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Johnny Cash - How come an icon?

DigiTrad:
A GIRL NAMED JOHNNY CASH
COME IN STRANGER
COUNTY LINE
DADDY SANG BASS
DELIA'S GONE
DON'T TAKE YOUR GUNS TO TOWN
FORTY SHADES OF GREEN
ONE PIECE AT A TIME
THE BALLAD OF IRA HAYES


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GUEST 05 Aug 06 - 12:56 PM
Midchuck 30 Jul 06 - 08:40 PM
Slag 30 Jul 06 - 05:14 PM
Big Al Whittle 30 Jul 06 - 04:49 PM
Slag 30 Jul 06 - 04:36 PM
Jeff Beck 30 Jul 06 - 09:36 AM
GUEST,Fan 30 Jul 06 - 09:27 AM
Cruiser 25 Apr 06 - 12:42 PM
Jack the Sailor 24 Apr 06 - 06:10 PM
M.Ted 24 Apr 06 - 02:43 PM
GUEST,Bensson 24 Apr 06 - 02:28 PM
GUEST,i adore J Cash 24 Apr 06 - 01:32 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 24 Apr 06 - 05:27 AM
wilbyhillbilly 24 Apr 06 - 04:54 AM
alanabit 24 Apr 06 - 03:40 AM
Jack the Sailor 23 Apr 06 - 10:37 PM
Don Firth 23 Apr 06 - 01:31 PM
GUEST,Greyboy 23 Apr 06 - 01:30 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 23 Apr 06 - 01:20 PM
Danks 23 Apr 06 - 01:15 PM
Severn 23 Apr 06 - 12:01 PM
Jeri 23 Apr 06 - 11:14 AM
JohnInKansas 23 Apr 06 - 10:53 AM
Severn 23 Apr 06 - 10:45 AM
Jack the Sailor 23 Apr 06 - 10:34 AM
Jeri 23 Apr 06 - 10:31 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 23 Apr 06 - 10:29 AM
Severn 23 Apr 06 - 10:29 AM
Danks 23 Apr 06 - 09:41 AM
Jeri 23 Apr 06 - 08:39 AM
Big Al Whittle 23 Apr 06 - 07:08 AM
kendall 23 Apr 06 - 06:46 AM
John on the Sunset Coast 23 Apr 06 - 01:34 AM
Little Hawk 23 Apr 06 - 01:07 AM
Peace 23 Apr 06 - 01:03 AM
Jack the Sailor 23 Apr 06 - 12:00 AM
Stilly River Sage 22 Apr 06 - 11:54 PM
Bert 22 Apr 06 - 11:50 PM
Little Hawk 22 Apr 06 - 11:16 PM
Pauline L 22 Apr 06 - 11:15 PM
Little Hawk 22 Apr 06 - 10:49 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 22 Apr 06 - 10:31 PM
GUEST,AR282 22 Apr 06 - 10:20 PM
Little Hawk 22 Apr 06 - 10:02 PM
GUEST 22 Apr 06 - 09:33 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 22 Apr 06 - 08:56 PM
GUEST,A Cash Fan 22 Apr 06 - 08:31 PM
GUEST,thurg 22 Apr 06 - 08:17 PM
GUEST,Observer 22 Apr 06 - 03:21 PM
Danks 22 Apr 06 - 03:16 PM
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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Aug 06 - 12:56 PM

A pure ICON suberb


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: Midchuck
Date: 30 Jul 06 - 08:40 PM

Among male country singers, there's George Jones and maybe a half-dozen tied for second place. Cash was one of the half-dozen.

Pure personal opinion - but so's this whole thread.

