Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Autobiography of the Month: Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash is pretty much the man. Whether or not you're a country music fan (and I'm not), his ability to rock the music scene for decades remains unsurpassed. It's safe to say he's earned the right to be called a music legend. It should come as no surprise that this icon has lived a full life, and in his own words his autobiography tells the story of where he came from and where he ended up. It's a great all-American tale of a poor country boy striking out on his own to make it big. Only, Cash didn't just make it big...he changed the way music was played and how people listened to it.

Noted as one of the most influential musicians post classical music scene, Cash is easily recognized for his rich bass-baritone voice and his meaningful lyrics. Cash did music on his own terms. Somber, generous, and completely rebellious, he never forgot his simple country upbringing even when surrounded by bright lights and big cities, he had no problem bucking the system and being a complete rebel.

His music accomplishes the ultimate goal of all singer-songwriters: with his music, he tells a story, one that's often an autobiogrphay in its own right. His songs are ones we can relate to and love. He was a man marked by sorrow and pain, which is reflected in the depth of his music.

It should come as no surprise that his autobiography is full of fascinating tales of the evolution of rock, his interaction with other music legends like Elvis, and the circumstances that brought the insight and emotion that makes his music so deep and meaningful.It's an autobiography rich with stories not just of Cash revolutionizing the country rock scene, but also of the evolution of all rock. Cash spins out tales with the same comfortable, easy going tone that makes his music legendary, and his autobiography reads like an easy going conversation with a good friend. If, like me, you love a good autobiography, this one is a read you won't want to miss out on.

A music extra for my fellow addicts: "Hurt", which is my favorite Cash cover by 9 Inch Nails:

"Hurt" [my absolute favorite Cash song]

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