“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping-stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.”

What up everyone?! Well hope that everyone had a great weekend. I did but didn’t. I mean, it’s going toward the end of the semester and because of this, it’s like every single teacher feels like Opra and decides, “FINAL PROJECTS FOR EVERYONE!!” Ok, so I might be a bit melodramatic on that last part, but for those college kids—isn’t it true? Well it’s Monday, which means it’s Music Monday. I hope that you have enjoyed these posts so far and that you’ve learned a bit more about Johnny Cash and what influenced him, and how he influenced the U.S., not just socially but politically. Of course, this is the last post on him, so it might be a bit shorter then the others. But as my dad always says, “life is like a roll of toilet paper. It’s a lot shorter and seems faster toward the end.” (Yeah…that’s my dad for ya). So on to Johnny!!

As I did research on him, I realized, like I said in my last post, that the impact Johnny had on the U.S. is kind of like an underground river. It’s there and it affects so much, yet no one can really see it. Oh, and I realized that I forgot to mention in my last post, that Johnny along with Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson created a group called “the Highwaymen”. They made several albums in the ‘80s and ‘90s but it was in the ‘80s when country music started taking a decline as a genre. This was the same that could be said for Johnny. He felt that his label was ignoring him, and so (while fighting a lot of health problems), he dropped them, and then hired Rick Rubin out of American Records to help him make a new sound. Here he made my four favorite albums—the American albums: “American Recordings”, “Unchained”, “Solitary Man”, and “The Man Comes Around”.

The American Recordings

During this time, his health also started to decline. Between diabetes, Parkinson’s, and numerous respiratory ailments—he kept working, especially after June died from heart problems. He lost his soul mate, and this caused Johnny to become very depressed, so he turned to the one place he knew he would be okay—his studio. Here he stayed, recording new music before his own death on September 12th, 2003 at the age of 71. June and he left behind 7 children between the two of them.

True love even to death and beyond

In his whole career, he recorded over 1500 songs, including a cover of Trent Reznor’s “Hurt”, which became a staple and statement for Johnny Cash in his last days. (This song is probably one of my personal favorites.) I absolutely love it. It tells Johnny’s life in a beautiful way, even though he never used heroin. There’s just something about the song that reaches deep into your emotions and pulls you in. It’s beautiful).

Johnny was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was ranked #1 of the 40 greatest men in country music, sold over 90 million records and 45 albums, and he received numerous awards and honors between the CMA’s, Grammy’s, and MTV. He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6320 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California. These are just a few examples that show how much he really has affected our culture.

According to an article I found by Richard Phillips, Johnny was a very contradicting person when it came to politics. He was friends with numerous politicians—both democrat AND republican. He believed in equality for everyone, but he didn’t let social issues pull him one way or the other. This is true for not only social issues but political sides as well. (He viewed each side accordingly. Shouldn’t that be how we all should act?) However, just like with Vietnam, he didn’t agree with our invasion of Iraq, and as Kris Kristofferson would say, “I think he’ll be remembered for the way he grew as a person and an artist. He went from being this guy who was as wild as Hank Williams to being almost as respected as one of the fathers of our country. He was friends with presidents and with Billy Graham. You felt like he should’ve had his face on Mount Rushmore.”

What more can be said. He was a respected man that helped start the 21st century. When people think country—they think of Johnny. Course, I’ve said this before in my previous posts as well. His LIFE was an impact on our culture. He showed America what it was like to live the “American Dream”. What it takes in order to reach dreams, to keep pushing no matter what odds are stacked against you. He showed us what it was like to find your soul mate, and what a successful life really looks like. To Christians, he is the prime example of the “prodigal son”, the one that left and then came back. I think all of us have a little Johnny inside us. A little “Cash” the monster and “Johnny” the saint. He gave the working class a voice, he came to us on our level, and didn’t look down at the working class—he considered himself the working class. This is the reason I decided to write about him for this creative project; because, Johnny is you, he’s me, he’s every American at some point in their lives. He showed us what it meant to walk the line.

The American Legend

Hope you’ve enjoyed these posts and look to Wednesday for Weight loss Wednesday. It’s been a battle but hey, I’m almost to my November goal!! 😀 So until then, this is the Farmer’s Daughter!

Work Cited





http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0143599/bio http://www.johnnycash.com/biography-8.html

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2003/10/obit-o02.html http://www.rollingstone.com/music/artists/johnny-cash/biography