Johnny Cash (1932-2003) was an American icon and country music superstar, a professed man of faith, as well as the author of three books. Cash first sang publicly while in the air force in the early fifties. The youngest person ever chosen for the Country Music Hall of Fame, he was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and awarded eleven Grammies in a career that spanned generations. Married to country legend June Carter, Cash performed everywhere from Folsom Prison to the White House, hosted his own television show, appeared in feature films, and in 1996 received the Kennedy Center Lifetime Achievement Award.
"When death starts beating the door down, you need to be reaching for your shotgun," writes the Man in Black, the American country icon who still performs tough-talking story-songs like "Folsom Prison Blues" and "A Boy Named Sue" on his tours. Unsurprisingly, the famously Christian Cash (he has often performed at Billy Graham crusades and has written a novel‘The Man in White‘based on the life of Saint Paul) reveals himself to be a man possessed of a heartfelt yet idiosyncratic spirituality, one that can accommodate both a belief in ghosts and a literal interpretation of the Bible. Cash is less interested here in recounting the details of his personal and public lives than he is with taking the reader to a handful of his favorite places, moving softly through the memories of a singer's regret-laden years on booze and pills, getting himself in the mood to reflect by describing the surroundings in which he writes. The result is a gentle, moving memoir that may frustrate some fans of Cash and of the Sun Records-era Memphis that saw his rise to fame, as the book only touches on Cash's relationships with those whose stardom eclipsed his own‘Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and (later on) Bob Dylan. The reader senses Cash's formidable presence in every terse phrase, however, as a melancholy calm pervades the narrative. 200,000 first printing; Literary Guild selection; author tour. (Nov.)
"Insightful, relaxed, and conversational. . . . The stories sing."--New York Times