Peter


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: Slag
Date: 30 Jul 06 - 05:14 PM

I read the first couple of entries and then made the post above, then I read the rest of the discussions in the thread. It seems to me that a a lot of the disagreement would go away if you all could just agree on the definition of a few terms like "What do you mean by 'icon'?" Some sage once said that in matters of taste and beauty there is no arguement. Another said that opinions are like a certain part of one's anatomy: everybody has one. The big difference would be whether yours is a CONSIDERED opinion. That is stating why you believe someone is an icon or why not. And we do have some considered opinions on either side of Mr. Cash's celebrity/iconic status. All well and good. My next question, why all the animosity? Why the name calling (troll)? It's a valid and interesting topic. The number of responses show that. I 'd like to know more about the man and his music. But, hey, that's just MY opinion!


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Jul 06 - 04:49 PM

well i don't, I think Johnny Cash was great. In fact i am in the process of writing a song that will endorse his iconic status:-

Johnny Cash, you're an icon
The lamp post, I lean my bike on
I'll take a picture with my Nikon
And evry time i turn my mic on
And every single road I hike on
I'll sing of Johnny, he's an icon.

that's the chorus - very catchy, don't you think?


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: Slag
Date: 30 Jul 06 - 04:36 PM

Ok. Here'e my two cents worth. When I was in the second grade I contracted San Juaquin Valley Fever and was out of school for about a half year. My folks bought for me my first record. It was a 78 RPM, "I Walk the Line" by Johnny Cash. B side was the "Get a Rhythm". I about wore the thing out. It was Cash's unique voice that made him an "icon". It was always teetering on the edge of being out of tune (or "in-tune" as the case may be), deep, lonesome, kind of parlando or maybe not, but he could convey emotion with a conviction like no other.

A footnote: I had an uncle who was a Southern Baptist minister during this time who had a little church in Ventura Co. CA where Mr. Cash's mother was in attendence. My uncle said that every once in a while Johnny would slip into church during the service and then leave before the end. Some in my family attached a moral conclusion to his actions but in reality it was to avoid any disruption due to his rising celebrity status.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: Jeff Beck
Date: 30 Jul 06 - 09:36 AM

I agree with the original poster Cash is one of the most over rated people I've ever heard.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: GUEST,Fan
Date: 30 Jul 06 - 09:27 AM

Songs are very good he is an icon for that not his drug taking


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: Cruiser
Date: 25 Apr 06 - 12:42 PM

Mr. Cash was not a worthy icon or idol or someone to aspire to be or admire given his drug use. We are all flawed, but it is how we deal with our faults that is worthy of admiration. How fickle humans are that a person falls in the idolatry category soon after an often fictitious movie is made about someone like Cash.

Even though I strongly disliked his persona the world is richer for some of his music, especially the earlier songs. The best Cash song is 'Flesh and Blood'. The simple lyrics reveal depths of feeling for life, love, and nature melded together in phrases that could not have been expressed more succinctly in a song. That one song made him worthwhile as a musician.

An extremely flawed individual who contributed to the world of music and became an enduring symbol? Yes. Someone who was a good role model? No, and definitely not an icon in the sense of someone worthy of emulation.

My thoughts would also apply to many other famous musicians considered idols. Perhaps their musical contributions could not have been possible without their drug abuse or flawed character. As such, in the balance, we are still enriched by their music if not by their character.

Cruiser


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 24 Apr 06 - 06:10 PM

I only remember Liberace as a bad joke.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: M.Ted
Date: 24 Apr 06 - 02:43 PM

Let's ditch the word "icon", which is just the Sunday Times word for "Superstar"--

The most compelling icons/superstars tend to be musical artists--Elvis, Dolly Parton, The Beatles, Caruso, Madonna, Frank Sinatra, Tiny Tim, Dylan, Liberace, The Incomperable Hildegarde--they cultivate an image, because people remember an image, even after they get tired of the music--

A singer makes the songs popular--songs make the Superstar popular--

Think about this--long after his death, we all remember Liberace--but only a few of us remember his songs--


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: GUEST,Bensson
Date: 24 Apr 06 - 02:28 PM

Let's hear it for Johnny Cash.

