Synopses & Reviews
Sinner. Saint. Outlaw. Rebel.Voice of protest. Man of faith.
Johnny Cash is a giant of American music. In a testament to his life and legend, the editors of Rolling Stone magazine have compiled Cash.
Since its inception in the late 1960s, Rolling Stone has followed Cash's career, writing about him in settings that ranged from San Quentin prison to a glitzy Vegas hotel. Through the years, Rolling Stone has treated Cash not just as a country music star but a rock & roll icon, whose drug-fueled antics, black clothes and rebel stance have made him a hero to generation after generation of rock fans.
More than than the Man in Black image, it's the substance of Cash's music that make him one of the greatest musical figures of the past 50 years--the resonance of his deep voice, the driving beat of his simple, powerful songs, the fighting spirit of his lyrics, and his commitment to social justice. Johnny Cash defied convention and expectation at every phase of his career, and Cash chronicles all of it.
Cash brings together personal recollections from those who knew him best with the insights of some of America's finest music journalists. A moving foreword by daughter Rosanne reveals Cash as a loving, devoted dad who taught his kids to waterski and made homemade ice cream for them on summer evenings. From the Cash family archive we have Valentine's notes to his daughters from the road and many never before seen photographs. A visit with Johnny and June's only son, John Carter Cash, at the family's rustic cabin studio in Tennessee, provides an intimate look at his parent's drive to create new music until the very end of their lives. Moving personal tributes from Bob Dylan, Bono, Merle Haggard, Al Gore, Emmylou Harris, Tom Petty, Sheryl Crow, and Steve Earle show the scope of the people who Cash considered his friends. Mikal Gilmore's "The Man in Black" is a lengthy and thoughtful examination of the full scope of Cash's life and work. Robert Hilburn's 1973 interview "Nothing Can Take the Place of the Human Heart" was conducted in a Las Vegas hotel suite and shows Cash at the peak of his game. David Fricke's interview with producer Rick Rubin offers moving insight into the a remarkable, ten-year relationship between him and Cash that produced some of the finest albums of his career. Greg Kot's exhaustive annotated discography examines all of his classics and unearths hidden treasures among the hundreds of albums Cash recorded. Excerpts from Cash's autobiography let the man speak to his life in his own words. And editor Jason Fine's "A Day in the Life" is a visit with Cash at home less than a year before his death.
Johnny Cash left this world on September 12, 2003, but he left behind songs that charts the highs and lows of the human experience, and that speak to Americans young and old. Cash is the essential tribute to the Man in Black from Rolling Stone, a magazine that has long chronicled the life, career, and influence of this great American man.
"The late legendary Cash is celebrated in one of the best of Rolling Stone magazine's series of special tribute books about popular musicians. And as in the series' other titles, the featured artist is treated to an oversize, lavishly illustrated (150 photos) and lovingly written collection of new and old essays. Cash's long career gives this volume more depth than usual, since the writing ranges from Ralph J. Gleason's 1969 column on 'Johnny Cash at San Quentin' to a thoughtful and revealing new interview with Rick Rubin, the rap/metal producer behind Cash's mostly acoustic albums in the 1990s. The collection is book-ended by its two best pieces: a wonderful overview of Cash's life by Mikal Gilmore and a fantastic critical discography by rock critic Greg Kot. The photographs which cover everything from his birth in 1932 to his death in 2003 allow for a greater portrait of Cash, including those from his farm youth in Arkansas and candid shots from his turbulent 1960s career. It helps that Jim Marshall, the equally legendary photographer whose work is generously featured, captured Cash in serene and volatile moments, providing a well-rounded look into the emotional complexity of the self-styled 'Man in Black.' Indeed, Kot's discography and the photographs alone make this volume essential for a true understanding of Cash's impact on popular music. Agent, Sarah Lazin." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
A giant of country music and one of the founding fathers of rock and roll, Cash was best known for songs such as "Ring of Fire," "I Walk the Line," and "Folsom Prison Blues." Over the course of dozens of albums, Cash distilled life's ineffable joys and sorrows into the common man's everyday speech. His career began at Memphis's Sun Records during the mid-fifties, in the same studios where Elvis Presley was cutting his first records. During the next 50 years, Johnny endured hard times in his career and personal life. Yet he also became the only person other than Elvis to be inducted into both the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, enjoyed a long and loving marriage with June Carter Cash, and against all odds, he came back in the last years of his life to connect with a new generation of music fans.
Over the course of dozens of albums, Johnny Cash distilled the ineffable joys and sorrows of his own life into countless albums. Rolling Stone takes a look at the dynamic life and career of the infamous "Man in Black."