10 Things I Discovered about Johnny Cash
Read more in Johnny Cash: The Redemption of an American Icon
Johnny Cash. The Man. The Legend. The Icon. “The Man in Black.”
For nearly a half-century, Johnny Cash’s inimitable voice and songs provided the soundtrack to millions of American lives. Cash held a special place in our hearts as he was many things to many people: a master storyteller and a world-class embellisher; a drug addict and a social activist; a full-tilt party outlaw who secretly carried a Bible in his briefcase; a committed Christian who was both a sinner and saint; a tortured soul who sometimes pinballed between the two extremes.
In my new book, Johnny Cash: The Redemption of an American Icon, I unearthed many stories about the country music legend. Here are ten quick facts I discovered.
1. He was raised as a dirt-poor child in the Arkansas Delta in the midst of the Great Depression. Like the rest of his siblings, he picked cotton to help support his family. The work was monotonous, dirty and tiring – ten hours a day during harvest season. Cash was so prodigious, according to a childhood friend, that on a good day he could pick up to 300 pounds.
2. Cash was introduced to music when he was just four years old. He was listening to an old Victrola playing a railroad song, “Hobo Bill’s Last Ride,” which began a lifelong affair not only for music but
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