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tammy hermanson
wabasha mn usa
tamh4341@clear.lakes.com
When I was young, I remember sitting front of the tv with my mom watching Johnny Cash hour. The glow on my mom's face and how she lite up when he came on stage. Now I know why. Johnny Cash is the best country singer ever! His music and songs made you feel like a million bucks. What a great man and performer. I will miss him alot, as will everyone else. God bless Johnny and his family.
Debra Smith Quayle
Harrisburg, NC USA
DMARIEQUAYLE@msn.com
I grew up listening to Johnny Cash as a young girl, and even as a child I could hear the melancholy in his voice - the sadness, sweetness and purity. He was not a man of pretense and stood up for the common man and the underdog. I know June was waiting for Johnny on the far side banks of Jordan drawing picures in the sand when Johnny arrived. What a courageus, influential man. He will always have a place in my heart. Johnny Cash's last C.D. and video was spellbouding. God bless the Cash and Carter families. To all the fans who feel like family that mourn along with me, we take comfort in knowing The Man in Black is now no longer suffering, but has once again that wonderful smile on his face and twinkle in his eye singing with the angels. Johnny Cash June Carter have passed on to a much better place. May we live our lives with as much integrity and honesty as they. God be with all. Isaiah 40:31
Col. Robert & Irene Morris
Senatobia, Mississippi
colonelrobert@bellsouth.net
We will miss the man in black! A lot of my early influnce was from Johnny Cash. How to stand, how to work the crowd, and most of all, how to lay it down honest. Now Johnny has joined June, and the circle will never be broken again!
Rose & Les Neilson
Selkirk, Scotland. United Kingdom
rosemary.black3@btopenworld.com
Sorry to hear the sad news, we were both brought up with Johnny's music and still love it to this day. We will miss you Johnny Cash
peter alward
saint john new brunswick canada
heckkuba@nbnet.nb.ca
JOHNNNY CASH WAS ONE OF THE BEST EVER.I'LL MISS HIM FOREVER. I LOVED HIS MUSIC HE WAS KING OF COUNTRY MUSIC.
Casey O'Neill
Phoenix, AZ USA
cjoneill2@aol.com Johnny Cash,a man of strength, compassion, and humility. Thanks for everything. Casey
GEORGE & JANET SMITH
SUSQUEHANNA, PA USA
gjsmith@echoes.net
WE FEEL THAT WITH THE LOST OF JOHNNY CASH THE MUSIC INDUSTRY HAS LOST ONE OF THE BEST. HE WILL BE GREATLY MISSED AND LETS HOPE HE IS WITH TEX RITTER AND THE GANG IN HILLBILLY HEAVEN. WE PRAY FOR THE FAMILY AND HOPE THAT THERE DAUGHTERS WILL CARRY ON THE FINE SINGING STYLE OF THE CASH FAMILY.
DALE & DENICE HINDERHAN
DHDH82@HOTMAIL.COM
THANK FOR THE MEMORIES JUNE AND JOHNNY CASH. I JUST TURNED 50 AND I CAN REMEMBER LISTING TO YOUR MUSIC WHEN I WAS REAL YOUNG. WE ALL LOVE YOU,GOD BLESS ALL. WE WILL MISS YOU!!
Eric Lund
ericalund@earthlink.net

He wore Black
For the woman
Who cries alone at night
Black
For the man
Who throws away his life Black
For the parents Who work their fingers to the bone
Black
For the children
Who do not have a home

Black for all the people
Who do not have a choice
Who do not have a future
Who do not have a voice
Who have no voice

He wore Black
For all the soldiers
Sent on off to war
Black
For those left behind
Who wonder what it's all for
Black
For the lonely
Seaching always for their souls
Black
For the lost
Who found love but watched it go

Black for all the dreamers
And the worlds they're dreaming of
Who keep looking for the answers
And waiting for their love
For their love

He wore Black
For the world
With too many mouths to feed
Black
For each of us
When we lose the ones we need
Black
For those in prisons
Made of stone or made of pain
Black
For those who have escaped
And for those who remain

Now we wear Black for the man
Who spoke for all of them
Who walked among the mountains
And sang songs to the wind
To the wind

He wore Black
For the forgotten
For the helpless
The downtrodden
The outsiders
The strangers
For the losers
He remembered them 
  The disenfranchized
The marginalized
The unrecognized
He sang for them
He fell into fire
He walked the line
He walked the talk
He stood for them
He wore Black
tammy hermanson
wabasha mn usa
tamh4341@clear.lakes.com
When I was young, I remember sitting front of the tv with my mom watching Johnny Cash hour. The glow on my mom's face and how she lite up when he came on stage. Now I know why. Johnny Cash is the best country singer ever! His music and songs made you feel like a million bucks. What a great man and performer. I will miss him alot, as will everyone else. God bless Johnny and his family.
Debra Smith Quayle
Harrisburg, NC USA
DMARIEQUAYLE@msn.com
I grew up listening to Johnny Cash as a young girl, and even as a child I could hear the melancholy in his voice - the sadness, sweetness and purity. He was not a man of pretense and stood up for the common man and the underdog. I know June was waiting for Johnny on the far side banks of Jordan drawing picures in the sand when Johnny arrived. What a courageus, influential man. He will always have a place in my heart. Johnny Cash's last C.D. and video was spellbouding. God bless the Cash and Carter families. To all the fans who feel like family that mourn along with me, we take comfort in knowing The Man in Black is now no longer suffering, but has once again that wonderful smile on his face and twinkle in his eye singing with the angels. Johnny Cash June Carter have passed on to a much better place. May we live our lives with as much integrity and honesty as they. God be with all. Isaiah 40:31
Col. Robert & Irene Morris
Senatobia, Mississippi
colonelrobert@bellsouth.net
We will miss the man in black! A lot of my early influnce was from Johnny Cash. How to stand, how to work the crowd, and most of all, how to lay it down honest. Now Johnny has joined June, and the circle will never be broken again!
Michael G. McKay
Fredericton NB. Canada
mgmckay@nbnet.nb.ca
I would just like to say that I have been a fan of Johnny Cash and loved the simple honesty and humbleness of the man. I thought that he was a true original and a consummate performer and entertainer, singer and songwriter as well. He always conducted himself as a gentleman and his respect and courtesy to others was like non other he was simply a very good man and a Good Christian and family man and I will miss him because of what he stood for. If we all could take a little bit of the Man's goodness and kindness with us we would have a little bit of Johnny Cash with us throughout our own lives.We would be so much better for it. God bless you Mr. Cash and catch you in Heaven's Choir some wonderful day.
Scott Wetzel
Summerville SC USA
scott.wetzel@charleston.af.mil
I was saddend to hear of Jonny's passing. I have listened to his music since I was little boy. As an adult I have spent many hours away from home listening to Johnny's music while serving my country in foriegn lands. Like John did, I am currently serving in the Air Force. John, you are an American Icon. I will truly miss you. God bless you and keep you. Thank you for what you brought to the world.
kermarquer compas
plouezec st ouen, france
texten@noos.fr
WE CRY; CRY; CRY; RIP DEAR JOHNNY
wes linthicum
san antonio texas usa
linthicum15@aol.com
Burl Boykin!! Call me, I know that you are bound to read this website, because you were the biggest cash fan that I ever knew ... WES LINTHICUM ... SAN ANTONIO TX
Tuck Yew
Malaysia
schtuck@hotmail.com
Thanks to Johnny for introducing me to a form of country music which i think is just plain beautiful and pure. God bless you!
Saskia
Groningen, The Netherlands
saskiaenrichard@home.nl
I was very sad when I heard the news that Johnny Cash died. His music means a lot to me, it cheers you up when you're sad and it always makes my day when I hear a song like "the man who couldn't cry" or "nobody". I will always keep listening to his warm voice and his great meaningfull songs. Johnny, may God bless you! You will be missed!
Steven Thoe
Minneapolis, Minnesota
STEVEN_THOE1@MSN.com
I am a 50 year old male who started listening to Johnny Cash when I was 15 at my high school on 33 lps. I knew all them songs by heart "I walk the line"," Folsom prison blues", "guess things happen that way" etc, and my favorite "give my love to rose". over the years I managed to collect most of them on cd and played them over and over. I sort of figured you would always be around. Now your gone! I was sad beyond words like I had lost my own son. you were a true American icon and will be greatly missed. The good news is your back with your lovely wife June and resting in Jesus arms. for what it's worth Johnny I love you man ,I really do. you gave me countless hours of pleasure with your songs over the years, and like a true fan I will listen to them until I die. you were one of a wonderful kind Johnny, and no one will ever fill your shoes. Looking forward someday to meeting you and June in Heaven. -Steven Thoe
STEVE GREENWOOD
RICHMOND, VA
TOUCHGRAFPHIX@COMCAST.NET
MY FIRST TASTE OF JOHNNY CASH WAS "A BOY NAMED SUE". MY GRANDFATHER TURNED ME ON TO THIS SONG WHEN I WAS A KID.I WAS DRIVING IN MY CAR LISTENING TO THE "BLUE TRAIN" ALBUM JUST YESTERDAY, SO HIS PASSING HIT ME HARD. I WILL ALWAYS BE TOUCHED BY HIS WAY OF EXPRESSION AND HIS INSIGHT TO THE HUMAN CONDITION. HE MAY BE GONE FROM THIS WORLD BUT HE LIVES IN ME FOREVER. I'VE BEEN BROKE UP ALL DAY. THE MAN IN BLACK HAS ARRIVED AT THE END OF THE LINE.
Kathy Hunt
dolphin48@ameritech.net
I grew up listening to Johnny's music, I listened to his albums and 45 records for hours. We have lost a great singer, but his memory will live on. Kathy Hunt - dolphin48@ameritech.net
Jimmy
Scotland
james1956uk@hotmail.com
He touch me & will always be with me. God Bless Johnny Cash
tony maiella
VA Beach, VA
melodymaiella@cox.net
It is very sad, that the king of country music died, im just real happy that he knew God. God bless him and his family we will see him again - tony maiella
ken lyons
theampdoc@angeltoneelectronics.com

Hello...
I woke up at 5 this morning
And I turned on the radio
I heard the announcer saying
It was Johnny's turn to go
He said it was diabetes
But I don't think, I know
That he had died of a broken heart
His wife June was the first to go

He sang us train songs and prison songs
And songs of loves from long ago
For over fifty years he sang for us
America's conscience, don't you know
From Hank Williams songs to Nine Inch Nails
Not a place he didn't know
America lost it's singin' voice today
It was Johnny's turn to go

