Backstage with ‘The Man in Black’ Johnny Cash

No Lies Radio Music – By Teri Perticone – July 31, 2022

Johnny Cash was an American rebel who dared to write and sing about killing, prison and drug addiction. His songs were for and about the down trodden working man and his most popular concerts were done live from Folsom & San Quentin prisons. He was one of the best selling music artists of all times.

Johnny Cash, by name of J.R. Cash (born February 26, 1932, Kingsland, Arkansas, U.S.—died September 12, 2003, Nashville, Tennessee), singer and songwriter whose work broadened the scope of American country and western music.

Cash was exposed from childhood to the music of the rural South—hymns, folk ballads, and songs of work and lament—but he learned to play guitar and began writing songs during military service in Germany in the early 1950s. After military service he settled in Memphis, Tennessee, to pursue a musical career.

Cash began performing with the Tennessee Two (later Tennessee Three), and appearances at county fairs and other local events led to an audition with Sam Phillips of Sun Records, who signed Cash in 1955. Such songs as “”Cry, Cry, Cry,”” “”Hey, Porter,”” “”Folsom Prison Blues,”” and “”I Walk the Line”” brought him considerable attention, and by 1957 Cash was the top recording artist in the country and western field. His music was noted for its stripped-down sound and focus on the working poor and social and political issues. Cash, who typically wore black clothes and had a rebellious persona, became known as the “Man in Black.”

Johnny Cash – Man in Black (The Best Of The Johnny Cash TV Show)

Johnny Cash Live At Folsom Prison

Johnny Cash – I Walk the Line

In the 1960s Cash’s popularity began to wane as he battled drug addiction, which would recur throughout his life. At the urging of June Carter of the Carter Family, with whom he had worked since 1961, he eventually sought treatment; the couple married in 1968.

Johnny Cash sings “The Junkie’s Prayer”

Cash pulls no punches with this song, written by Lew Dewitt of the Statler Brothers, about a subject Cash was all too familiar with himself–and the performance is unflinching and straight from the heart. From January 6, 1971.

NEW (Nov 2017): This clip has become a kind of an online gathering place/support community for my fellow recovering-everythings, and those who want to recover but aren’t quite there yet. I see people reach out, but YT makes it very difficult for direct connections to be made. If you make a connection in the comments, and I receive a request from both parties at , I’ll be happy to put you in touch with each other. We’re all in this together, even as we work on our own progress. If you can’t stop drinking or using get help call for addiction treatment 844-335-2408.

Johnny Cash and June Carter – “Jackson”
Johnny and June sing this hit whilst on Johnny’s hit TV show ‘The Johnny Cash Show’.

By the late 1960s Cash’s career was back on track, and he was soon discovered by a wider audience. The signal event in Cash’s turnaround was the album Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison (1968), which was recorded live in front of an audience of some 2,000 inmates at California’s Folsom Prison. The performance was regarded as a risky move by record company executives, but it proved to be the perfect opportunity for Cash to reestablish himself as one of country music’s most relevant artists. He used the success of that album and its follow-up, Johnny Cash at San Quentin (1969), to focus attention on the living conditions of inmates in American prisons, and he became a vocal champion for penal reform and social justice.

Johnny Cash – Wanted Man – Live at San Quentin (Good Sound Quality)
Another great song from the San Quentin Prison concert of February 1969, this one co-written with Bob Dylan.

Johnny Cash – San Quentin (Live from Prison)

Live appearances in New York and London and his television show,“”The Johnny Cash Show”” (1969–71), which deviated from the standard variety program by featuring such guests as Ray Charles, Rod McKuen, and Bob Dylan (who had enlisted Cash to appear on his 1969 album, Nashville Skyline), brought to the general public his powerfully simple songs of elemental experiences.

Although Cash had established himself as a legend in the music world, by the late 1980s he faced dwindling record sales and interest. In 1994, however, he experienced an unexpected resurgence after signing with Rick Rubin’s American Recordings, which was best known for its metal and rap acts. Cash’s first release on the label, the acoustic American Recordings, was a critical and popular success, and it won him a new generation of fans. Later records included Unchained (1996), American III: Solitary Man (2000), American IV: The Man Comes Around (2002), and the posthumous American V: A Hundred Highways (2006). The recipient of numerous awards, he won 13 Grammy Awards, including a lifetime achievement award in 1999, and 9 Country Music Association Awards. Cash was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1980 and to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. In 1996 he received a Kennedy Center Honor. His autobiographies Man in Black and Cash (cowritten with Patrick Carr) appeared in 1975 and 1997, respectively. Walk the Line, a film based on Cash’s life, was released in 2005.

Johnny Cash’s last interview (August 20th, 2003)

Johnny Cash – One

Originally recorded by Nine Inch Nails, the song “Hurt” has been adapted and covered by several artists, including Johnny Cash. The song includes references to self-harm and heroin addiction, although the overall meaning of the song is disputed.

johnny cash – hurt (lyrics)

Video source: &


Comments are closed.


March 2023
« Feb    

User Login