Johnny Cash

Born 26 February 1932. Died 12 September 2003.
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Johnny Cash enters Michael Ball's Singers Hall of Fame

Scott Dougan nominates Johnny Cash for Michael Ball's Singers Hall of Fame

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John R. "Johnny" Cash (February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was a singer-songwriter, actor, and author, widely considered one of the most influential American musicians of the 20th century. Although primarily remembered as a country icon, his genre-spanning songs and sound embraced rock and roll, rockabilly, blues, folk, and gospel. This crossover appeal won Cash the rare honor of multiple induction in the Country Music, Rock and Roll, and Gospel Music Halls of Fame.

Cash was known for his deep bass-baritone voice, distinctive sound of his Tennessee Three backing band, a rebelliousness coupled with an increasingly somber and humble demeanor, free prison concerts,[page needed] and trademark look, which earned him the nickname "The Man in Black". He traditionally began his concerts with the simple "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash.", followed by his signature "Folsom Prison Blues".

Much of Cash's music echoed themes of sorrow, moral tribulation and redemption, especially in the later stages of his career. His best-known songs included "I Walk the Line", "Folsom Prison Blues", "Ring of Fire", "Get Rhythm" and "Man in Black". He also recorded humorous numbers like "One Piece at a Time" and "A Boy Named Sue"; a duet with his future wife, June Carter, called "Jackson"; and railroad songs including "Hey, Porter" and "Rock Island Line". During the last stage of his career, Cash covered songs by several late 20th-century rock artists, most notably "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails.

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BBC Reviews

  1. Review of Bootleg III – Live Around the World

    Bootleg III – Live Around the World 2011

    Reviewed by John Robinson
    There’s little here that doesn’t back up the opinion of Cash as an American Original.
  2. Review of Bootleg, Volume 2: From Memphis to Hollywood

    Bootleg, Volume 2: From Memphis to Hollywood 2011

    Reviewed by Ninian Dunnett
    Early gems in a country legend’s historical lucky-bag.
  3. Review of American VI: Ain't No Grave

    American VI: Ain't No Grave 2010

    Reviewed by Andrew Mueller
    A sweeping up of scraps, a collation of tracks previously found wanting.
  4. Review of At Folsom Prison

    At Folsom Prison 2009

    Reviewed by Chris Jones
    These raw, honest performances made him a legend
  5. Review of På Österåker

    På Österåker 2008

    Reviewed by Daryl Easlea
    His affection and sincerity throughout is undeniable.
  6. Review of The Legend of Johnny Cash, Volume II

    The Legend of Johnny Cash, Volume II 2007

    Reviewed by Tim Cunningham
    The album is littered with gems...
  7. Review of At San Quentin

    At San Quentin 2007

    Reviewed by Jon Lusk
    All in all, a superlative reissue.
  8. Review of The Man Comes Around

    The Man Comes Around 2006

    Reviewed by Nick Reynolds
    We should just be grateful that Cash is still around to make records as uplifting and...
  9. Review of American V: A Hundred Highways

    American V: A Hundred Highways 2006

    Reviewed by Chris Long
    This is an album of weary hope and of gentle regret, it mixes jet-black humour about...
  10. Review of Ring of Fire - The Legend of Johnny Cash

    Ring of Fire - The Legend of Johnny Cash 2005

    Reviewed by Sue Keogh
    To tie in with the release of the eagerly anticipated Cash biopic, here comes the...
  11. Review of Unearthed

    Unearthed 2003

    Reviewed by Nick Reynolds
    Cash's rejects are better than most artists' greatest hits.
  12. Review of American Recordings

    American Recordings 1994

    Reviewed by Chris Jones
    Johnny Cash's final road to redemption and artistic fulfillment starts here...
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