Anyone that ever saw him play
Said he put on one great show
Now he has left us all behind
At the source of all his woes
I hope that he says 'Hi' for us
To the others, wherever he goes
America lost it's singin' voice today
It was Johnny's turn to go
Barry M. Klein
On Thursday evening, about 6 hours before Johnny Cash passed away, I played his "Live at San Quentin" CD that was re-released recently, which included the censored comments and song lyrics, including the final line of "A Boy Named Sue". My fiancée and I were driving to a restaurant in Naples, Florida.
I was fortunate to have seen Johnny in person several times, including one show at his long stint at the Las Vegas Hilton in the mid-70's. Carl Perkins, Johnny's friend from his Sun Records days (and for whom Johnny orchestrated a Columbia Records contract shortly after Johnny joined that label), was by that time the lead guitarist for Cash's band. Johnny would even feature Carl solo in a short mini-set while Cash would leave the stage for a brief break.
If there was ever a popular singer in the last half of the 20th century who personified the word "Icon", Johnny Cash was that human being. He called himself a "Folk Singer", and I appreciated his categorization, for what else is rockabilly, Americana, blues, folk, and country music but segments of our art culture in America? And who succeeded more in successfully capturing most, if not all of these genres
Larry Shell
lawrenceshell@comcast.net
Bye Bye Johnny! What a way to start the day, the clock radio went off at 7am and I got the bad news that Johnny Cash had died early this morning. Its made even sadder that it happened right after the 2 year anniversary of 9/11 the day before, which in itself was depressing enough without saying goodbye to the Man in Black on top of that. When I think of Johnny Cash, I think of this great country of ours, because Johnny Cash typifies America for me! He came up from a sparse, dirt-poor beginning and went on to become an icon, yes I said icon, for music fans of all ages. Not just country music fans, but everyone who loves music. Who didn¹t love Johnny Cash? From his Sun Records days to the present recording classics like "I Walk The Line," "Get Rhythm," "Folson Prison Blues" and the unforgettable "Ring of Fire," Johnny¹s musical legacy and the memory of the man himself will shine on forever and even longer.
I hear the train a comin', it's rolling round the bend, it's carrying Johnny Cash to that big old stage in heaven to meet up with June so they can be together in eternity. Rest in peace, Johnny! Larry Shell, 9/12/03
JEFF JOHNSON
TUCSON, AZ USA
GOLDGUITAR@AOL.COM
I don't even know where to begin ... I first met Johnny Cash in Tucson in late 50's early 60's. I got to eventually get backstage and so forth ... The last time I saw him was when Luther Perkins died and I just couldn't stand to see anyone in his place but that's a personal thing. Johnny Cash is the GREATEST ENTERTAINER of all time. He has accomplished so much in his life. Been down rocky roads and survived them all. Charisma was in his genes. You could see the room light up when he entered it. I have been in the entertainment business myself singer, musician on a small scale and Johnny Cash was a great inspiration to me. I wish his family the best and my prayers go out to them. Here they got hit with two huge events within one year. How tragic. Now America has two HORRIBLE INCIDENTS in two days in a row ... 9/11/2001 and now 9/12/2003. "I'm going home at last" ...
Michael Buffalo Smith
Greenville, SC
editor@gritz.net
Johnny Cash was the reason I started singing. Well, he and Elvis. The first song I learned on guitar was off of one of my dad's old records, Johnny doing "Get Rhythm." Followed closely by "Folsom Prison Blues." Johnny held a special place in my heart and always will. One man I never got to interview, but always wanted to. Came close several times, but no cigar. We love you Johnny. I'll bet June was happy to see ya again! Michael Buffalo Smith, Publisher/Editor GRITZ Magazine
Derek Halsey
Derek Halsey Cincinnati, Ohio
blenderlip@hotmail.com
Johnny Cash: In 1979, the year I started at the University of Cincinnati, Johnny Cash, Eli Wallach and Brenda Vaccaro filmed a made-for-TV movie here in town called The Pride Of Jessie Hallam. In it Johnny played a man who was a coal miner from the age of 14 who, after being widowed, came to the big city of Cincinnati out of Kentucky and had to deal with the fact that he was illiterate. I found out that the film crew as working in the Mount Adams section of the city so, in-between classes, I went up there to watch them do their craft. They had been in town for a while so there was not a lot of people up there, mostly because it was a weekday and everybody was at work themselves. I asked if I could watch for a while and they said yes, just go around the back of the set as to not interrupt any scenes. As I walk around a big bus I lookup and there is Johnny Cash sitting in a chair having his makeup done for an upcoming scene. I am completely surprised and, without having time to think about it, I give him a silent nod and a wave. Even though the makeup artist was working on him he looked me right back in the eye and gave me that classic Johnny Cash head nod. I did not break stride but continued to walk around the bus. It happened so quick and unexpectedly, yet I was on cloud nine.
Let me say this, as I watched him do a couple of scenes and got to meet him and everything, his presence and charisma was as powerful and authentic as described by anyone else you have ever heard talk about it. The guy was the real deal. The film crew moved the crew and equipment to film a scene at the local bus station, and it was a 'going away’ scene that featured Johnny with Eli Wallach. They did about two or three takes, and then on the fourth take Johnny and Eli hit the scene in the kind of magical way that had the crew and everybody present applauding at the end of it. The director, Gary Nelson, knew he had his take and he was thrilled to call it a wrap. To see that moment live was priceless, and I have never forgotten it.
I interviewed Billy Joe Shaver a few months back after June died. Here are some of his thoughts about June and Johnny, now both gone; "I used to work for him. I worked for him for a couple of years, and then my wife worked for him for 14 years ... I wrote for his publishing company, the House of Cash. June was kind, and generous, and beautiful. I don't think she knew how beautiful she was. I really don't. I worked for John over there for two years writing songs and somebody was always coming up and asking her this and asking her that. How in the world she managed her time, I don’t know. She was as busy as John, busier than John, really. She did everything. She was always helping this one and that one do this and that. And if you ever got broke you could always look to June to get it. You didn't even have to come up with a story. You'd just ask her and she'd give it to you when times were lean ... With June, if you worked for them, or you ever even knew them very well, they considered you family. So, that was it. You could call them day or night, and they'd answer the phone. I talked with John, oh, when he first started getting bad sick. I talked with him right on up until he really didn't need to be talking to anybody like me on the phone. But they were always gracious and always gave us their telephone numbers. That's pretty good, really, because in this business a lot of people don't want to hear from nobody ... (On June's funeral being opened to the public) Yeah, I'm real glad about that because that is how she would have wanted it. I'm sure he did it because that's the way she would have wanted it. She was one of them, she was that way. That guy, I don't know how in the world he’s going to go on. But, I'm sure he'll find a way. He's tough. But, boy, he sure did depend on her for a lot. She was a good mother, and a good wife. A great wife. She was just beautiful, and sweet. Everything that goes with beautiful, she was there."
Rodney Crowell helped me out on anarticle about June earlier this year. A few minutes ago his people sent me this statement from him about Johnny; "I am deeply saddened by the loss of my children's grandfather and my very dear friend. I loved big John with all my heart. The citizens of the world have lost one of their most enduring guiding lights. As a musical hero to millions, a trailblazing artist, humanitarian, spiritual leader, social commentator and most importantly, patriarch to one of the most varied and colorful extended families imaginable, Johnny Cash will, like Will Rogers, stand forever as a symbol of intelligence, creativity, compassion and common sense. I'm thinking Mt. Rushmore." -- Rodney Crowell
Here is Kris Kristofferson's statement on Johnny's passing; "Johnny Cash has always seemed larger than life to me. He is a true American hero, beloved the world over as much for his kindness and compassion and championing of the underdog as for the power of his art. He's been my inspiration, my faithful friend, my champion - a constant oasis of unconditional love and support. His fiercely independent and free spirit, balanced with his love of family, children and his fellow man, will stand as a shining example of the best of what it means to be human. And he was damned funny, even in the darkest times.
I love you, John
In the cold and Holy darkness
You were always shining brighter than a star
God bless you, John
For the love and joy you've given
And the living inspiration that you are."
-Kris Kristofferson
What was cool about Johnny was his ability to get real with the music. I, of course, grew up listening to "Folsom Prison Blues" and "I Walk The Line" and as kids we all knew the words to "Boy Named Sue" because it gave us a reason to cuss. I also have an album of his where all of the songs are recorded from the native American point of view called Bitter Tears: Ballads Of The American Indian. On it is a song called "Custer" where he points out that what was a victory for the Indians was called a massacre by the rest of the world. "Now I can tell you buster, that I ain't a fan of Custer, but the General, he don't ride well anymore. Custer split his men, well (laugh) he won't do that again, and the General he don't ride well anymore!"
Holy smokes folks, if you have not seen Johnny's latest video of the song "Hurt", try and see it tonight on TV. Haunting and, once again, as real as it gets. There was a clip of an interview shown today that Johnny gave to Barbara Walters years ago. In it she asks him if he is going to heaven or hell. Johnny says, "I'm going to heaven." "Are you sure?" Walters asks. "Yes. I've already seen enough of hell." There is no doubt that Johnny went through a lot in his life, a lot of it his own fault, which he freely admitted. But you always knew that in there deep was a good man, a great songwriter, and somebody lucky enough to find a wife that saved him from the depths of despair. June said this about the two of them in an interview she did in 1999 when Johnny was bad sick; "You see, we're OK; even if we died and went to heaven, we're all right. I've always walked with thousands of angels. They've put me on their wings and they've carried me."
Four months later, they are together again. Johnny Cash, RIP! Derek Halsey, Gritz Music Magazine. www.gritz.net (Sept. 12, 2003)
MIKE VINCENT
CHICAGO, IL USA
SANDY.BUSSE@SBCGLOBAL.NET
In I believe it was 1954 my best friend Red and I went to the diner grill here in Chicago ( which I still visit today) it was a old streetcar made to a restaurant The owners of the diner were two brothers named red and Jimmy and they loved this guy named JOHNNY CASH a new guy in rock n roll country. And as red would correct me it was rockabilly music.The box was loaded with cash music...it was a exciting time. What could be better the best hamburgers and milk shakes and Johnny Cash music and a old 50 Ford. They the owners and us kids loved Johnny deeply he was Elvis before Elvis in the north. The beat on I walk the line will never be equalled.Today 50 years later the diner still has Johnny Cash tunes on it and has went through three different owners since.When Igo there which is often, I see my friend red in there along with Johnny sitting on those little round stools,.Today we have lost a true legend and for many of us a great great inspiration to do music ... how those few simple chords John played could make people just feel happy. I have met a lot of his family including June but I never met or saw him in concert but I have performed his music many many times and in a musical way have felt like I did know him. I couldnt agree more with BO BOPPER about his feelings on MTV and VH 1 about how they honored Johnny with their heres your award get outta here so we can honor some of the jerks of todays music.jOHNNY was a true legend , his museum is a true feeling of how the people in the WORLD feel about the man in black.Personally for me he is truly missed his rockabilly roots which he was proud of will ring out FOREVER as will his music. Johnny loved so much his wife June and I think life was just too much without her. One of my proudest moments was when my music was played on a Memphis radio station and not because it was played but because it followed Johnny Cash's HEY PORTER. Unknowing he had diabetes, I knew of his other ailments.
The world has lost a true legend and many nights I know I will look up in the sky and see him and Elvis and Gene and Rick and Carl playing together in a jam session that could only be made in heaven. God bless you John and hopefully you've changed now to the man in white. I'm sure you have, we love and miss you John. Mike and Sandy Vincent
Bert en Jolanda Bent
Ommen, Netherlands
Bent191@zonnet.nl
- Normaly we don't do this, but Johnny Cash give`s us a lot of pleasure with his music so we want to thank him and his wife June Carter-Cash for this. Sleep well Johnny and June
Sandy
Chicago Illinois USA
sandy.busse@sbcglobal.net
I all my life wanted to meet you Johnny, I have always heard wonderful stories about you and June. And have listened to your music all my life. My Dad Loved you and talked about you all the time. Maybe now you and he can meet up again and talk about the good old days. say hi for me. I was so saddened by the news of June's passing and knew you were missing her more than anyone could know. Your now in her sweet singing arms. I know your at Peace now. You both were great inspirations to a lot of people here. and have done so many Great things and music here. You'll both be missed. It's now your turn to be there for each other. Walk with Jesus for eternity. We'll all meet up someday. God Bless, Sandy
Martin Hessels
Heemskerk, The Netherlands
hesselsheemskerk@wanadoo.nl
"Soon your sugar-daddies will all be gone.
You'll wake up some cold day and find you're alone.
You'll call to me but I'm gonna tell you: "Bye, bye, bye,"
When I turn around and walk away, you'll cry, cry, cry"
What a sad day with the passing of the man in black. One of the original icons of music. Rock on, Johnny, you will be missed!! I guess things happen that way.
Alias
alias@atticart.com
My sympathy to the Cash family ...
Tribute
Johan Uitenhoven
Netherlands
j.uitenhoven1@chello.nl
"Oh I'd love to wear a rainbow everyday
And tell the world that everything's OK
But I'll try and carry off a little darkness on my back
'Til things are brighter, I'm the man in black."
We've lost the coolest man in music.
David "Long Tall" Phisel
Paris, France
dphisel@noos.fr
Today black is the color of the blues ... Johnny, the man who writed a new page in the big book of country, the man who will always be remembered with Jimmy and Hank as one of the kings died. I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER YOU. Thanks Mr Cash.
Dickie "Be-Bop" Harrell
Drummer, Gene Vincen't Blue Caps
Dickiebebop@aol.com
Johnny Cash was one of the most Outstanding Musicians of our time. So Sad to be so Young. Thanks for the fine Music John. I played many of shows with him in the beginning. He will truly be Missed. 
Sylvia Nelson
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
sylvianelson1972@aol.com
I just heard the sad news. I'm too shocked to comment except to say I love you, Johnny. I'm sure you're in peace now with June. Lots of Love, Sylvia xxxxx
Bernard " Big Joe " ZITOUNE
RHOF France PARIS
tonyslim@netcourrier.com
With Hank Williams Johnny Cash will remain for me the reference of Country Music! I am upset by his death because it was one of my favorite singers and composers! Thank you Johnny! "Merci du fond de mon coeur et que Dieu t'accueille près de lui au Paradis" - Big Joe
Danny B. Matthews
Puslinch, Ontario Canada
condan1@sympatico.ca
My first date with my beautiful wife of 32 years was at a Johnny Cash concert here in Toronto, Ontario. It finished with fireworks and that has been the story of my marriage all these years. I love your music Johnny Cash and your magnificent contribution to that industry and your generous charities and good deeds in this life. May you go now and join your beloved wife in the great afterlife where you can continue to watch over us down here who will continue to play your music for many years to come until its our turn to join you once again. Love from a Canadian fan, Dan Matthews Puslinch Ontario Cda
James Vey
Phila, Pa USA
Thanks Johnny for the music that brought me through the good, bad, and ugly times in my life. I would also like to thank my Father for introducing me to your beloved music. I know God has a kickin' guitar waiting for you. Along with your beautiful wife and many friends. Peace Dude ... "can you hear that whistle blowin'?"
Roger "Roc" LaRue
ralarue@gapac.com
Sept. 12, 2003 - God rest in peace Johnny. But that's only his body down here on this earth. He is now in his heavenly body - and his re-union with his cherished wife June must have been a sight to behold. The Man In Black has traded his clothes for a heavenly suit of white.  It is sad to realize that only one remains from that Sun "Million Dollar Quartet" - and that's Jerry Lee. I had a vision of him this morning driving to work - I saw this man dressed in a pure white radiant suit with a quitar strapped across his back, approaching the Gates of heaven. He turned his back to the gates - and then the gates opened and he swung around and spoke his trademark line, "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash" ...
Jeff
jepjo@msn.com
Nashville, IN USA
Hey folks, Just wondering if anyone knows of Johnny Cash playing live or touring anytime in the future? Johnny has played in my home town of Nashville, Indiana at the Little Nashville Opry for years and I was wondering if he was coming back? Appreciate any replys, Thanks, Jeff
Ron Frigon
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
thefrigons@msn.ca
We love you Johnny. I've listened to you all my life. Thank-you.
Mike Dunn
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
m_dunn_88@hotmail.com
The first song i ever learned to play on the guitar was Folsom Prison Blues, and to this day it remains one of my favorites. Thank you Johnny for your great musical contribution and for your inspiration to young musicians like myself. I know Johnny Cash will be missed by many and never forgotten.
Jeff
Las Vegas, Nevada U.S.A.
They say that everyone has a complex at sometime. My best friend has a Peter Pan complex, my girlfriend has a princess complex, and I have a Johnny Cash complex. I was raised in Wyoming in a small, tough town, and Johnny reminds me of everything that I love about that country. All I want to do is live in Wyoming and be a rough and tumble man. His music epitomizes everything that makes men men. Tough, emotional beautiful lyrics. It reminds me of home. Rough, beautiful surroundings and rough, beautiful people. Whenever I listen to him, I miss home. Thank you for making music that will always be fitting as long as men are men. Thank you for being what this country has always needed and what made us great, simple emotions and rough and tumble antics. You make me think of home and hope and love, and that is what makes you the best. I am young yet, only twenty, and I have a long time to go, but I shall always hope for those simple things that makes you so great. Thank you Johnny.
alex
santiago, chile
alexisanarko@hotmail.com
Hola johnny gracias por el rocknroll que nos das.
Jim Loucks
Victoria, British Columbia. Canada
jlclerk@telus.net
I've loved your music and seen you perform many times in Canada, the last being `The Merrit Mountain Music Festival' I have followed your career from the beginning, with a collection of 45 albums. I pick a little mostly your music. Many more birthdays, thanks for keeping country music - country music. Love ya.
simone
roma, italia
spiritualfront@yahoo.com
simply great. i started to play music listenin' to his voice n songs. unfortunately 'here' is not so 'country' ... but i feel so close to his vibrations 'n sound!!! thanx johnny. grazie!
ELIZABETH BUSHEY
ONTARIO CANADA
EVER SINCE I WAS YOUNG THE MUSIC OF JOHNNY CASH WAS PLAYED IT WAS JUST A NATURAL THING LIKE BREATHING.EVEN TODAY MY GRAND-CHILDREN KNOWS AND LOVES HIS MUSIC. IT'S SO BEAUTIFUL TO WATCH THEM DANCE AROUND WITH THERE HANDS IN THE AIR AND SMILING WHILE THE OLDER ONES INCLUDING MYSELF SANG ALONG TO THE MUSIC. I WOULD HAVE TO SAY THAT THE VIDEO HURT WILL BE ONE OF THE BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT'S THAT HE HAS EVER MADE. IT'S SUCH A POWERFUL SONG. IT GOES STRAIGHT TO YOUR SOUL AND IS NOT EASILY FORGOTTEN. TO SEE HIM WITH HIS WIFE WHO WITH GREAT SORROW HAS GONE HOME THIS VIDEO WILL BE AROUND FOR A VERY VERY LONG TIME, AND HE SHOULD STAND TALL AND BE PROUD, BECAUSE THE REST OF THE WORLD IS. MAY THE HEAVENLY FATHER GIVE HIM THE STRENGTH AND WILL TO CARRY ON. HIS MUSIC WILL LIVE FOREVER
Mary J Anthony
Columbus, Georgia, USA
maryjanthony@hotmail.com
We were so sorry to hear of the death of Mrs Cash. Our prayers for the family are mingled with those of countless others. We understand that many people were able to attend the funeral and that Mr Cash held up well, as did the rest of the family. My son, husband and myself were also planning to be there. Unfortunately we had an automobile accident in Chattanooga and were unable to complete the journey. Probably there are many other stories about people who wanted to attend, but were prevented by work, finances, distance, etc. If this page is still open and information can be forwarded to the family, these stories might be a comfort in their time of grief. Thanks for this time to share. Jim, Joanne, James Anthony, Columbus, Georgia - maryjanthony@hotmail.com
fred bessell
rushville ill usa
fbcntry@elvis.com
J. i remember going to old ryman & slipping backsatge & standing about 10 ft from you & june right after you got married. i remember going to the museum & standing by hillbilly caddy & then driving down by you house & getting our pics taken. We recieved a 25th anniversary card from you & june & we still have. We Remember Johnny Cash.
Sandy Busse
Summerville, South Carolina
tweetymom@netscape.com
Dear Johnny. Just a few words to tell how much I have Loved you and your music ever since I can remember, And have always adored you and June, I pray your health is doing better. Just wanted to let you know that you are in mine and Mike's thoughts and prayers. Fans for Life, Mike and Sandy.
Bruce Hines
Henderson Nevada USA
hotrod3482002@yahoo.com
Johnny, I love your music and your talent. I wish I could be more like you. You're the greatest and always will be.
Marlene (Hawkins) Gilliam
Virginia
mgm@marlene.org
Happy, happy birthday, Johnny. I am sure you remember my Dad, Hawkshaw, and my Mom, Reva. Mom would love for me to say, "Hi" and "Happy Birthday" to you for her. I know she would love to hear from you and June. She is NOT on the internet, so just contact me if you want to get in touch with her. Have a wonderful, blessed birthday and many, many more. God bless you and yours.
Gary Jennings
Sidney, N.Y. USA
gjennings@stny.rr.com
JOHNNY IS A AMERICAN LEGEND OF THE MUSIC WORLD. I LISTEN TO JOHNNY GROWING UP, AND HE EXPIRED MANY OTHERS IN COUNTRY MUSIC. JUST A STORY ON HIS LIFE IS A LEGEND. MERLE HAGGARD AND JOHNNY WROTE MUSIC ABOUT THEIR LIFES. COUNTRY MUSIC TO ME IS LIVING IT, NOT JUST WRITTING IT. WE KNOW THAT COUNTRY MUSIC IS THE HEART OF AMERICA. THAT MAKES JOHNNY PLACED IN THE RIGHT PART OF AMERICA. WHEREVER THERE'S A GOOD MAN THERE'S A GOOD WOMAN, AND JUNE CARTER CASH MADE JOHNNY BEAWARE OF IT. I JUST WANT TO SAY A LEGEND NEVER DIES AND JOHNNY JUST KEEPS MAKING HITS. I WANT TO SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHNNY AND HOPE YOU HAVE MANY MORE. GOD BLESS YA
JOHN E DAILY
FULTON MO, USA
jed1@midamerica.net
HI JOHNNY! I AM SORRY I DIDN'T FIND THIS SITE SOONER, I JUST WANTED TO WISH YOU A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY AND GOOD LUCK IN THE FUTURE TO YOU AND JUNE AND YOUR FAMILY. I AM 58 NOW AND YOU HAVE BEEN IN MY HEART SINCE YOU STARTED YOUR LONG JOURNEY ON THE ROAD TO SUCCCES. YOU HAVE SEEN ME THROUGH MANY DAYS OF SADNESS AND I JUST WANT TO SAY THANKS. I AM SO GLAD TO HERE YOU ARE DOING WELL. I WROTE SOMETHING FOR YOU BUT HAVEN'T FOUND AN ADDRESS TO MAIL IT TO YET. THANKS AGAIN, JOHN DAILY
Bob Timmers
Burns, TN
bob@rockabillyhall.com
Posted Feb. 26, 2003, Johnny's 71st birthday. A big "thank you" to all who have contributed to this page during the past year. Let's keep it up and continue to remember and thank Johnny Cash for all the great music he has created and shared with us.
Alex Tom Cat
S“o Paulo - SP - Brazil
WONDERFUL!!!!!!
BARBARA DUNN KING
SANTA FE TEXAS USA
Ekingehk@cs.com
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU JOHN MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND JUNE WITH EACH STEP YOU TAKE .... GREETINGS FROM TEXAS TO YOU - ED AND BARBARA DUNN KING - ENTERTAINMENT NEWS SANTA FE TEXAS