In a career that spanned almost five decades, Johnny Cash was the personification of country music to many people around the world, despite his distaste for the Nashville mainstream.

Yet, like Ray Charles, The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Elvis Presley, Cash was a musician who transcended genre.

He recorded songs that could be considered rock and roll, blues, rockabilly, folk and gospel, and exerted an influence on each of those genres.

Moreover, he had the unique distinction among country artists of having "crossed over" late in his career to become popular with an unexpected demographic, young indie and alternative rock fans.

His diversity was evidenced by his presence in three major music halls of fame:

the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,
the Country Music Hall of Fame
and
the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Only ten performers are in both of the first two, and only Hank Williams Sr. and Jimmie Rodgers share the honor with Cash of being in all three.

His pioneering contribution to the genre has also been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: GUEST,i adore J Cash
Date: 24 Apr 06 - 01:32 PM

He's one of the VERY FEW singer/song writers that actually improved with age. His last 2 albums are incredible. His story is far more interesting than the "movie".


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 24 Apr 06 - 05:27 AM

Surely the definitive word here is "unique".

There is only one, and there could only be one, Johnny Cash.

Not, as many have pointed out, the best singer or musician, but a truly unique entertainer.

That in itself almost defines an icon.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: wilbyhillbilly
Date: 24 Apr 06 - 04:54 AM

Jack the Sailor says,"I'm not really comfortable calling any music artist an icon. But if any artist deserves that title, it is Johnny."

My sentiments exactly, some of his songs may have been classed as run of the mill, but, others have one hell of an impact, (for me anyway).

Listen to September if you can without having it affect the senses, and I have just acquired the HURT video, it brings tears to my eyes to see this great man still doing what he did best.

To me he was and always will be an icon, and everyone else is welcome to their own opinions.

Right, got that off my chest, back to the grindstone.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: alanabit
Date: 24 Apr 06 - 03:40 AM

I am getting quite interested in this discussion, which is a better one than I feared would come about at first.
Danks has posed some questions about the way that people become icons rather because of the way that their personalities are perceived than because of their artisitic achievement. He has got me thinking about that. I am tending to the Don Firth school of thought - if I have read him correctly - that Cash became an icon rather because of what he represented about the music. That is not quite the same as the music itself. It takes a cool, critical head to separate the artist from the work.
I actually have a problem understanding the iconic status of Marilyn Monroe. She made a couple of entertaining films without ever nearing the accomplishment of a Katherine Hepburn or even Jodie Foster. The reasons she became an icon did not have much to do with her achievements as an actress.
For me - and these things are always personal and biased - Cash represented the best things about the world he came from and the music he played. For me that is enough. There are probably more than twenty Johnny Cash albums, which I would never listen to twice. I suspect the same is true for Danks. If the best of Cash's work is so important to you, that you are able to forget the less striking stuff, he is going to be an iconic figure to you.
It's a fair question.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 23 Apr 06 - 10:37 PM

I'm not really comfortable calling any music artist an icon. But if any artist deserves that title, it is Johnny.

Of course right now his career is getting a lot of attention. The American sessions albums, especially the last one, giving a huge boost to his fame just before his and June's deaths added to the movie and all of the tribute albums and TV show have put a well deserved, ling overdue spotlight on him. He was a great artis and a fascinating man. But he was no icon, ;)


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: Don Firth
Date: 23 Apr 06 - 01:31 PM

Just about anybody can sing simple songs and accompany them with simple guitar. But how many people can take that same simple song and simple guitar and do it with the kind of panache that turns it into a hit? And doesn't just turn it into a "hit" that gets played for a few weeks and then disappears, but makes it memorable?

Johnny Cash could do it. And he did. A lot.

