Johnny Cash

I dislike country. Yes, I said so don’t get mad at me anyone who loves it. The closest artist I like that comes close to country is Johnny Cash but really, Johnny is just Johnny. No one has ever produced music like he has, leading him to be inducted not only to the Country Hall of Fame but also the Rock and Roll and Gospel Halls of Fame.

I can’t even pick one song to feature since he has so many great one. So here is “A Boy Name Sue,” one of his more “lighter” songs.

My younger brother and I listened to a lot of Johnny Cash when we were growing up, so much so that we memorized many of the songs. I guess my parents didn’t warn us that other people might not appreciate our singing since one time my brother sang the entirety of “A Boy Name Sue,” son of a bitch included, to his preschool classmates. Needless to say, it didn’t go over well.

Another song I love is “The Long Black Veil.” Johnny’s voice is so haunting in this song.

Also, love this version with Joni Mitchell. Their voices mesh so well together. Not as well as June Carter’s and  Johnny, but their whole lives meshed so well together. If it wasn’t for June, Johnny might never had gotten his life back on track and never made some of his greatest songs. And this brings me to the final Cash song I want to feature. “Hurt” was one of the final hits that he released before his death in 2003.  It is a cover of a Nine Inch Nails original, but both are amazing renditions that have vastly different meanings. (Sneak peek at next week= I will be featuring “Hurt” when I do a special post series on NIN’s The Downward Spiral).

This is one of the most moving music videos I have ever seen. The clips of his life, the imagery of bounty and decay, his haunting voice– all send chills down my back. And when he shuts the piano at the end, I never fail to cry.

Good-bye Johnny. You are still and will always be missed.

Johnny Cash and June Carter

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