STILL WALKING THE LIFELINES
GOD PRESERVED FOR YOU TWO
STILL SINGING THE NOTES
LIFTING THEM BASSY AND TRUE

STILL STRUMMIN THE STRINGS
AND HUMMIN A BRAND NEW SONG
COMIN FROM A PAIR OF HEARTS
THAT ARE VIABLE AND STRONG

STILL GRINNIN SIDEWAYS
AT THE DAWN OF EACH NEW DAY
STILL THE WORLD'S LISTENIN
TO YOUR MUSIC,
AS YOU SING AND PLAY

MAY EACH STEP BE SURELY BLESSED
EACH NEW TUNE A HIT TO BE
MAY YOUR LOVE FOR LIFE NEVER DIM
WELL JOHN JUST HAPPY BIRTHDAY FROM ME
BLESSINGS BARBARA BJD
Rex Cash
Post, Texas 79356
cash@nts-online.net
We share our last name but thats not all, I was born February 25,1961 in a small town in the mist of a musical family. I am planning a large musical festival to be held on our 7000 acre ranch in the summer of 2004. It is called West Texas Beachfest, it is a unique concept consisting of a stage (yacht) on a beach (a sandy river bottom) in a sea of people seeking a new experience of great music, beach fun, authentic West Texas food and an opportunity to explore a typical working ranch.
Gav Duggan
Newcastle, England
gavcash@hotmail.com
Happy Birthday Johnny, Thank you for your music and image that I discovered when young and which I am sure will stay with me all my life. You are the only living legend left and regardless of your troubles, you have truly had a great life. You are truly the one and only and you will live on forever more.
Johnny Peso
New Jersey
JohnnyPesoBand@aol.com
Beyond a doubt, Johnny Cash is the Greatest, most influencial entertainer of all time. We feel honored to perform his songs. His words and music have stretched beyond country music to all genders and fans of all music. Our goal is to keep his music alive and fresh for years to come. Thanks, The Johnny Peso Band, peso.homestead.com
mick
Stoke on Trent England
yatesmarshall@btopen world.com
Happy Birthday John, From your thousands of fans here in the UK. I am listening to Transfusion Blues at this very moment. Best wishes to you and your family, and GOD Bless you all. Mick.
George Fox
Cobden, Ont, Canada
chippit@sympatico.ca
Great to see John on Larry King Show last week and glad to see him back into the recording studio where he belongs. Keep putting out those great cd's, your fans want all you can produce. Your writing as good as ever. Keep it up! George
CADDILAC CRUMB
the NASHVILLE BUM

NASHVILLE TN, USA
cadcrumb@yahoo.com
Happy Birthday MR, CASH, I hope to someday see you sing, live, your music has been a happy part of my life, keep writin and singin.
Eagle598
MONTGOMERY CT, MARYLAND
Hello, I'm eagle 598 Happy Birthday Mr. Cash. I have been a life long fan of yours since I was six years old know I am in my forties. I have your records such as the "Man In BLack" "Folsum Prison Blues," "Rockabilly," "Orange Blossom Special," "Boy Named Sue," Cocaine Blues", "Wreck of Old 97," "John Henry's Hammer," etc. ... You are a life long symbol of whats good in the world. I saw you in person every time you came to Maryland at the Capitol Center. Thankyou again for being yourself and my singer. mr.Eagle598
scotty pebley
pbr rodeo bull rider
canon city, colorado
johnnycash152@yahoo.com
Johnny Cash, buddy ur the real cowboy. I saw mark chessnut, joe diffy, and tracey leraance, they suck, u rule Johnny. Canon City colorado loves u johnny. U never die johnny, u will be remembered by me - scott pebley, a pbr rodeo bull rider
Emmy
USA
adam38@getgoin.net
I am the daughter of a 78 year old fan, that now has Alzhiemers. I am taking care of my father and he sings parts of Johnny Cash's songs to me. Most of them I know, but there is one that he would love to have a tape of and I have no idea what song it is. If someone could help me I would more than appreciate it. This is what my Father will sing to me almost everynight when I put him to bed. "Please Momma don't make me go to bed and I'll be good." Now I don't know if this is a song or just in my Fathers mind. He thinks it is a song of Johnny Cash's. If you can please help. I would like to get a copy of this if it is a song. Thank you very much. Emmy
PAUL LAUZON, WCUW FM
PAUL'S MUSIC SOURCE

