold his favorite cap and ball revolver from his collection in my hands, it was a unique thing too. It had no trigger guard and the trigger retracted up into the body of the gun. Not too good for a gunslinger but good for someone like me that would have "shot their eye out kid."
Johnny's music is an acquired taste for most folks but I love it too. My cell phone plays "Ring of Fire" when my oldest boy calls me since he plays the trumpet and we both love Johnny's music. "Boy Named Sue" was a big part of the soundtrack of my first Civil War grand tour when I was a kid, as it just came out that summer or 69.