Johnny Cash

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Overview

Johnny Cash was so much more than a country-music star. The only musician ever to be inducted into three halls of fame (Country Music, Rock and Roll, and Songwriters), his music and his legacy have influenced performers ranging from Bob Dylan to U2 to Nine Inch Nails.

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Overview

Johnny Cash was so much more than a country-music star. The only musician ever to be inducted into three halls of fame (Country Music, Rock and Roll, and Songwriters), his music and his legacy have influenced performers ranging from Bob Dylan to U2 to Nine Inch Nails.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Tracy Piombo
In this new series, well-known biographers show how some of the most famous figures in twentieth-century America became legends and how they influenced the world. The two volumes reviewed here highlight the outsize personalities and immense talents of the iconic "Music Legend" Johnny Cash and "Media Queen" Oprah Winfrey, while dealing frankly with the troubles and flaws that make them human. The Cash volume begins with his hardscrabble upbringing and traces his journey to fame and crossover music success. Cash's drug addiction, relapses, and neglect of his family are all on view, but the book also illuminates his loyalty to his first band members and commitment to causes such as Native American rights. Although some background events are oversimplified (such as the Great Depression), Neimark does a wonderful job of describing the Memphis music scene, Cash's love of the South, and most important, his unusual voice and talent. Oprah's Winfrey's initial poverty, although literal, was also perhaps more emotional, as she shuttled back and forth between family members. Cooper unflinchingly relates the sexual abuse that Winfrey suffered as a teen as well as her subsequent promiscuity. In tracing her rise to media stardom, the text also highlights Winfrey's brushes with disappointment, such as her early failure as a news anchor and lifelong struggle with her weight. Ultimately readers are left with the impression of a remarkably determined and talented woman whose fame is equally matched by her loyalty and generosity. Both biographies are entertaining, moderately easy to read and accessible even to reluctant readers. The small format of the books leads to some drawbacks, such as smallerpictures and a drabber layout, but it also lends an intimate feel that will appeal to teens more than larger sized biographies. Both volumes could use more illustrations with better reproduction quality, and the Cash selection does not correlate pictures with text. Neimark's writing is also less polished than Cooper's and contains confusing transitions and unanswered questions. Even so, it fills an important gap in middle grade biographies on the "Man in Black," and both books will be worthy additions to any library serving teens.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142410479
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 1/10/2008
  • Series: Penguin Up Close Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 208
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.04 (w) x 7.02 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Anne E. Neimark is the author of several biographies for young people, including There Ain't Nobody That Can Sing Like Me.

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    Posted June 16, 2010

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