WORCESTER MASS
paullauzon134@msn.com
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHNNY TO YOU AND WISH YOU THE BEST FROM THE PAUL LAUZON SHOW ON WCUW FM EVERY THURSDAY MORNING AND I HAVE BEEN LISTENING TO YOU ALL MY LIFE. NOW I HAVE THE GREATEST PLEASURE OF PLAYING YOUR MUSIC AND VERY PROUD OF YOU FOR YOU ARE ONE OF THE GREATEST COUNTRY STARS. GOD BLESS, PAUL LAUZON. WCUW-FM, WORCESTER, MASS
Wayne and Marcella
Aloha, OR
marcellawebber@msn.com
Happy Birthday "Cousin" Johnny! Wayne's Mother, your cousin Doris, and his Grandmother, Mabel Cash McKinney, your Mother's sister, always spoke fondly of you and with great pride. We wish you many many more years of great music, good acting, and just down-right ole' good life!
Hellevoetsluis
wizzard60@hotmail.com
Hope you had a Nice Birthday John. We had a nice time at al of your concerts in Holland and we feel sorry that it can't happen again (?). We where at a few of the concerts also with your Carter family and at the tour with the boys (Waylon, Kriss , Willie ) for promoting a CD in Rotterdam. I hope you have a nice day and that you will be able to travel again for the Fan's and for your music. Please keep on making it. Even if we can't see you "live" we like to here more from you. Happy 70th birthday!
drew miller
hickory, n.c usa
porkneedle@excite.com
My father was able to meet Cash in person, sadly i have not...some of my earliest memories are of "the wreck of old '97" "folsom prison blues" and the infamous "cocaine blues". When i was younger i claimed to hate country music (commercial country is still horrible) then sometime in my early twentys i found some of the early columbia Cash albums and it started the greatest addiction i've faced to this point...and since then my entire free-time is devoted to the collection of Cash info both local and abroad. It's sort of a history lesson without the puddle of drool on the desk ... i could go on for days about what Cash means to me, but i should probably pay some attention to my girlfriend. -drew
Sean191
Hackettstown, NJ USA
jerzyrecords@hotmail.com
Well, Johnny Cash has got to be one of the most impressive figures in music. Even at 70 there's something about him that commands respect and could intimidate if need be. And he also does some of the most impressive covers I've heard.
Paul MacPhail
Stratford, P.E.I., Canada
p_macphail@hotmail.com
Hi Johnny, I was there at the beginning in early 1956. I'm still writing about you worldwide in my music column. Your one of the top ten entertainers of the 20th Century. I got all your recordings ... even some that are yet to be released. I seen all your tv appearances and movies, and that's a helluva lot, and I've seen you in concert 17 times from 1958 to 1987. Followed your every move. Rock on (Drive on). Paul.
Donald Benson
Cumberland, WI USA
benson_donald@hotmail.com
I was so happy that JR made his 70th birthday. I'm also happy that he is feeling better than he has in years. So nice to hear. It would be wonderful to see him on television again, but this is only a dream of mine. I started listening to his records at about age 6, in 1960, when my brother would bring his records home.I was in awe of his voice then and I still am, as well as the person. Somehow at age 6, I knew he was real. It was so sad that Nashville turned their backs on him, as well as the same thing Columbia Records did to him by dropping him from their label.He sold records for Columbia when their sales were very low. That was their thanks. It is ironic that Columbia Records is re-releasing some of his older works in honor of his 70th birthday.Why did they wait so long for? I saw Johnny twice in concert at the Minnesota State Fair in the 1970's. He never failed to put on a good show. In this time since the passing of another icon, Waylon Jennings, we realize these legends are passing by us very quickly. I hope Johnny will get the recognition that he should have got years ago. I understand that Johnny is in the process of releasing a new album, although he won't have too many of his own compositions on it. I hope that Johnny's pen will again be plentiful with new original songs. I am thankful that Rick Rubin,Johnny's new rockish producer saw what a talent he is and signed him up to a dignified recording contract. Johnny Cash was a legend, and still is. I don't think he will ever fail to surprise us. So Johnny, if you're reading this, thanks for all the good recordings you have made. You have entertained us well. May your health get better and better. This may be a little late, but I hope you had a happy birthday!
tim boot
uk
timboot4@hotmail.com
all to do johnny cash
Steve Wardrip
Nashville, TN. US of A
wardrip@stones.com
"I keep a close watch on this heart of mine ..." - I know you do, Johnny ... Keep on walkin' that line. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
patrick ouchene
bruxelles, belgium, Europe
pouchene@mail.mobistar.be
hello and happy birthday, johnny thanks to all the great time i had listenning you since i first hear i walk the line you've been a model so if ever you get the time listen some cover i made of some of your tunes with 'runnin' wild may 10 others generations wish you happy birthday in the future regards - patrick
Allie Fuller
Hastings, NE, USA
VaesMom@webtv.net
Hello. Johnny Cash is one of the greatest singers. May he keep up the wonderful singing! He is one of my very FAVs . Johnny, we love you . Hugs, Allie and my large tribe, big smile
unknown
writer52@hotmail.com
Happy 70th Johnny. You've been one of my few heros in life. I've always admired your stand on world peace, and the music hasn't been too bad either. May you be blessed with good health and happy days ahead. A fan for 49 years and still counting!
Jonathan Oliver
Austin, TX
what976@lycos.com
Hey Johnny, I am a 19 year old college student here in Austin Texas, and wanted to tell you that you are my favorite artist ever. You truly enbody and embrace the spirit of a true musician! As we all know you broke the music genre barrier by being only the 2nd artist to ever be inducted into the country and rock and roll hall of fame. PLEASE COME PLAY IN AUSTIN! SEEING YOU LIVE IN CONCERT IS ONE OF MY LIFELONG GOALS, AND I FEEL THAT THERE WILL ALWAYS BE A HOLE IN ME UNTIL SOMEDAY I GET TO SEE YOU LIVE! I know that you are 3 and 1/2 times older than me, but it dosen't matter. Happy birthday, and God Bless You! Respectfully -Jon in Austin
Christian Schulz
Bad Lippspringe, Germany
christianthesinger@web.de
Hi Johnny!! Wishing you a happy birthday, all good things and especially health in your 70's!!! Thanks for your music, sincerely, Christian
Erik J. Laeskogen
Oslo, Norway
erik@palacegrill
Our humble congratulations goes to the one and only, Mr. Johnny Cash!! We're running a small American type of bar in the city of Oslo, Norway. Monday 4th of Mar., will be our tribute to Mr. Cash. There will only be played songs by Mr. Cash all night long, ending up with a live consert by Norwegian musicians, covering these endless stream of qualitiy contry & western music!!
Have a ball, and we look foreward to see Mr. Cash back in Norway soon!!
Kindly Regards
Erik J. Laeskogen
Booking manager
Palace Grill Rhythm & Booze
Oslo, Norway
VH-1
Sara Garibaldi
Johnny Cash: The Man in Black at 70 - 70th Birthday Celebration! - Hi Johnny Cash Fans! Check out VH1.com for a special features story on Johnny Cash! - Johnny Cash has broken rules, blown minds, and made some of the most moving music the world has ever heard. On February 26 he turns 70. To celebrate, we asked some of today's hottest artists to pay tribute, compiled historic footage, reviewed classic albums and assembled some essential tunes from "Ring of Fire" to "Delia's Gone." Hopefully, they'll bring you a bit closer to the essence of Johnny Cash. - Log on to VH1.com http://www.vh1.com/thewire/features/johnnycash/see to clips of Cash's performance with Willie Nelson, to read reviews of three new discs to be re-issued next month, to hear tons of audio clips and much more!
bigsky
canada
Thank you for always doing what you had to.


John Horney
Annapolis, MD USA
music@hometownannpolis.com
Happy Birthday John, Thank you so much for the music, the concerts and the memories. Hopefully there will be many more! John
CMT TV
From CMT TV...
CMT Celebrates Johnny
Cash's 70th Birthday
With A Special "CMT
JOHNNY CASH BIRTHDAY BASH"
Cable Television Premiere of Famous Johnny Cash Concert
In honor of the legendary Johnny Cash's milestone 70th birthday, CMT will throw the biggest birthday bash in CMT history with CMT'S JOHNNY CASH BIRTHDAY BASH on Tuesday, Feb. 26. CMT will dedicate an entire evening of special Johnny Cash programming. Fans of the "Man In Black" will not want to miss this special celebration of the life and music of one of the biggest icons in all of music.
CMT viewers will get a full party bag which includes a special CMT MOST WANTED LIVE where hosts Greg Martin and Katie Cook will be counting down some of the best Cash videos; a special one-hour episode of the AUSTIN CITY LIMITS featuring Johnny Cash and family; and the cable television debut of A CONCERT: BEHIND THE PRISON WALLS (1976), a half-hour of Cash performing for inmates inside the Tennessee State Penitentiary in Nashville. This is only one of two prison concerts Cash ever shot for television and has never been shown on cable television before now. As icing on the cake, CMT viewers will also get a special episode of BIG TICKET, hosted by CMT's Tara McNamara, taking viewers back to some of Johnny Cash's biggest music videos.
CMT'S JOHNNY CASH BIRTHDAY BASH includes:
Tuesday, Feb. 26
CMT MOST WANTED LIVE - All Johnny Cash videos -- 7:00 - 8:00 PM, ET/PT
AUSTIN CITY LIMITS - Johnny Cash & Family -- 8:00 - 9:00 PM, ET/PT
**A CONCERT: BEHIND THE PRISON WALLS -- 9:00 - 9:30 PM, ET/PT
BIG TICKET - Just Johnny Cash -- 9:30- 10:00 PM, ET/PT
**Cable Television Debut of one of only two prison concerts Johnny Cash ever shot for television.
Repeats:
AUSTIN CITY LIMITS - Johnny Cash & family -- 10:00 - 11:00 PM, ET/PT
CMT MOST WANTED LIVE - All Johnny Cash videos -- 11:00 - 12:00 AM, ET/PT
A CONCERT: BEHIND THE PRISON WALLS -- 12:00 - 12:30 AM, ET/PT
BIG TICKET - Just Johnny Cash -- 12:30-1:00 AM, ET/PT
Ghislain Couture
Montreal, Quebec
couture46@hotmail.com
Thank you Johnny Cash for all the great music you've given us over all these years. May you live long and strong and may i live to tell... Happy Birthday!!!
EDNA SUE JENKINS
RACELAND, KENTUCKY
edna512@webtv.net
I have been a huge fan of yours for many years. You have been an inspiration to me and to countless others. I love your music, your acting ability, and your books. The year that I got married yours and June's "Going to Jackson" was our favorite song. I wish for you a very happy birthday and many more to come, from my large family to yours. EDNA JENKINS
Andreas
Sweden
uah348u@tninet.se
Happy Birthday Johnny! I'm 26 and a big fan of your music. I saw you at the castle ruin in ÷land Sweden a couple of years ago, I will never forget that night. I hope you visit us here in Sweden soon again. Best regards, Andreas
Phil Davies
Wales. UK
Flippar54@aol.com
Hello, he's Johnny Cash. A lifelong symbol of all that's good and decent about America, from an outsider's perspective that is. A new Mount Rushmore needs to be sculptured with Hank W, Elvis, JLL, Howlin Wolf and Johnny Cash there. Our visit to the cabin in Dyess showed us how far the climb has been but the rural values and integrity have not wavered.
Penblwydd Hapus/Happy Birthday JC
pick it Luther
--