Icon, shmicon! Johnny Cash was unique. Not very many of the current crop of guitar-playing cowboy hats can say that.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: GUEST,Greyboy
Date: 23 Apr 06 - 01:30 PM

Hey Danks - are you a picker, or a singer? Just wondering.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 23 Apr 06 - 01:20 PM

Jack the Sailor - of course you are right about the rock-a-billy thing. I guess I just have never thought of Johnny Cash that way...I think Jerry Lee, Carl Perkins, Buddy Holly and others that way, but not Cash.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: Danks
Date: 23 Apr 06 - 01:15 PM

I suppose I'm trying to strip away all "image" and all the "add-ons", and see what remains musically. If all we had of Hank Willaims were his recordings, would he still be a giant? If we had no biographical info on Hank, would his recording legacy still be at the core of country music? When we admire an artist its amazing how much we - the listener- bring to the table. Back in the mid-70s I was very, very heavily into Bruce Springsteen; however, by the time that I saw him in concert ( Birmingham, UK 1981), I experienced a sense of detatchment. I thought alot about this, and I eventually realized that the Bruce Springsteen I related to was a kid in Asbury Park, hanging around with his mates and forming bands; the kid that Springsteen described in his monologues in his early live bootlegs. Once that image had been replaced by a 30 year old superstar, the music wasn't enough. All the Johnny Cash "add ons" don't do it for me. It's the music, and the music alone. And, that - for me - doesn't justify all attention he receives.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an acorn?
From: Severn
Date: 23 Apr 06 - 12:01 PM

Simplicity can be an aspect of genius. Play a bit of one of those classic "boom-chucka-boom-chucka" intros and everyone will either know where you're going or at least where you're coming from and paying conscious or unconscious tribute to. Simple, accessable and backing up some good stories, and the mark of a good storyteller is not in the simplicity or complexity, so much as, in the end the fact that the story somehow gets across to the listener in some way or another. Johnny's stories got told effectively and got remembered generations down the line AND were easy to do so with the accompanyment they needed. People know that sound and immediately associate it with Cash, much as they'd talk of "Chuck Berry Riffs" and even more than they'd be able to acknowledge the endlessly recycled "Bo Diddly Beat" or "John Lee Hooker Boogie Riff" that also became basic building blocks of our music. He not only gave us good stories, but a simple model for a framework on which to tell stories of our own.

Deceptive simplicity can often be taken for granted, but, for example, if you ever thought Jimmy Reed's songs were overly simple and maybe a bit sloppy in execution, just listen to all the bad Jimmy Reed imitations and attempted style updates and you'll usually come back to the original, even though they are simple and fun enough that people will be playing them nonstop and covering them forever.

Cash put out a great deal of bad, indulgent stuff and went through some bad spells, but folks will be trying to match and surpass the originals of the great stuff, mostly in vain but not always, as long as there are pickers and singers. And often, especially in his last years, proved an able interpreter of the diverse material of others on some of the last American Music releases. Most people, even if not big fans, have taken some of his lessons and adopted them to their own use whether they know it or not, and most them actually know it. If you can somehow do that, you're an Icon with or without manufactured hype.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: Jeri
Date: 23 Apr 06 - 11:14 AM

Severn, some songs that last forever and people want to learn are just SO simple. They must be easy to write, and not take a lot of skill, right? They are the hardest type of song in the world to do well! (I know you knew that, I'm just pre-emptively agreeing.)

Ron, you have a point about the UK/US thing. I think there are quite a few people in the US who wouldn't even know who Charlie Rich is. I do, because he had a hit with a Kris Kristoffersen song that my mother liked (and I didn't). I know he was called the 'Silver Fox' and that he played piano. That's EVERYTHING I know about him. Maybe he was really big in the UK. Merle Haggard as a songwriter is good, but I don't like his songs as much as I like Cash's, and 'Okie from Muskogie' was something of a (well written) joke in many left-of-Atilla-the-Hun American circles. No, he most obviously did NOT mean it tongue in cheek. Certainly not hateful, but not funny either.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that Johnny Cash's entire life and body of work has, in my lifetime, in my country, seeped in to the background of me. Before the media ever started with the post-mortem frenzy, he was part of the American collective consious. It just IS. There is no SHOULD BE. And who says being an icon is a good thing?

