“Before rock and roll, there was country” – Johnny Cash.
This is the first in the "Legends of Country Music" series.
This is, like the "Legends of Rock & Roll" series, a mini-biography of one the great performers from Country Music, Johnny Cash.
I have always loved every genre of music, but didn't get introduced to Country Music until the early Eighties. Once converted, I was a total country fan.
This book is about Johnny Cash, his life, his ups and his downs. It is a brief biography but I include all of the major points in the life of this great musician. But even more importantly, it's about the music. This series is my way of honoring the people that have brought so much joy to our lives over the years. Johnny Cash defined a music genre for more than one generation.
This is an unauthorized fan tribute.
Inside you'll find:
Introduction - Remarks about Johnny Cash in general and a kick-off for the book.
Growing Up - Johnny grew up during the depression. Times were hard and he learned to work.
A Tour in the Air Force - After high school he left his sweetheart and joined the Air Force.
Meeting Sam Philips - How did he get started in the music business?
“I Walk the Line” - The story behind his first big hit.
Million Dollar Quartet - The coming together of four of the superstars of the Fifties.
“Ballad of a Teenage Queen” - Johnny continues to chart with another number one.
Columbia Records - Why did Johnny switch from Sun to Columbia Records?
Drugs and Alcohol - The two things that almost killed him.
San Quentin Prison - Did Johnny Cash ever go to prison? His songs sound like he did.
The Carter Family - The family that practically invented country music joins Johnny's group.
“Ring of Fire” - Who really wrote this great country standard?
“The Ballad of Ira Hayes” - Who was Ira Hayes? Johnny sang about the downtrodden and the mistreated.
Jesse - Jesse was Johnny's camper and he used it to get in a whole lot of trouble.
“Jackson” - A great duet of Johnny Cash and June Carter.
June Carter Cash - The story of the woman who become Johnny's second wife and his soul mate.
Hitting Bottom - How we came so close to losing Johnny Cash.
Three Number Ones - Then everything turned around and he had three number ones in a row.
Johnny Liked Prisons - Johnny liked to play before prisoners in various prisons.
Richard Nixon and Billy Graham - Two very different people, but both friends of Johnny.
The Man in Black - Why does Johnny wear black? Does he wear black all of the time?
The Highwaymen - The country super group of the Eighties.
In Decline - His career starts to decline.
American Recordings - He gets a new label and a new lease on life.
The Passing of a Legend - June and Johnny pass away within four months of each other.
Legacy of Johnny Cash - Every Legends book has a Legacy section where we review the awards and contributions of the artist.
Afterword - My closing thoughts.
Selected Discography - A list of the major works by Johnny Cash.
James Hoag has always been a big fan of Rock & Roll. Most people graduate from high school and then proceed to "grow up" and go on to more adult types of music. James got stuck at about age 18 and has been an avid fan of popular music ever since. His favorite music is from the Fifties, the origin of Rock & Roll and which was the era in which James grew up. But he likes almost all types of popular music including country music.
After working his entire life as a computer programmer, he is now retired and he decided to share his love of the music and of the performers by writing books that discuss the life and music of the various people who have meant so much to him over the years.
He calls each book a "love letter" to the stars that have enriched our lives so much. These people are truly Legends.