So, Johnny Cash. The first appreciation post. First and foremost, he was a legend, admittedly much of the information that I’m going to use is from Walk the Line (Watch it if you haven’t seen it, seriously!) and from Wikipedia. Johnny Cash, born in 1932, had a tough upbringing and of course he’s well known but I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves when you think of the reputation the likes of Bob Dylan had, Johnny gets side-lined. His relationship with June Carter should be celebrated, it can’t be a coincidence that Johnny passed away shortly after she did.
His performances at Folsom Prison at the time was quite unheard of, they revered him and rightly so. From the footage and music, we have heard/seen, the place was electric, to get that reaction from prisoners is pretty great huh? His voice unlike so many before and after him remained so consistent live and on a track, credit where credit is due.
Whilst writing this appreciation piece I stumbled across a really neat (yeah I went there) article called “78 Things You Didn’t Know About Johnny Cash” (link). I’m not going to rehash what the article said, because come on that’s just sad *ahem* rather I’m gonna pick out a few juicy facts I quite liked;
- Cash adopted his signature all-black suits as a good luck charm after he wore a black t-shirt and jeans to his first public performance.
- Jonny took only one voice lesson, after which the teacher advised him not to let anyone change the way he sang. (Thank you singing teacher, we love you)
- His parents named him J.R. Cash as a compromise between the names “John” and “Ray.” When he enlisted in the Air Force, Cash gave his name as “John R. Cash.” (Why oh why did you lie to me walk the line!!!)
- Richard Nixon was Cash’s favourite president. (So he wasn’t perfect then, side stepping the drug addiction I know)
But anyway definitely go and check it out, if I had the energy to write something like that I most definitely would, but seriously I don’t get paid for this sooooooo probably not going to happen anytime soon.
Moving onto his songs, any Johnny Cash fan knows his popular ones. “Walk the line” and “God’s gonna cut you down” are two of my favourites. According to that article I linked to a man named Carl Perkins suggested it. I think what appeals most to me about “God’s gonna cut you down” is the beat behind it, so simple yet so effective. Then “Walk the line” just has this old fashioned American country vibe to it that exudes a quality to it.
Jonny has a few grammy’s to his name and an epic final album of covers titled “American IV: The Man Comes Around” which is so good knowing that he died shortly after, the emotion and passion he gives is so heartfelt. “Hurt” on that final album feels so authentic if you look at it as a love letter to June, which is all the more heartbreaking. Johnny is an absolute legend of that I have no doubt I hope you enjoyed this little appreciation piece and give a listen to my favourite Johnny track below. Good day, chums and please do share with friends and well wishers!