Cash by Johnny Cash

I finished Johnny Cash’s second autobiography, Cash: the Autobiography a couple weeks ago.

You’ve seen Walk the Line (probably) so you know the Johnny Cash story, approximately at least.

But there’s a lot more to this book than the story of his life. In fact, this isn’t so much the story as the stories of his life: vignettes, tales and anecdotes from many different periods of his life.

Some parts are funny. Some are poignant. Some give you a better background to where his music’s coming from and the artists he grew up on. There are even a couple advertisements for things he likes (like the Carter Family Fold he’s totally upfront about these endorsements).

I was most interested in the stories of music on the farm growing up–listening to the radio late at night, singing out in the fields–and also of the story of how the partnership with Rick Rubin came about. There was another interesting snippet about preparing for a mid 90s concert (with an audience of younger people) at the Fillmore.

The style is very fluid, conversational, upfront and personal. There’s a ghost writer, but it honestly feels like he must not have done much because it seems like Cash put down these words himself.

At some point I read someone say something like Cash by Johnny Cash is the best music biography or perhaps the best writing on music. I can’t find who said that or the context now, but I’m leaning toward that sentiment. It’s an engaging and entertaining read and give a good background and context to this great artist’s music.

You can buy it at Amazon.



4 Responses to “Cash by Johnny Cash”

  1. Capt.Geech says:

    In the film HIGH FIDELITY, rob said that his all time top 5 favourite book was CASH by Johnny cash.
    I read it a couple of summers ago, I liked how it seemed like he was telling me the stories, as if he were sitting in the same room.

  2. adrian says:

    Thanks, Capt. Geech. I think High Fidelity must have been it.

  3. [...] The writing is wonderful and evocative, too. She immediately sets quite conversational tone and it feels like she’s telling you her family stories from the armchair next to you. In that sense, it reminds me a lot of Cash by Johnny Cash. [...]

  4. [...] telling you her family stories from the armchair next to you. In that sense, it reminds me a lot of Cash by Johnny Cash. The stories of her childhood, drenched in music, of course, cover the gambit: the rough times, the [...]

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