Johnny Cash is perhaps the manliest musician of all time.
His wavering bass voice and no-nonsense lyrics and attitudes, along with his fight to free himself from his addictions, and to live out his faith in a world that seemed to make an enemy out of him at every turn… too worldly for the church-folks – to straight-laced for the rebellious art scene of the 60’s…
John R. “Johnny” Cash (born J. R. Cash; February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor, and author, who was widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century and one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 90 million records worldwide. Although primarily remembered as a country music icon, his genre-spanning songs and sound embraced rock and roll, rockabilly, blues, folk, and gospel. This crossover appeal won Cash the rare honor of multiple inductions in the Country Music, Rock and Roll, and Gospel Music Halls of Fame.
Cash was known for his deep, calm bass-baritone voice,[a] the distinctive sound of his Tennessee Three backing band, a rebelliousness coupled with an increasingly somber and humble demeanor, free prison concerts, and a trademark look, which earned him the nickname “The Man in Black.”[b] He traditionally began his concerts with the simple “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash,”[c] followed by his signature “Folsom Prison Blues.”
Much of Cash’s music contained themes of sorrow, moral tribulation and redemption, especially in the later stages of his career. His best-known songs include “I Walk the Line“, “Folsom Prison Blues“, “Ring of Fire“, “Get Rhythm” and “Man in Black“. He also recorded humorous numbers like “One Piece at a Time” and “A Boy Named Sue“; a duet with his future wife, June Carter, called “Jackson” (followed by many further duets after their marriage); and railroad songs including “Hey, Porter“, “Orange Blossom Special” and “Rock Island Line“. During the last stage of his career, Cash covered songs by several late 20th century rock artists, notably “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails and “Personal Jesus” by Depeche Mode.
Check out these quotes from “the Man in Black”
You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space. -Johnny Cash
People call me wild. Not really though, I’m not. I guess I’ve never been normal, not what you call Establishment. I’m country. -Johnny Cash
You’ve got to know your limitations. I don’t know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren’t too many limitations, if I did it my way. – Johnny Cash
When I record somebody else’s song, I have to make it my own or it doesn’t feel right. I’ll say to myself, I wrote this and he doesn’t know it! -Johnny Cash
You’ve got a song you’re singing from your gut, you want that audience to feel it in their gut. And you’ve got to make them think that you’re one of them sitting out there with them too. They’ve got to be able to relate to what you’re doing. -Johnny Cash
The things that have always been important: to be a good man, to try to live my life the way God would have me, to turn it over to Him that His will might be worked in my life, to do my work without looking back, to give it all I’ve got, and to take pride in my work as an honest performer. -Johnny Cash
How well I have learned that there is no fence to sit on between heaven and hell. There is a deep, wide gulf, a chasm, and in that chasm is no place for any man. – Johnny Cash