The definitive, intimate, no-holds-barred biography of Johnny Cash.
People don't just listen to Johnny Cash - they believe in him.
Although part of his life has been told on film, there are many compelling layers to his story that have remained hidden - until now. Robert Hilburn tells the unvarnished truth about a musical icon whose personal life was far more troubled and his artistry much more profound than even his most devoted fans have realized. As music critic for the Los Angeles Times, Hilburn knew Cash well throughout his life - he was the only music journalist at the legendary Folsom Prison concert in 1968, and he interviewed him extensively just before Cash's death in 2003.
Drawing upon his personal experience with Cash and a trove of never-before seen material from the singer's inner circle, Hilburn gives us a compelling, human portrait of one of the most iconic figures in modern popular culture - not only a towering figure in country music, but also a seminal influence in rock.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.
©2013 Robert Hilburn (P)2013 Hachette Audio
The story is well written. The Narrator was terrible. Did not sound interested In reading the story. Monotone and hesitating in many parts making the reading hard to understand.
I would have liked to hear Grover Gardner reading this book.
Hilburn presents an unvarnished yet heroic tale of one of America's most outstanding artists. He brings insight to Cash's deep and abiding interest in singing, writing, family, relationships, underdogs, and gospel. He details Cash's his successes, struggles, determination, drug addled behavior, faith, falls, and resurrections. But throughout Hiburn gives us a very well written, riveting, and human story of a monumental figure in the annals of music.
The book's subject, John R. Cash.
At times one is touched by the enormous decency of this focused and gifted man and at times one is repulsed by the depths of his addiction and its abhorrent consequences. As one reads the book, it is compelling to also pause and listen to the music he created. It is amazing that he did so much work on stage as well as in recordings even during the darkest of times. Hilburn's account, commensurate with the magnitude of his subject, evokes every form of emotion. That Johnny Cash could finish his career and his life under the supportive and inspiring umbrella of Rick Rubin and the songs they recorded is a gift for all who cherish music and musical interpretation nonpareil. That Robert Hilburn has told the personal story of music's foremost chronicler of the American experience is a gift for everyone.
While Hilburn writes of Cash's magnetism, sound, commanding performances, and ability to imbue songs with his enormous imprimatur, he does not delve much into describing that unique resonant baritone quality that instantly identifies Johnny Cash to any and all listeners. Perhaps Hilburn's understatement in this regard is understandable. Written words can describe the force and extent of the man's artistry and influence, but simply cannot describe the auditory impact of Johnny Cash's voice and music. But this book surely will motivate readers to seek out his recordings and be rewarded anew by the auditory and emotional power of Cash's sound that extends so far beyond his recognized hits. Example? Try "Danny Boy" sung as Johnny Cash, in a hoarser voice, nears the end of his life. It is a tour de force rendition of a song you thought you knew. Hilburn points out others.
The writing was pretty straightforward.
The voice recording was disappointing. I tried tuning it with my iPhone's equalizer settings but I couldn't get rid of enough bass.
The few times I've listened to NPR, I've marveled at how extraordinarily well their microphones transmit voice. Why can't all audio books be more like that?
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