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Ring Of Fire
     

Ring Of Fire

by Michael Streissguth
 

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Johnny Cash is bigger than life, surrounded by myths and legends, a notoriously hard-drinking, hard-drugging man who sings searing songs of death, loss, God, and work. Since his debut in 1955, he has come to embody country music as well as the spirit of defiance and rebellion that drives rock, and has garnered an immense audience along the way, selling more than

Overview


Johnny Cash is bigger than life, surrounded by myths and legends, a notoriously hard-drinking, hard-drugging man who sings searing songs of death, loss, God, and work. Since his debut in 1955, he has come to embody country music as well as the spirit of defiance and rebellion that drives rock, and has garnered an immense audience along the way, selling more than fifty million albums and winning ten Grammy awards. He is universally acknowledged as one of the musical giants of the century.In Ring of Fire, some of our best music writers consider Cash decade by decade in a collection of thirty-two classic articles and essays. They follow him from his birth in 1932 to his meteoric rise to fame in the late '60s and early '70s, through his two-decade slump and his musical resurgence in the 1990s, through the phenomenal new albums he has made in the face of his recently diagnosed nerve disease. Ring of Fire takes the Reader format and transforms it into the best kind of biography: complex, insightful, and multifaceted.

Editorial Reviews

Blender
Michael Streissguth amasses the whole story—cottonfield toil, iconic fame, narcotic nightmare, senior-citizen comeback—through a well-paced best-of selection.
Entertainment Weekly
[Cash's] humility and restless nature dominate every tale, proving that after forty-seven years in the spotlight, the Man in Black remains one of music's most fascinating and elusive figures.
Seattle Times Post-Intelligencer
A fascinating read.
Austin Chronicle
It's high time for a comprehensive anthology of essays and interviews about [Johnny Cash]. Ring of Fire is a good one.
American Prospect
Thoughtfully written and full of anecdotes. Johnny Cash has given his fans—and writers—a wealth of good material over the years.
Library Journal
Since his 1950s Sun Records debut, Johnny Cash has made enough public image changes to make Madonna want to take her clothes off just one more time for good luck. From rockabilly rube, to Bob Dylan's pill-popping buddy and rebel folkie in the Sixties, to Jesus freak and country outlaw in the Seventies, and, finally, to rebirth as a grunge hero in the Nineties, the Man in Black has never been immune to romanticizing by fans, the media, and himself. Music journalist Streissguth (Like a Moth to Flame: The Jim Reeves Story) here compiles biography, autobiography, and articles on Cash, archiving his career avatars over the years. The rift between the man and the myth is most apparent in the 1990s interviews in which Cash, famous as a Gen-X drug hero and rogue, proves to be just an aging country boy with a helluva life and voice. This work piques the urge to whip out the old records and assess the music behind the propaganda while raising some pertinent questions about Cash's next move. In a new century and in poor health, Cash once again finds himself in legend limbo. Will his next incarnation come from posthumous eulogy or the flesh-and-blood genius that made him famous? This book nicely complements Peter Lewry and Lou Robin's I've Been Everywhere: A Johnny Cash Chronicle and Cash: The Autobiography, offering a broader perspective. Recommended for all libraries. Eric Hahn, Fargo, ND Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780306812255
Publisher:
Da Capo Books
Publication date:
04/01/2003
Pages:
340
Product dimensions:
0.76(w) x 6.00(h) x 9.00(d)

Meet the Author


Michael Streissguth is the author of Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison, editor of Ring of Fire, and an associate professor of English at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York.

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