Simon Kay
A Scotsman on Lamma Island, Hong Kong
scottishsimon@hotmail.com
Happy Birthday to The Man! Have been a fan since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. I can remember being really wee and asking my Mum to "play the one about the car made up of stolen bits of other cars". More power to you Johnny, and keep motoring man.
Michele Bugliaro
Pedrinate, TI, Switzerland
Heeey Johnny, happy bday!! I wish you to stay among us and give us fine country music forever.
Darrin Warren
Osburn, Idaho
longtall68@hotmail.com
Happy 70th Johnny!!!! I've played your records at home and on the radio thousands of times. I am a fan of country and 50s & 60s rock-n-roll with a record collection of over 11,000 and a big cd collection as well. My favorite album of yours is from 1962 "The Sound of Johnny Cash". You are my all-time favorite singer. Thank You for the great music. My best to you and June.
mc elkennon
england
mick@wilma36freeserve.co.uk
johnny cash but thanks to his obvious sincerity and his crumbling rock of a voice (ofter placed out front over the most meager of rhythm patterns) everything he sings about no matter how twee always comes out sounding completely believable god bless you johnny cash
Clifford Fry
College Station, TX
clfry@tca.net
Howdy Johnny - I am 56, and I have been following your music from the first time I heard "I Walk The Line". Thanks for making my life richer, as you, Johnny Horton, and Bob Dylan have provided a lot of the "Soundtrack" for my life. I recorded (with my group Dr. Fry's Texas Medicine Band) a live version of "Folsom Prison Blues" that I am going to try to get to you through Bug Music. Hope you like it. I wish you the best birthday a LOVED MAN could ever have. -Clifford Fry
NANCY GLASGOW
White Oaks, NM USA
nanjo@tularosa.net
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHNNY, time sure flies when you're having fun, doesn't it? I crossed paths with you many moons ago, when we were both living around Ventura, CA and had mutual friend REV. GRESSETT, there's a long story there and your sister Reba. You are amazing, YOU SURVIVED all those long, hard roads you traveled down.
Wyatt West
Huntington Beach, CA, USA
SAKilgour@juno.com
Hey Johnny, Thank you for your straight up inspiration, man. Your character. Your music. Your macho voice. All that you stand for. It feels good, right, and manly to say that I am Johnny Cash fan because of what your name means. Your fight for the common man. The hard working, loyal, man who works his soul to the bone for a pitch into oblivion. You give us hope and lift our heads. If I could fill the world with people like you we could turn the jails into churches and twang halls. God bless you, brother. You've GOT rhythm! -Wyatt West
Lilith
Austria
crazyrat3@hotmail.com
DEAR MR.CASH,
HAPPY 70th BIRTHDAY!
Charlie PASTOR
Marseille - France
redhot_charlie@hotmail.com
Happy birthday, John! Thank you for all. God bless you!
Aretta Bratcher
Spring Hill, Florida, Good old U.S.A.
TranZam47@aol.com
Been a great fan of yours for many years. Your music will live on & on. At the age of 70 does't mean we're old. Just getting better HAPPY BIRTHDAY, WISH YOU MANY MORE.
Martin Hessels
Heemskerk, Noord-Holland, The Netherlands
mhessels@nl.packardbell.org
HALLELUJA, one of the coolest men ever lived, turns 70. How great thou art. Mr. Cash, happy birthday and hopefully you have many more. Greetings and ROCK ON!!!
DJ Tommy Dean
Ellsworth, Me. USA
baker1@midmaine.com
I have been a JOHNNY CASH fan since I was 9 yrs. old. I'm 46 yrs. old now! I have quite a collection of his music, books, magazine's etc. I never do a radio show without including a CASH song! I plan to do a hour hour "Special" on his birthday.JOHNNY CASH isn't just the BEST Country Singer...He's the BEST Singer...period! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOHNNY! DJ Tommy Dean WERU FM 89.9 Bluehill & 102.9 Bangor
COACH ANWAY
8017 SUSQUEHANNA TR., SPRING HILL. FL 34606
coach42@msn.com
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHNNY, WOW IT DOESN'T SEEM LIKE YOUR 70 & I'M 50 ... BOY TIMES FLYS! REMEMBER WSN ON FRIDAY NIGHTS ... WOW, WE LOVED WSN COMING GREAT WHILE CAT FISHING AT NIGHT. DID YOU DO THAT? DRINKING BEER WHEN WE'RE TOO YOUNG ... BUT WE DIDN'T CARE HAHA. HEY JOHNNY, WOULD YOU PLEASE SEND ME YOU & YOUR WIFE'S SIGNED PHOTO TO GO ALONG WITH CHARLIE & HAZEL. OK, TAKE CARE, HAPPY B-DAYS & MOST OF ALL BE IN GREAT HEALTH!! COACH ANWAY, 8017 SUSQUEHANNA TRAIL, SPRING HILL, FL 34606
Barbara Dunn King
Santa Fe, Texas USA
Ekingehk@cs.com
JOHN, YOU ARE UNIQUE, YOU MAY BE IMPERSONATED, BUT YOU WILL NEVER BE DUPLICATED. YOU STAND TALL IN STATURE, YOU HAVE LIVED AS A BOOK WELL WRITTEN. I HAVE READ THOSE WRITTEN ABOUT YOU . THANKS FOR THE TIMES IN MUSIC I HAVE SHARED WITH YOU AND JUNE VIA THE T.V. MY JUKEBOX AND THE RECORDS, AND RADIO . MAY YOUR BIRTHDAY BE A GOD BLESSED ADVENTURE INTO MANY MORE YEARS TO BE SHARED WITH FAMILY, FRIENDS AND YOUR MUSIC. BLESSINGS FROM TEXAS TO TENNESSEE OR WHERE EVER YOUR HANGIN YOUR HAT. BJD
Bill Schalk
Brookfield, Wisconsin, USA
schalkbilly@aol.com
Happy, Happy Birthday Johnny!! And wishes for many more to come. I saw you in MIlwaukee in the late 60's and have never forgoten our meeting. Stoped backstage and talked with you briefly. You were very open and friendly with all your fans. Thanks for giving traditional country music a true hero.
kurt kraus
macclenny, florida U.S.A.
lobo_meme@yahoo.com
happy birthday, johnny. i've been a fan of yours since i was a kid. we watched your t.v. show every week. i really missed you at the billy graham crusade in jacksonville, florida last november. charlie daniels said you were too sick to be there and dedicated a song to you and june. again, happy birthday.
Joe Jurado
Barcelona, Spain
Amarillokiller@hotmail.com
Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two, ese sonido perfecto solo comparable al del mas grande Hank Williams. Gracias... gracias...gracias...
Hans R
Gothenburg, Sweden
hasseryd@hotmail.com
Happy Birthday Johnny, may your gifts last long!
Marc Nall
Baltimore MD USA
manall@towson.edu
Happy Birthday Johnny Cash. I've enjoyed your music all my life and your records are just getting better!
Rebecca
San Francisco, CA
sweatergirl_25@yahoo.com
Happy Birthday Johnny! I love you!!! I saw you in Columbus, Ohio several years ago and I was the moron who fell apart in the front of the theater when you walked on stage. You have been a HUGE part of my life, and the poor fellas I date always feel that they have to live up to the Cash image! Thank you for everything. You are wonderful, and you just keep gettin' better!!!
Doreen Brown
Etobicoke, Ont., Canada
Dbenterprises@sprint.ca
Hi Johnny: First of all, Many Happy Returns, to celebrate your birthday and all the very best to you and June. It has been a number of years since I saw you at Palace Pier, Toronto. Don't remember if you were at the famous Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto, but you may have been. Have admired your style of music and performances over the years and sure appreciate your dedication to Country Music, a true artist to the core. All the best (from a traditional country music entertainer) Doreen Brown
Matti Tahja
Chico, Ca. U.S.
mtahja@hotmail.com
Dear Mr. Cash, I want you to know that you are still gaining new admirers all the time. The roots country/rockabilly scene is alive and well in Chico, California and your music is the base for many kinds of music and bands. Thank you for "Ring of Fire", "Folsom Prison Blues", "Cocaine Blues", and too many others to mention. If you ever happen to be coming this way, your show would be instantly full of fans who respect and love you. -Daddy Matti Tahja
Fran
Elmira, NY USA
Lenore910@aol.com
Johnny has been my hero since I first heard him sing. I'm 68 now and wish him a happy day and a long and healthy life. I saw him and June when they played at the Chemung County Fairgrounds in Horseheads, NY. Always watched the show on TV. I wish it was still on. I really missed country music, but I think it's coming back. I'm still playing the old cassettes and Johnny is still my favorite.
victoria
FH, New Jersey, USA
v_tory7@hotmail.com
Dear Mr. Cash, I just finished reading your novel yesterday morning (January 24, 2002), and am so glad that I happened upon this page today. I hope you have a wonderful birthday and that you get to spend it with your closest friends and family. Thank you for all the great music, I really do enjoy your storytelling. Take care of yourself. Tory Pubylski
Jeff Biss
Elgin, Illinois U.S. of A.
jeff@marco-inc.com
I still regret missing your date here in Elgin a few years back, but since my music collection includes your work I can always enjoy it. I wish you the best and a very happy birthday. Since my dad played your albums that left me with a love for your music, I'm sure he wishes you the same.
Kenny Roberts
Athol, Mass, USA
Kennybett@juno.com
Happy Birthday to you Johnny. Your a true Country artist and an original. We go back a long time. Yodels of happiness to you. Kenny R
Michel Cuska
Somewhere in Switzerland, Europe
cuska@bart.ch
Happy birthday, Johnny! Thanx alot for the music; nobody's songs touch my soul as yours do. I've seen you once in Mollis, Switzerland and wish u would go on the road one more time. You're gonna live forever. All best wishes, Michel
Vernon
St Louis, MO
lbalew@mindspring.com
Happy birthday to an american legend. I have been a fan of yours since you started out in 1955, and have had the thrill and privilege to see you in person at least 4 or 5 times. Thanks for all the wonderful memories and many more happy birthdays to you.
Yolanda Casey
Fresno, California USA
yolandacasey@yahoo.com
Howdy, Mr. MAN IN BLACK. Thank you for all of the Wonderful music over the years and wishing you a very happy "Happy Birthday" - We Love YOU Johnny ...
Laura Guild
Mallorytown, Ont. Canada
guildlaur@netscape.net
Happy Birthday Johnny, Thank you for all your wonderful music. It was a true pleasure to see you in concert many years ago in Clayton New York. Thanks again for the music and God Bless You on your special day.
Uwe Kranjec
Coburg, Germany
ukranjec@gmx.de
Hey Johnny ... happy birthday to you!!! Just wanna say that your '50s recordings are great! And all them others, too. Keep on playin'.
Terry Oken
Chicago, IL USA
terryoken2aol.com
Johnny: Happy Birthday and I hope you have many more. Best regards to June and your entire family. Terry OKen
Toni Sbesta
Vienna, Austria
golden@a1.net
Happy Birthday Johnny Cash! You've never picked cotten, nor did I. I cruised with you through the sea of heartbreak, but you don't know. I hope you don't retire to some rusty cage but keep on making the very best records in music history. And I still hope to see you live on stage one day. Stay healthy!
Skinny McGee
Winter Haven Fl.
skinnymcgee@hotmail.com
I share the same birthday as Johnny Cash and would like to wish him a very happy birthday. I sing a lot of his songs and have enjoyed listening to him. God Bless Johnny. Skinny McGee
chris o'bryan
raleigh, nc usa
tittydetective@hotmail.com
Johnny, happy b day. u kick ass. definitely one of the true top musical influences of our time. i wish u would go on the road one more time!
Hanne Hedegaard
Aarhus, Denmark
omni@ofir.dk
Dear Mr. Johnny Cash. Still remember seeing you in Horsens, Denmark some years back. You have been a part of my musical life for so many years and helped me through bad times as well as celebrations. Happy birthday to you and warm greetings and good wishes for you and your family. Hanne Hedegaard, Denmark
Mark Morris
Florissant, MO USA
zombie_crypt@hotmail.com
HAPPY 70th Johnny!! Thanks for all great music over the years, and keep it coming for many more.
Pat Cupp
Texarkana, Ark. USA
daddycupp@aol.com
Johnny, Your time in Texarkana, Ark in the mid 50's still rings with your style of music. My dreams were simular to yours at that time. I had some successes, but yours was what dreams are made of. Pat Cupp and what is left of the Flying Saucer Band wish you a very Happy Birthday and do hope you have many more. May God Bless, Pat Cupp
Dieter Moll
Niederkassel, Germany
DMoll@t-online.de
Happy Birthday, Mr Johnny Cash! We all love your music. All the best now and in the future! Good health and the best wishes for you and your family!
D. Petti
dapbay@yahoo.com
Johnny, I consider your music distinctive and so completely true American music. I consider your music a genre in and of itself. You are the man! What a voice! Happy 70th!
boppin alex
valencia (spain)
alexruiz28@hotmail.com
Happy birthday, man in black. You're the best star of country music, a 20th century genius. You walk the line and, johnny, played the boogie!
Nol Voorst
Maastricht, Netherlands
wildboppinnol@hotmail.com
Happy Happy birthday Mister Johnny Cash, saw you're show in Amsterdam 1974, man it was SUPER, thank you Mister, I cannot get near you than, for a autograph so it stil wil be a dream for me. It's ok. Dear Mister Cash, I love you anyway and please stay among us for a long time. I wish you every happyness and a good health, enjoy life Mister we need you. Have the best birthday ever - a wish to you by just a guy from Maastricht.
VINCE LAUS
MALTA
vincelaus@onvol.net
I have been a strong fan of the Man In Black ever since the fifties when rockabilly hits like Ballad Of A Teenage Queen, I Walk The Line, Get Rhythm, Cry Cry Cry and more came on the scene. Johnny is still one of the hot favorites and will be for many years to come. He has been in poor health of late but he still gives his fans what he's used to giving all these years. Happy birthday Johnny, may you live longer so we can still have the Johnny Cash touch for the years to come. Yes from The Country Music Appreciation Society here in Malta right in the middle of the Mediterranean, we wish you a very happy 70th birthday, February 26th.
Marion Norris
Warren MI
moonshine4two@aol.com
Hi Johnny! Happy birthday - you have always been my favorite singer. I was 15 years old when I heard you for the first time, I'm 62 now and have kept track of you ever since. I saw you & June introduce John-Jr. on your TV program. The verry first record I ever bought was Rock Island Line on a 33/1/3 long playing album. Well, happy birthday again - Marion
Holger Petersen
Sdr. Felding, Denmark
Dear Johnny Cash! A big congratulation to you the day you reach the 70th of your age. We have always been a fan of your great songs and music during all those years. You are a truly legend of our time and will always be. We hope you may have a fine day on your birthday togather with your lovely family and friends. God bless you, dear Johnny!!! Warmest from Holger Petersen Country-DJ for more than 16 years.
Jeremy Denton
waterford, mi
wolverinePrez@aol.com
To the man in black ... keep em comming, and be sure to kill that man who named you sue!!! Have a good one!
Christian Grassa
Taylor, Michigan, usa
C.grassa@worldnet.att.net
Happy Birthday Johnny. I'm 14, and I am not embaresed to admit it, but your music had been a great influence on MY style of music. In fact, one of the most recent songs I have learned (by ear) is Folsom prison blues. Hope u have a happy Birthday, and never stop rockin.
BURL BOYKIN
ABBEVILLE, MISSISSIPPI, USA
BURLBOYKIN@YAHOO.COM
HAPPY BIRTHDAY,JOHN. WHAT MEMORIES I HAVE OF PROMOTING CONCERTS WITH YOU, SAUL HOLIFF, AND LOU ROBIN OVER THE YEARS. ALSO, MAKING JUNE THE FIRST MAXWELL HOUSE COFFEE WIFE ... WHAT A BLAST WE HAD AT YOUR 40TH ANNIVERSARY AT THE MUSUEM AND AT OPRY LAND AND THE SPECIAL CAKE YOU MADE FOR FLUKE HOLLAND ON HIS BIRTHDAY. I JUST WATCHED JUNE IN THE APOSTLE, SHE IS LIKE A MOTHER TO JANE AND MYSELF. MAY THE LIGHT OF GOD SURROUND YOU, THE LOVE OF GOD ENFOLD YOU, THE POWER OF GOD PROTECT YOU, AND THE PRESENCE OF GOD WATCH OVER YOU THIS DAY AND ON YOUR 70TH BIRTHDAY. YOUR FRIEND, BURL BOYKIN
Dean Morris
Skegness Lincolnshire, England
dean-c-morris@lineone.net
Happy Birthday Johnny. How about playing the Rockabilly Rave weekender here in England? That be real cool! A whole set of Sun Recordings WOW! What a night that would be. Bop on. Dean
Robert "Rockabilly Cat" Morris
Senatobia, Mississippi USA
sdmlam@bellsouth.net
From the first time I heard "I Walk the Line" I knew that I had met a new friend. When I heard "Sunday Morning..." I knew that I had met a brother. Through the years, Johnny Cash has assumed many roles in my life and career. From friend to father, to mentor, this being more important, considering that I have never met the man in person. So it is my prayer for you Johnny, that you and June can now enjoy the fruits of your labor. And know that God has already said:"Good Work My True And Faithful Son!"
Shaun Hall
Las Vegas Nevada USA
shaun@lasvegas.net
Happy Birthday Johnny!!! Hope things are good. I have been deeply influenced by your music and appreciate it. And took this moment to send you greetings and happy birthday. A Huge Fan, Shaun Hall
Ron Johnson
Redding, Calif, USA
RON1969785@cs.com
Johnny, I have listened to you all my life! I truly love you and your music! I love listening to your music. I saw you when I was younger, I don't remember but grandma took me to the concert here in Redding, Calif. Thank you for all the music! YOU are the King of Country, Rockabilly, [traditional] Rock n Roll. Happy Birthday! Love you, Ron
Don Hudson
Melbourne, Australia
dhudson@mbav.com.au
Johhny, thanks for the music & memories. I met you backstage in the mid 70's with Carl Perkins prior to your show @ Festival Hall in Melbourne. The JOHNNY CASH SHOW with Carl, the Carter Family & Statler Bros remains my favourite of all time & I have seen many. I still have yours & Carl's autograph. BIG RIVER remains my most played SUN 45. GOOD LUCK from all in Australia.
Alan Clark
West Covina, California U.S.A.
aclarkarchive@earthlink.net
Johnny, Have a great birthday and keep walking the line. You are one of a kind and I am so glad that I have had a chance to meet you. You were very kind to me and I really appreciate that. Have many, many more birthdays and oh, by the way, I really love your music. Alan Clark
LARRY G. BAIRD
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY, USA
lbaird31@bellsouth.net
Johnny Cash has walked the line and moved to the beat of his own drum for almost 50 years. He has earned the admiration of the world from fans, musicians and just plain folk. Johnny Cash has written well of the working hard working man and in this time has become an icon immediately recognizable on any street in the world. His body of musical works is second to none in its quality and honesty. God bless Johnny Cash for his work.
Radio UNGAWA
(Angie & Gummel)
Hamburg, Germany
intoxica@intoxica.de
Happy Birthday Johnny! And thank you for your great music. All best wishes.
Casey Miller
San Antonio, Texas USA
bopkings@hotmail.com
What can I say? Johnny Cash is a legend. Hell, he's beyond legend status! Johnny Cash is a way of life. Without him there would certainly be no Bop Kings. This I can attest to. The world loves you, Johnny! Happy 70th!!!
Ricardo Alpendre de Oliveira
S“o Paulo, SP, Brazil
sealpendre@uol.com.br
Happy Birthday, Johnny Cash. May the sound of your voice and guitar keep touching the hearts (and moving the feet) of millions forever. God bless you, Johnny. We all love you.
Freddie Raper
Howe, Tx. 75459 USA
fraper2@hotmail.com
Happy Birthday Johnny. I wish you all the best now and in the future and I hope you have many more. God bless you!
Bob Timmers
Rockabilly of Fame
Burns, TN
bob@rockabillyhall.com
We are extremely pleased to present this page honoring Johnny's 70 years on this planet. There are very few musicians that Johnny's music hasn't touched or influenced, including myself. God bless one of the best.
Dirk A. Keaton
Somewhere in Texas
dkeic@dreamtheater.zzn.com
God bless ya Johnny. Nobody can write a song like you can. Listen to your records all the time. Keep on playin', keep it black.


