The Legacy Of Johnny Cash

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From an early stage in life, Johnny Cash understood that his role in life was to sing. His gift from God was to not only a calling to be a musician, but his upbringing taught him to be a voice for the oppressed as well. He forged these beliefs into his work, carrying the Man in Black persona into his prolific career. As a recording artist and a performer, Cash used his platform to speak on issues such as his Christianity, the lives of prisoners, the horrors facing minority groups, and the Vietnam war. As these themes persist in American society, every generation has rediscovered Cash in some way, becoming attracted to the honest man in black. Johnny Cash love affair with music arrived at an early age. While working on a New Deal era cotton farm in Dyess, Arkansas, Cash learned gospel hymns from his mother. He became, “crazy for the radio” and that for him it was, “vital and indispensable.” He remembers the first song he heard on the mail-order Sears Roebuck radio his father bought. Jimmy Roger’s “Hobo Bill’s Last Ride,” played as he imagined a man freezing to death in a boxcar, alone. Cash listened to everything on that radio; Roy Acuff, Ernest Tubb, Eddy Arnold, the Carter Family, Hank Williams, Bing Crosby, the Andrew Sisters, the Chuck Wagon Gang, Pink Anderson, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Everyday in the fields he would sing the gospel hymns with his mother and the country and pop hits from the radio with his sister. Before long he began to develop his own voice. His

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