The life of the Man in Black revealed by his lyrics and by rare photographs and ephemera, in a collectible edition featuring 125 of his most iconic songs, authorized by the Cash estate
Johnny Cash is one of the most beloved and influential country-music stars of all time, having composed more than six hundred songs and sold more than ninety million records. He received twenty-nine gold, platinum, and multiplatinum awards for his recordings and has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
This is the first time Cash’s fifty years of songwriting have been collected anywhere; this book includes the lyrics to 125 songs and the stories behind them. Perhaps more than any other American artist, he spoke to the soul of the nation as well as to the triumphs and challenges of his own life. These pages explore Cash's range as a poet and storyteller, taking readers from his early life and first successes through periods of personal challenge, activism, and faith. The result is a profound understanding of Johnny Cash as a man and an artist, as well as the American story he helped shape.
An essential collectible that sheds new light on Cash’s life and work, this book includes rare visual material in addition to remembrances from Cash’s son, John Carter Cash, “family historian” Mark Stielper. Released for the twentieth anniversary of the legendary musician’s passing, it will be a landmark in music publishing
In this satisfying outing, music historian Stielper and record producer Carter Cash (House of Cash) delve into the stories behind 125 of Johnny Cash's songs. In commentary that runs alongside the song lyrics, Stielper delves into Cash's ruinous issues with addiction, his Christianity (an ordained minister, Cash expressed his "fervent" faith in such songs as 1959's "It Was Jesus"), and his romance with fellow country superstar June Carter Cash, whom he met in 1956 and fell in love with when both were married to other people (she wrote "Ring of Fire" to express her "torment" over their early relationship; they married in 1968). Occasionally, the book introduces readers to real people Cash fictionalized in his songs, such as H. Ballard Harris, who inspired 1967's "Cisco Clifton's Fillin' Station." Elsewhere, Carter Cash offers candid reflections on both of his parents, including his father's advice to him when he fell into addiction ("Finding peace and salvation is in your blood, son, and you'll find it too"). Supported by a wealth of photographs and Cash's handwritten notes, this catalog provides solid—if not entirely groundbreaking—insight into the country music singer's much-mythologized life and creative genius. Though some may balk at the tendency to tip into hyperbole—as when Carter Cash calls "Route 1, Box 144," a song about a soldier killed in wartime, the "greatest argument for peace ever devised"—devoted fans will find their sentiments echoed and their listening enhanced. Illus.