Posted September 12, 2003
If not for Johnny Cash, I personally wouldn't have become so enthusiastically appreciative of music, and I sure as heck wouldn't be writing about it for various magazines and websites across this great land of ours. I'm deeply saddened to the brink of gut-wrenching despair over Mr. Cash's death, and I'm sure several of you out there are, too. I recently wrote the following essay about Johnny Cash for my music appreciation class. We were instructed to write a paper about our favorite composer/songwriter of the 20th Century, and I quite naturally chose the incomparable, legendary Johnny Cash. His music indelibly touched the deepest recesses of my soul, and though he is deceased in the flesh and blood sense, his songs and spirit will live forevermore within us all. I hope y'all enjoy the following essay...

JOHNNY CASH - AN AMERICAN MUSIC LEGEND
By Roger Moser, Jr.
           The inimitable, legendary "man in black," John R. Cash, was born February 26, 1932, in Kingsland, Arkansas, to the proud and hard-working Ray and Carrie Cash. In the 71 years since that cold, windswept winter day, Johnny (as he is professionally known) has written and sung a veritable encyclopedia of purebred, red-blooded American songs. Drenched in sweat, swagger, and Southern charm, Johnny's music is a rustic, down-to-earth concoction of folk, country, gospel, rockabilly, and acoustic sharecropping blues. His heart-wrenching, emotionally riveting cowpoke ballads, brash whiskey-swilling honky tonk ditties, and melodious God-fearing testaments of spiritual faith wallow in misery, heartache, injustice, and despair and revel in faith, hope, redemption, and eternal salvation.
           As the fourth of seven children, Johnny was raised in a loving, close-knit, Christian household where poverty, hunger, and long, grueling hours spent toiling in the sun-baked cotton fields of eastern Arkansas were the harsh reality of the times. An unwavering, deep-rooted spiritual faith and a constant, soothing musical presence lifted the Cash family from the arms of pessimism and instilled within them an unrelenting urge to persevere and survive the best that they could. "At a very early age, I looked forward to the seasons turning and nature taking its course. And while I didn't put such words to it at the time, I was very aware that I was part of nature - that I sprang from the soil, and as long as I followed the natural order of things, I'd be okay" (Cash, 10).
           Johnny was exposed to music at an early age through the spirited and sprightly gospel sounds of his family's church, the woeful, gnarled crop-picking blues being bellowed in the muggy and festering cotton fields where his family earned their livelihood, and the jubilant, feisty hillbilly music of the Grand Ol' Opry emanating from his parents’ battery-powered radio in the living room of their dilapidated, ramshackle home. Johnny's mother played the guitar and sang with passionate sweet joy to entertain and comfort her family when Johnny was a mere youngster, and he soon began to diligently do the same. By the time he had reached his teens, Johnny completely absorbed himself in music, and he "knew what he wanted to do - add his voice to the sounds carried on the radio airwaves" (Moriarty, 16).
           In 1954, Johnny confidently ambled into Sun Studio on Union Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee, in the hopes of procuring an audition with the flamboyant and talented producer, Sam Phillips. Within a few months’ time, Johnny recorded his first ever release for Sun Records, "Hey, Porter," backed with "Cry, Cry, Cry." The stark, realistic "Folsom Prison Blues" soon followed with its poignant, heart-stopping line, "I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die." Peaking at #5 on the Billboard charts in 1956, "Folsom Prison Blues" solidified Johnny an esteemed spot in American music history as a stoic, plain-spoken poet and a baritone-voiced musical spokesperson for outlaws, rebels, misfits, social rejects, and humble, working-class folk everywhere.
           After three creatively illustrious years with Sun Records, Johnny signed with CBS Records in 1958. He then proceeded to record an abundant array of strong, hearty, and inspiring albums throughout the next decade which culminated in the now classic live albums, "At Folsom Prison" in 1968 and "At San Quentin" in 1969. Having signed with two different other labels since his brilliant tenure with CBS, Johnny is still productively recording the occasional acoustic-tinged, back-to-basics masterpiece, although his health has rapidly deteriorated during the past few years and his live performances no longer occur.
           Johnny Cash's good friend, Kris Kristofferson, once observantly commented about Johnny in a down-home and wry way, "He's a walking contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction" (Cash, 7). Johnny Cash is indeed a complex, but invariably down-to-earth, man. He's humble, rugged, spiritual, poetic, and brutally honest in his thoughts, musical expression, and various articulate opinions. His songs somberly reflect the harsh, unforgiving bleakness of life that inevitably torments the poor, the downtrodden, and the persecuted. Johnny sings for the ragtag, poverty-stricken farmers of the magnolia-scented rural South and the out-of-luck boxcar transients who ride the lone, open railways in search of a brighter tomorrow. He sings for desperate inmates with nothing to lose as they count each passing second behind the ominous, foreboding walls of death row, and he sings for the Native American Indians confined to the haggard hopelessness and inhumane squalor of government-subsidized reservations in the West. Johnny Cash sings against the injustices and the inhumanities of this world while fervently revealing his belief that there is a calmer, more divine life to come. His is a lesson in song that brings hope and inspiration into a world full of rage, insanity, and despair. Roger Moser, Jr. - RockNRollRogue@aol.com



.

June's Man, Johnny - The Man In Black Turns 70

2002 - Johnny Cash, the legendary Man In Black, turns 70 this month, and magazines around the world have justly recognised the fact. There's not much else that can be said about him that he or someone else hasn't said before, so rather than just regurgitate the same, almost unbelievable story of his life, I just want to share with you a couple of my favourite tracks, taken from various stages of his long career. With him having such a unique sound, there's very few covers of his songs that actually warrant comment, but I'd also like to look at a few covers that stand up in their own right together with a few songs that Johnny wrote but never recorded commercially himself. Lastly, although he is a marvellous songwriter in his own right, he, like Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis is a fine interpreter of other people's songs, often making the original versions redundant. I'm therefore going to look at some songs that he never covered (yet!) but I think would suit him to a tee.

Big River (Sun 283 - 1957)
Given more of a fuller rockabilly sound than the Tennessee Two/Three normally laid down thanks the extra guitar work courtesy of Cowboy Jack Clement, there's a real urgency about the feel. Lyrically it's unlike anything else from the time, be it country, blues or rock 'n' roll. From the opening lines "I taught the weeping willow how to cry/I showed the clouds how to cover up a clear blue sky" to "I met he accidentally in St Paul, Minnesota/And it tore me up every time I heard her drawl, Southern drawl/Then I heard my dream, went back downstream, cavortin' in Davenport/And I followed you big river when you called", it's brilliant. Who the hell else wrote "cavortin' in Davenport" in 1957.

Home Of The Blues (Sun 279 - 1957)
This song saw the introduction of Jack Clement as JC's producer and a fine job he did with it too. Augmenting the sparce sound with some piano and backing vocals, he couldn't really go wrong as the lyrics (co-composed with Glenn Douglas) are a real treat. Luther's picking in the intro gives the feeling that he's walking down the street that losers use, headed for the Home Of The Blues. In reality the Home Of The Blues was the record street in downtown Memphis that was a stones through from Sun and a regular haunt for Sam's rockabillies including Elvis.

Ballad Of Ira Hayes (Columbia 43058)
A staunch supporter of the underdog in general and the Native American in particular, Johnny Cash probably saw something of himself in their uphill battle for acceptance and the single minded fight to retain your own identity without having to change yourself and everything you stand for. Written by songwriter Peter LaFarge, himself a Nargaset Indian, the song tells the sadly true tale of the Pima Indian, Ira Hayes who was one of only 27 US Marines to survive the Battle of Iowa Jima, died back in the US, ignored by society, a drunk and desolate figure. Cut at a March '64 session, Cash sings it from the gut and turns in a classic performance. The resultant single caused such an outrage that most radio stations refused to play it. Such was the depth of JC's belief in the song and it's message that he took out a full-page advert in Billboard accusing the industry of being scared of the truth (can you imagine that happening today?). Amid the crossfire, the single came in with a bullet and peaked at number 3 - a sweet victory for the Man In Black.

