Ring of Fire: The Johnny Cash Reader

Overview

Johnny Cash is a living icon, one of the defining country musicians of the century and patriarch of a clan that rules as country royalty. He has also been a hard-living firebrand whose air of danger and rebellion made him godfather of the bad boys of today's rock and rap. He has garnered him an immense audience across generations, selling more than fifty million albums and winning ten Grammy awards. Ring of Fire is the first book to explore Cash's life and work through essays by some of the best music ...

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Overview

Johnny Cash is a living icon, one of the defining country musicians of the century and patriarch of a clan that rules as country royalty. He has also been a hard-living firebrand whose air of danger and rebellion made him godfather of the bad boys of today's rock and rap. He has garnered him an immense audience across generations, selling more than fifty million albums and winning ten Grammy awards. Ring of Fire is the first book to explore Cash's life and work through essays by some of the best music journalists-Ralph Gleason, George Vecsey, Richard Goldstein, Alanna Nash, Nick Tosches, Jon Pareles, and Ben Ratliff. Whether dispatched in the heat of Cash's meteoric rise to fame in the '60s or looking back from the vantage point of his recent musical resurgence and phenomenal new albums, these writings reveal the complex soul of an American legend.

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Editorial Reviews

American Prospect
Thoughtfully written and full of anecdotes. Johnny Cash has given his fans—and writers—a wealth of good material over the years.
Austin Chronicle
It's high time for a comprehensive anthology of essays and interviews about [Johnny Cash]. Ring of Fire is a good one.
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.
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781422354483
  • Publisher: DIANE Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 8/1/2006
  • Pages: 310
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Streissguth
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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