Thomas KranzStephen VoorheesMUSC 1010-50612/10/2017Johnny Cash: The Man in BlackJohnny Cash was born February 26th, 1932 inKingsland Arkansas.
The Cash family were Southern Baptist sharecroppers in apoor farming community.(Biography.com Editors) At age 12, he was writingsongs, singing and playing guitar. In his high school years, he started singingat Arkansas radio station KLCN. Johnny always had an interest in music throughouthis whole life. Growing up Southern Baptist was probably the reason, but heoriginally wanted to sing gospel music.(Rolling Stone)When Johnny graduate high school, he aimed for Detroit, butlanded up at an automotive plant in Pontiac, Michigan until the Korean Warbroke out, at which time he enlisted in the Air Force and served as a radiooperator. During his time in the AirForce, he bought his first guitar and expanded his skills on the guitar.
(Biography.com Editors)After being discharged from the service, he married VivianLiberto and moved out to Memphis. There he worked as an appliance salesmanwhile also receiving training at a radio announces school. Johnny had for girlswith Vivian.(Rolling Stone)He joined up with a couple of mechanics and formed “TheTennessee Three” which Sam Phillips of Sun Studios didn’t like that title and suggested”Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two” and they started recording a Blues/Countrymix with Sun Studios. Cash had wanted to record Gospel music, Phillips butdidn’t like that idea. They had several top hits with Sun Studios and werequickly gaining popularity. “I Walk the Line” made Billboard No.
1 and stayedthere for forty-three weeks.(JohnnyCash.com)Shortly after that he was invited to play at the Grand OleOpry and was later running 200 shows a year. With his new-found popularity heheaded to California in 1958 and signed with Columbia Records. That is aboutwhen things started to unravel. Running on the type of schedule he was musthave started to wear on him. He started using drugs and alcohol to try and keepup. Between the addictions and his schedule, his marriage began to suffersending Vivian and him to divorce.
This also started influencing his career. (JohnnyCash.com)By 1967, Cash had met June Carter and had successfullyovercome his addictions and was headed back on track. June had become his newsinging partner and had got himself back in the spotlight and back to the top.He even had “The Johnny Cash Show” on ABC from1969-1971. When the show wasdiscontinued, he still hosted specials for quite a few years.
(JohnnyCash.com)During his career, Johnny has sung and played with manyother greats including; Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson.He also received many awards, from Album of the Year – 1968, to MTV BestCinematography – 2003 for the “Hurt” music video.(JohnnyCash.com)”One piece at a time” is one of my favorite songs. It tellsa story of working on a Cadillac assembly line in Detroit and wanting aCadillac of his own. Since Cadillacs are known for being expensive, he takes aspare part here and there thinking they won’t be missed. He builds his ownCadillac with two headlights on one side and one headlight on the other andonly one tail fin.
This is because all the parts are from different years.Being kind of a “Motorhead” myself, I really get a kick out of this song.(Dauphin)”Man in Black” is considered #6 hit from Johnny Cash on aBillboard list of his songs. It’s not a cheerful song, in fact it is more of anexplanation for why he almost always wore black. In his past, he had a roughfight with his own demons, and I think this was his way of reminding peoplethat life isn’t always perfect. There will always be poor, there will always besick and elderly, there will always be somebody going through a rough patch oftheir own.
This song is the one that give him the title, “The Man in Black”.(Dauphin)”I Walk the Line” was #7 on the list of his top hits. Thisone was first released when he was still married to his first wife, Vivian.Musicians always have groupies.
This wasprobably his way of telling his wife and others his intentions of stayingfaithful to her even when he was on the road.(Dauphin)His most popular song, and #1 on the Billboard list is “Ringof Fire”. June Carter and Merle Kilgore wrote this song. It was a kind of lovesong. It talks about love and the burning inside from falling in love. Theyweren’t married to each other when June wrote it, but she may have already beenin love with him when at the time.(Dauphin) Johnny Cash had a huge influence on both the Country and theRock and Roll scene. He was a mostly self-taught musician and singer that wasan amazing success story, and yet a humble person at the same time.
He chasedhis dreams, fought some tough fights and in the end, came out on top. Works CitedBiography.com Editors.
“Johnny Cash.” Biography.Com,27 Apr. 2017, https://www.biography.
com/people/johnny-cash-9240610.Dauphin,Chuck. “Johnny Cash’s 15 Best Songs: Critic’s Picks.” Billboard, 26 June2017,https://www.
billboard.com/articles/columns/country/7842123/johnny-cash-songs-best-hits-list.JohnnyCash.com.”Johnny Cash Biography Part 1.” Johnnycash.Com,http://www.
Accessed 11 Dec. 2017.RollingStone.
“Johnny Cash Biography.” Rolling Stone,http://www.rollingstone.com/music/artists/johnny-cash/biography.
Accessed 11Dec. 2017.