Smilin' Bill McCall (Columbia 41618)
Cut on 16 February 1960 in the middle of a mammoth three-day session that yielded no less than twenty-one masters, this was one of only four of the tracks that were self-written. The beat is strong thanks to the addition of Johnny Western (guitar), Buddy Harmon (drums), Gordon Terry (fiddle) and Floyd Cramer (piano), and the lyrics are great. It's his first fully-fledged comedy song and is a jibe at 4-Star's Bill McCall that surprisingly rose to number 13 on the country charts. For a real dig at members of the music biz, you should hear him and Gordon Terry's version of Battle Of New Orleans, there was no way that one was going to get a single release.

Jerry Lee Lewis - Folsom Prison Blues
Funky bass and drums set the scene before the Killer pounds in. His piano playing is a delight throughout as is Kenny Lovelace's fiddle. Jerry Lee adds plenty of asides with "pick it son" and "that's where ol Killer needs to be" showing that he's enjoying the whole thing. Too funky for some, I think it's an absolute gem - "them women keep a moving, my god that tortures rockin' Jerry Lee, I'm gonna rock it for you now" - yeah!

Ricky Nelson - Restless Kid
Although not really a cover, it was written by Cash for Ricky Nelson to sing in the Western movie, Rio Bravo where he starred with John Wayne, Dean Martin and Walter Brennan. The song didn't actually make the final cut but a version did turn up on Nelson's Ricky Sings Again album. Ricky gives it the boom-chicka-boom rhythm and the youthful vocal enhances the tale of the young cowboy, the vunerable and naïve sound perfectly reflecting his role as Colorado in the film. Warren Smith - Rock 'n' Roll Ruby (Sun 239 - 1956)
Like Restless Kid, this isn't a song you associate with Cash, as his demo version, cut at the KWEM Studio's in West Memphis wasn't released until decades later. Warren Smith was presented the song by Cash and Sam Phillips at a honky tonk in West Memphis where Smith was playing in Clyde Leopard's Snearly Ranch Boys. He cut it on 5th February 1956 at Sun Studios and turns it into a high-voltage rockabilly stomper complete with some great solos from Buddy Holobaugh on guitar and Smokey Joe Baugh on piano. Funnily enough, the singles b-side, I'd Rather Be Safe Than Sorry sounds more like a Johnny Cash song.

Folsom Prison Blues - Billy Tidwell & The Chivells (1965?)
Released on the tiny Ko Co Bo label out of White Deer, Texas, Billy Tidwell and his band stick fairly close to the original but have some added attractions. There's a nice jaunty rockabilly feel to it, and a fiddle sawing away in the background, beating out the trains rhythm much the same way that Cash did on harmonica on Orange Blossom Special. Tidwell sings a higher register which gives it a freshness, although he deepens it for "I hang my head and cry". There's a fair amount of uncertainty in the performance, but that only endears me to the performance, bringing to mind Cash's similar state of mind when he auditioned for Sam Phillips, apologizing for his and the bands inadequacies. I don't know of anything else that Tidwell did but on this outing he was worthy of another single.

I Walk The Line - Benny Barnes
Beaumont, Texas native Benny Barnes was a fine country singer who was unfortunate not to enjoy more than the two hits he got. He was at Starday Records at the time that owner Pappy Daily was making a penny or two by issuing albums full of cover versions. Barnes recorded three Cash songs for the project, the best being his take on I Walk The Line. The song had become Cash's first number one in the summer of '56 and Barnes covered it with a hot Houston band who nailed the songs rhythm, allowing Barnes to turn in concentrate on his worthy Cash impersonation, even down to the long drawn-out uuuuummmm's.

Jackson - Jerry Lee Lewis and Linda Gail Lewis
Although it was Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood who enjoyed the pop hit, it's the country hit version by Johnny and June that this Billy Ed Wheeler-Gabby Rodgers song is now associated. The Killer and his little ol' sis cut this on 28th February 1969, the same day as another storming duet, Sweet Thang and a couple of ballads in He'll Have To Go and You've Still Got A Place In My Heart. The results saw the light of day on his JLL Sings The Country Music Hall of Fame Hits packages. It was in the days when Linda Gail was a screamer, her voice is much more in control nowadays - mind you it's not like June Carter is exactly soothing on Johnny's version. Perhaps it's a woman thang. Jerry Lee is in blinding form and his "P-pepper sprout" is brilliant.

Ring Of Fire - Jerry Lee Lewis, Duane Eddy, Dwight Yoakam
Written by June Carter and long time friend Merle Kilgore, the song has been a staple of the Johnny Cash live show for over thirty years. From the Killer's phenomenal long-player, Country Songs For City Folks, his version retains the horns and he's spot on with his vocals which have a real country edge (he even remembers all the lyrics!). The drums are given the Fluke Holland military march and the backing singers sound real Nashpop. It's an engaging track but is overpowered by some of the albums other covers, like Detroit City, King Of The Road and the got Tom Jones doing back-flips, Green Green Grass Of Home. Duane's version is baths in strings which give the song a whole new sound. The sax plays a prominent role and Duane's distinctive twanging is all over the track. It's a refreshing version that hit number 17 in the UK charts in 1961 and snuck to number 84 in the States. From his mainly self-written 1986 debut album, Guitars, Cadillac's etc, Dwight offers a storming version which sits as a nice contrast to the likes of South Of Cincinnati and Miner's Prayer. The drums sound a bit too modern for me but Pete Anderson's guitar bites in all the right places. Dwight's high nasal delivery is a nice change from the Johnny Cash we know so well.


SONGS HE SHOULD HAVE COVERED

Lonesome Old House
When Don Gibson cut his original on 16 March 1959 he used the Nashville A-team together with the Jordaniares who added a lovely understated vocal layer. That's the same time that Johnny Cash was making himself comfortable with his new label, Columbia. The rhythm and stark beat of Gibson's lends itself nicely to the Cash sound of the period and he would be able to breeze through the vocals. The same backing vocals would be needed to enhance the number and his version would have sat nicely on The Fabulous Johnny Cash album. Johnny knew his way around the Don Gibson song book with covers of the likes of Oh Lonesome Me and Sea Of Heartbreak but others that would have suited him include A Legend In My Time and Don't Tell Me Your Troubles.

Knoxville Girl
The Louvin Bothers version of this folk ballad was recorded in 1956 and included on their Tragic Songs Of Life album that same year. It wasn't released as a single for another three years and Cash would no doubt have heard it on the radio as it became a top 20 hit on the country charts. Around the same time, Johnny was covering a lot of old folk tunes (Grandfather's Clock, Clementine) and was just making his first forays into the dark world of death and guilt. It was an avenue that he never really ventured down at Sun but once he'd been drawn into the theme, his fascination with it has remained, none more so than on his later albums. Apparently when the 3CD set, Love, God And Murder was released in 2000, Johnny himself was amused that the Murder one was the best seller of the three. The beauty of Knoxville Girl is that it starts off like a pretty little love song before the killing, and it's this twisted twist that marks some of Cash's best work. Again the early Columbia album The Fabulous Johnny Cash would have been the ideal vehicle for the song. The vocal would be in stark contrast to the beautiful harmony vocals of the Louvin's but it would be a killer! Besides the song, there are definite parallels between the life and mind of Cash and Ira Louvin, they've both spent equal times fighting inner demons and seeking redemption. (Funny how Jerry Lee sprang to mind as I typed that.)

Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground
This Willie Nelson gem could in fact have been written by June for Johnny, circa 1967. Telling of the fall of a person who is only to rise again after receiving no end of TLC would loves them too much they are prepared to let them go if they need to. If Cash had cut it though, I'm sure that once the wounds had been healed, he would have sang the "fly away and leave me if you want to" from June's point of view. Should have been on the Mystery Of Life album.

Another Day, Another Dollar
Wynn Stewart's classic California honky tonker clocks in to the sound of a cymbal echoing the chink of the steel driving man, a sound Johnny used on Goin' To Memphis and The Legend Of John Henry's Hammer. A celebrated champion of the working man, Cash would have relished such lyrics as "The boss told me I'd get paid weekly, and that's exactly how I'm paid". The downtrodden often find solace in humour at their situation, and it's a type of humour that has always given country music a unique appeal. This would have made a strong track on the Blood Sweat And Tears album.

A Week In A County Jail
A typical Tom T. Hall tale of life in a small town and how the local cop bangs him up for speeding. It turns into a nightmare and he ends up in the can for a week. The lyrics are funny and dry like the part where he turned the jailer's wife's hot baloney down on the first night but by the end of the second day "I wasn't so hard to pleased". It's a mini-movie in three minutes, you didn't need a video for something this well written. Johnny singing this at either Folsom or San Quentin would have gone down a storm, the captive audiences there were lapping up this type of number and his delivery had them eating out of his hands. The two dueted on the Mystery Of Life album with Hall's I'll Go Somewhere And Sing My Songs Again. To be honest, such is the quality of Tom T's writing that there's no end of Tom T. songs that he could have covered. Hall was a rare breed of songwriter who could write funny songs without making them sound like novelties.

The File.
This Bob Luman number is another of those numbers that could have been done for either of the Prison albums of the late '60s. It's pretty similar to the brilliant The Wall which had remained un-issued until it appeared on the extended At Folsom Prison CD two years ago. Luman's deep vocal bears a strong resemblance to Cash's and when both men deliver a funny line, you can hear the crack of their smiles as they live the lyric.

Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning
Written and performed by Alan Jackson at the CMA Awards, this song has garnered great interest and no end of debate. Jackson wrote the song to express his feelings following the September 11 disasters, and a powerful vehicle it is too. His own version is heartfelt but can you imagine what this would be like sung by Johnny for his next album. His old voice would be staggering and would do for the song what his voice did to Lucky Old Sun on the last album. We know how patriotic Johnny Cash is, albums like America, Patriot or a song like Ragged Old Flag more than prove his feelings, but I'd just love to hear him do this new one. A song like this is a personal thing, but Alan Jackson's lyrics seem to echo the sentiments of everyone. It's a masterpiece that Johnny could take another step further.

Whatever Johnny does or doesn't record in the future, his place as one of the top three giants of country music is already secured thanks to a brilliant and massive catalogue, that is perhaps unmatched in any field of music. Happy 70th Johnny, may there be many more.

Shaun Mather
February 2002
Shaun.Mather@btinternet.com

  

  

  

Photo Details and Credits
1. Backstage in Arizona during the early '60s
2. Yakima, WA - September 1979 Johnny Cash in the Sunfair parade. http://www.12xu.com/music/musicpg1.html
3. April, 1969 - The Johnny Cash Show performs at Cummins Prison. www.state.ar.us/doc/gallery2.html
4. http://www.acousticguitar.com/issues/ag102/feature102_1.jpg
5. Slick in the desert - http://wso.williams.edu/~avelande/u2-JC.jpg
6. Concentrating in the CBS studios.
7/8. The perfect couple courtesy of the official www.JohhnyCash.com 9. The Man In White in Black
10. On stage with Marshall Grant, Carl Perkins and The Carter Family.

  

  



From the New York Times:
Johnny Cash:
An American Original Returns

By ANTHONY DeCURTIS - Feb. 24, 2002 - On the cover of his album "Ragged Old Flag," Johnny Cash stands resolute, staring directly at the viewer and pointing to an American flag that is torn and tattered but still flying. His face looks as if it could grace Mount Rushmore. Like the flag behind him, that face is weathered and battle-worn, but nonetheless defiant. "She's been through the fire before," Mr. Cash intones on the album's title track, alluding to the flag and the country it represents," and I believe she can take a whole lot more."

When "Ragged Old Flag" was first released in 1974, Mr. Cash intended the flag's scars to symbolize the shocks of American history, from the Revolutionary War to more contemporary upheavals like the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal. When the album was reissued on Dec. 11, three months to the day after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, it took on an unmistakable new meaning. The flag on the cover clearly evokes the one recovered at the World Trade Center and recently displayed at the Winter Olympics, a stirring image of the country's determination to survive a devastating blow.

What better artist to summon all that is worthwhile in the American spirit than the redoubtable Mr. Cash? Since 1997, he has struggled with autonomic neuropathy, a severe neurological disorder that has brought him close to death. For that reason, Mr. Cash was not feeling strong enough to participate in the various music-industry events that were organized immediately after Sept. 1 1. But with the rerelease of "Ragged Old Flag," along with his 1972 concept album, "America: A 200-Year Salute in Story and Song," Mr. Cash made an eloquent statement of his own.

"Sept. 11 broke my heart," Mr. Cash said by telephone from Jamaica, where he can often be found when he is not at his home outside Nashville. "I watched it on television, and I guess I wanted to kill somebody myself. I do love this country, and I saw somebody take a really good shot at it. It was a striking blow at our morale. But I've recovered from that, just as this country is recovering. I believe this country will prevail."

Interest in Mr. Cash has intensified at a time when his music - with its patriotic themes and dark undercurrents, its independent-mindedness and its spiritual reach - seems eminently suited to the cultural mood of the country. Tuesday marks Mr. Cash's 70th birthday, and to commemorate that event, Columbia/Legacy has begun an extensive reissue campaign that draws on the dozens of albums Mr. Cash recorded for Columbia between 1958 and 1993.

Earlier this month saw the release of "The Essential Johnny Cash," a superb two-disc collection that also includes eight of the legendary tracks (like "I Walk the Line" and "Big River") Mr. Cash recorded between 1955 and 1958 for the influential Sun label, where Elvis Presley also established his career.

In addition, remastered versions (with additional, contemporaneous tracks) of five of Mr. Cash's albums that have been out of print for years will be issued on March 19: "The Fabulous Johnny Cash" (1958), "Hymns by Johnny Cash" (1959), "Ride This Train" (1960), "Orange Blossom Special" (1965) and "Carryin' On With Johnny Cash and June Carter" (1967). Five more of Mr. Cash's albums will be reissued in July.

While they represent just a small portion of Mr. Cash's recorded output, the five albums that will come out next month demonstrate how all of the qualities that have made Mr. Cash an American icon were present at the very start of his career. Most tellingly, in their stylistic range and ambition, they dramatize Mr. Cash's continuing conviction that he should be guided by no one's musical lights but his own.

By the time of "The Fabulous Johnny Cash," Mr. Cash and his band, the Tennessee Two, had already established themselves as architects of the rockabilly sound, which blended the twang of country music with the raucousness of then-nascent rock 'n' roll. Just as important, Mr. Cash had already defined his persona as one of popular music's most incorrigible wild men, an amphetamine-fueled hellcat who had no patience for either country music's pieties or rock 'n' roll's teen-pop sentimentality.

Indeed, anyone who brings preconceived notions to Mr. Cash's music is likely to get upended. For example, Mr. Cash was an early, avid admirer of Bob Dylan at a time when conservative country audiences found little to like in Mr. Dylan's bohemian lifestyle or his politics of social protest. "Orange Blossom Special" includes three songs written by Mr. Dylan, and limned connections between folk music, country and rock 'n' roll that are now taken for granted.

"There's no doubt about Bob Dylan's influence on my music and myself," Mr. Cash said. "We became friends, but I already was a fan of his. I still am. I go to the record shop with every release he has and buy his new CD - and his latest one, by the way, is the best yet. Bob is timeless. Invariably, before every day ends, there will be a Bob Dylan song that'll float through me."

When Mr. Cash left Sun Records for Columbia in 1958, he cited the label's refusal to allow him to record an album of spirituals as one of the reasons for his departure. That particularly surprises younger listeners, for whom Mr. Cash is primarily known for being the forbidding "Man in Black," a precursor of hip-hop stars for whom courtrooms, boardrooms and the top of the charts are equally familiar. "Hymns by Johnny Cash," in fact, was Mr. Cash's second Columbia release. "I could not convince Sam Phillips about how important that music was to me," Mr. Cash said, referring to the founder of Sun Records. "His answer always was, 'I don't know how to sell hymns.' I understood that Sun was a very small company. But I didn't want to be restrained. I didn't want to be held back from doing anything that I felt was important for me to do on record or as a writer."

Over the intervening decades, gospel music has remained one of the mainstays of Mr. Cash's repertory. In 2000, Mr. Cash released a thematically organized three-disc compilation called "Love God Murder," with each disc addressing one of the primary subjects that has preoccupied him throughout his life. He sees little difference among the three concerns. "My faith in God has always been a solid rock that I have stood on," Mr. Cash said. "I was a bad boy at times, but God was always there for me, and I knew that. I guess I even took advantage of that fact. It's hard to justify, I'm sure, so far as you're concerned. But to me it's not."

"Roy Orbison wrote a song called 'My Best Friend,' and there's a line in there that says, 'A diamond is a diamond/ And a stone is a stone/ But man is part good/ And part bad.' I've always believed that the good will ultimately prevail, but there's a bad side of us that we have to keep warring against. I know I do."

Because of his illness, Mr. Cash no longer performs in front of audiences, and his public appearances are rare. But he does continue to record, and he is up for a Grammy this week in the category of best male country vocal. Since he left Columbia in 1993, Mr. Cash has made three albums with the producer Rick Rubin that are regarded as among his finest. They are notable both for their austere sound - emphasizing the gravitas of Mr. Cash's incomparable voice - and the boldness of their song selection. On those records, Mr. Cash has performed versions of his own songs, traditional ballads, spirituals and material written by artists as varied as Beck, Glenn Danzig, Neil Diamond and Nick Cave.

WHEN I signed with Rick's label about 10 years ago," Mr. Cash recalled, "I asked him what he would do with me that nobody else had done. He said, 'I would like for you to sit in front of a microphone with your guitar and sing every song you want to record.' I said: 'Whoa, that's a tall order. There are lots of songs over the years that I've wanted to do.' He said, 'Well, those are the ones that I want to hear.'"

The two men are now collaborating on a fourth album, which they plan to release later this year. On the cusp of 70, Mr. Cash sees no reason to cease being adventurous or to be content with a tasteful celebration of the work he has already done. "The songs are coming from every direction," Mr. Cash said of his forthcoming album. "I've written two or three new ones, and I recorded a Sting song called 'I Hung My Head.' I've recorded a Marty Robbins song called 'Big Iron.' I'm recording 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,' that Roberta Flack song. And I'm recording 'Hurt' by Nine Inch Nails."

One of the more ominous characters on the contemporary music scene, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails can be seen as one of Mr. Cash's many unruly progeny. That notion brings Mr. Cash delight. "When I heard that song, I thought, 'That sounds like something I could have written in the 60's,' " he said of "Hurt." "There's more heart, soul and pain in that song than any I've heard in a long time. I love it."



Saturday, September 13, 2003
Cash sang for all of the people

By MARY DICKIE -- Toronto Sun. The death of Johnny Cash is a loss for more than just the music world. Cash was a towering figure -- physically, morally and musically. He treated presidents, convicts, fans and journalists with the same amount of respect and interest. He was a deeply religious Southern Christian who maintained a remarkable open-mindedness about other beliefs.

Even after he became a wealthy, happily married cultural icon, Cash never forgot his upbringing in poverty and tragedy, or his wild and lonely years of drug dependency and depression. And he used those harsh experiences to make music that resonated with millions of people, whatever their personal histories. He sang and spoke out on behalf of the oppressed and the miserable, and wore black to symbolize his support for them, as he explained in 1971's Man In Black.

Most of all, though, Johnny Cash was a brilliant songwriter and performer whose trademark deep voice, loping guitar style and tragic or comic narrative songs became embedded into the whole world's musical psyche.

Cash began his career at Sun Records with the 1955 hits Hey Porter and Cry Cry Cry, and as part of the Million-Dollar Quartet with Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins. In the '60s he became a country music institution, recording theme albums of gospel and Hank Williams songs, as well as songs about the Old West, trains and the mistreatment of Native Americans. The Ballad Of Ira Hayes, for instance, eulogized a Native American war hero who faced racism upon his return to the U.S.

Cash got into trouble with pills and alcohol in the mid-'60s, and credited his marriage to singer June Carter Cash for saving his life and career. He sang honestly and even brutally about drug addiction in such songs as Cocaine Blues and his unforgettable cover of Kris Kristofferson's Sunday Morning Coming Down. But he also recorded comical songs, like A Boy Named Sue and One Piece At A Time, about an assembly-line worker who steals bits of a car over many years.

His 1956 classic Folsom Prison Blues, which contained the infamous line, "I shot a man in Reno/Just to watch him die," was one of his biggest hits. The best-known version, like A Boy Named Sue, was recorded live at its namesake prison, and the subsequent late-'60s albums At Folsom Prison and At San Quentin were among his most successful.

In the late '60s Cash was criticized by the country establishment for performing with Bob Dylan, then perceived as an anti-war folk singer, on Dylan's Nashville Skyline. But he brushed it off, inviting Dylan to guest on his popular TV show and following it up the next year with What Is Truth, which expressed sympathy for young people's anti- war protests. Later, Cash recorded songs by English post-punk artists like Nick Lowe (for a time his son-in-law) and Elvis Costello. In the '90s he began working with hip-hop producer Rick Rubin on the four ground-breaking American Recordings albums, on which he covered such seemingly incompatible artists as Depeche Mode, Nick Cave, U2, Danzig and Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor -- whose Hurt became a premature eulogy for Cash as well as a heart-breaking video.

But Cash always had an appreciation for rock music. In an interview I conducted with him in 1987, he discussed his appreciation for Metallica, Motorhead, Iron Maiden, Ozzy Osbourne (whom he'd met at the Betty Ford Clinic) and other hard rock artists he'd been introduced to by his teenage son, John Carter Cash. This was at a time when Tipper Gore was trying to censor violent rock lyrics.

"To try to understand what my boy was into, I decided to see Metallica and Iron Maiden and Ozzy, who I knew already," Cash said. "And what I observed were a lot of young adults just lettin' loose and having a good time. 'Course there was grass-smoking, but there's grass-smoking at people's houses everywhere. And all the kids were nice to me. They'd shake my hand and say, 'Man, what are you doing at an Ozzy concert?' And I said, 'I'm enjoying the show!' I could see why John Carter was into it -- it's exciting and fun.

"And I got to thinking about how presumptuous people my age are to think they're going to raise their kids right by censoring three minutes of a day's dialogue. It's ridiculous. If a parent hasn't been close enough to his kids to let them make their own decisions, it's too late by the time they're ready to rock and roll."

We should all hope that the world has managed to absorb not just Cash's music but his spirit and attitudes as well. 




March 29, 2001
OPEN LETTER to JOHNNY CASH

Mr. Cash,
This is a boy who wants to dedicate a whole lot of thanks, to you and the Carter family and Everyone at American records for giving you your chance at singing your music, I see your back in the music charts!

Actually this boy wants to thank everyone in your life, your music and your good book. "CASH" that is! I haven't read your other good book just yet! If it was not for every one you have met in your life and consequently wrote about in "CASH" you would not be the man you are today. Between the second you were brought into this world by love. To the second you finished typing the last dot of your book and finished the last strum on American recordings. All of that work if nothing else comes of it, it saved me from the fires of hell. Thank you Johnny Cash. This may all sound familiar, like a pop band thanking their idols when they receive their first Grammy.

But I've won God into my heart because of you and your music. My own father died 18 months ago. He was a good man from a very simple country background. He thought me the gospel and read me the bible as a child. A Good man who new life was a spiritual experience and he had god and a lot of love on his side.

I've never read all of the holy book, maybe when life slows down, I will get around to it. May help me face up to a few other things in life! I cursed God for taking my Father, I cursed him for stealing my Mothers smile. I asked that god above, to leave my heart because by brother had to go away soon after dad had gone. That hurt really bad, because I really wanted to get to know both of them better as men. Maybe later on down the road I will? But most of all I hated God, he broke my spirit and my heart! I didn't understand then, that if God leaves your life, your heart that is! That Lucifer will step in and slowly smash your soul to pieces. With drink, drugs and all that! I was too young to understand that.

Anyway Mr.Cash. We may never meet. If you ever do a show in Dublin City, Ireland,. I'll be sure to go see you. But I would love to look in the eyes of another man who has been to Jericho and back again. FEAR was the beast unleashed on my family when dad left. But your songs on your old martin d28 may have made a lot of records. BUT, No amount of record sales, or good books, could ever replace your kind and wise old words or "American Recordings".

Right when I thought it better to end it all. Somehow that CD, landed in my collection of modern drum music. The words that you said to me through your book and this album went something like this:

I had lost everything and was looking for other ways out of reality. YOU said "what else you got boy" I said "nothing Johnny". You sang "the beast in me" for me. Then I new I wasn't alone. Then you said " well I see you have two good hands, a mouth, two ears and a whole lotta fear". I said "what can I do with that", you said "buy a good black guitar and learn to sing about fear and truth". I said "ok"
And you now another thing Mr. Cash:
Believe it or believe it not. My mother and I are doing just fine now, with the help of God again. We have been doing a whole lot of righteous praying. But last night we said our rosary as we do every night now, and we dedicated it to you. That may sound pretty little to you, but It's probably the biggest life time achievement award you could get, being top of my old Mother's prayer list of thanks!

15 months later of murdering three chords on an old acoustic. My mother and I are going to sit by the fire, we don't have a lot, but we do have love in our hearts now. So we are going to sing "I walk the line" and "the man who couldn't cry" together, for my father on his birthday. My Dad was a good honest man, and he liked you Mr.Cash. That impressed on me a lot as a boy. You see my father was my idol as a child. He had only two idols in his life who walked the line. Jesus Christ and Johnny Cash. The fact that Jesus Could walk on water, put Him top! So from one boy dressed in black starting out in life. With nothing more than a strong spirit, four good chords, a good black guitar and a whole lot of learning to do. Thank you for being you.

One last thing before I say goodbye, Mr. Cash. Maybe when I get on a bit, and my body is starting to moan at me to slow down. I could save one good mans soul as well, with my music and words.

Your spirit will live forever Johnny Cash. But few of us Men in this world can be living legends. Even fewer can control the "beast inside". There is only a small hand full of "Good Righteous Men". But I only know one "Johnny Cash".

God Bless You J.R.Cash.
From: Niall Maher
24 watermeadow drive,
Old Bawn, Tallaght,
Dublin 24. Ireland
NIALL_MAHER2001@YAHOO.COM





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