As to Waylon Jennings opinion, I found interview, originally in 'Country Music' magazine, by Bob Campbell:
CAMPBELL: Do you have any heroes?

JENNINGS: Muhammad Ali is my hero. He really is. I think he is the greatest thing to happen in twenty years. My dad is my hero, and he comes first. And old Johnny Cash is one of my heroes. He is a great man. [snipped]
'Dismissive'? Where did you hear that?


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 23 Apr 06 - 10:53 AM

I wonder if the real "problem" here is that the real/correct question wasn't asked.

Johnny Cash has been in the business for a long time, and those who have known him for a long time have enjoyed and respected his presence and his music. To us, there's no problem with including him in our roll of "icons" of Country music. Some of us place him pretty high on the list, and others perhaps a little lower.

I can assert that among the mostly non-professional players with whom I play fairly regularly, his songs are prominent on the list of favorites. There should be no problem with people who know him and his music holding him in respect.

Probably almost exclusively because of the recent movie and associated hype, he is being pitched as an icon to a lot of know-nothings who have "suddenly discovered" him, and are willing to buy "anything Johnny" for the moment. Mostly these "targets of commercialism" know nothing of his abilities, of any of his music that wasn't mangled in the movie, or anything of his life and career that wasn't fabricated "to make it more interesting" in the movie.

It's perhaps appropriate to ask why a whole country is subject to suddenly being momentarily obsessed with Johnny. It is not appropriate to question whether the "momentarily commercialized and exploited icon" has some talent, personality or presence to deserve this kind of "idol" status, since the status has nothing to do with the "object of worship." In this case, "idol status" comes from lots of commercial hype, managed publicity, and a lot of customers who are ignorant, vacuous drone-clones, with sufficient cash to buy what the admongers tell them is great.

Forget about it. The large displays in the book and record stores will disappear when the clones get tired, or when the next manufactured/exploited/marketed "personality" comes up. Some of the people who bought "Johnny songs" may play them a year from now, and will be - perhaps - a bit better for having learned something of him and his music. Most will be off on the next fad.

Those of who've known Johnny Cash and his music will continue to play his songs and to respect what he's meant to our music.

If you like him and his music, use the opportunity to pick up a few of the currently available CDs (or even books) now, while they're easy to find. If you've got all you need, just ignore the bubble-heads until this fad passes - and don't worry about it.

John


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an eye-contact?
From: Severn
Date: 23 Apr 06 - 10:45 AM

So Danks, for the memories, you can start a copycat thread called "Johnny Cash-How Come An Ex-con?" and deal with his convictions Religious and otherwise, personality quirks, excesses and abuses, occaisional self-parody, media hype and manipulations and other aspects of his life, but there remains a universiality and at least something everyone can like and respect and hum to themselves that, both because of AND in spite of all that, transcends all the rest of it.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 23 Apr 06 - 10:34 AM

Can anyone tell me tho', why is he in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

Yes. He was one of the original Rock-a-billy artists and thus one of the pioneers of Rock and Roll.


Hall of fame induction.

Danks,

If there are large Johnny Cash displays in book and record stores it is because people want to buy his stuff. Either that or the stores owners want to go out of business. Its really that simple. If peopople want to buy his stuff now, after 50 years in the business, he probably deserves to be considered an "icon" as much as anyone else does.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: Jeri
Date: 23 Apr 06 - 10:31 AM

I never thought you were attacking Johnny Cash, although I believe that's what you expected from people, so that's what you're seeing.

If you were reading my post and thinking I was taking it personally, you misunderstood something. An icon is a symbol. It's pop culture, and it probabbly DOES come down to the media. Nobody would know about Cash if not for the media. Nobody'd be able to watch all those biographical shows and news spots and the movie, buy the recordings, hear them on the radio, read reviews or newspaper/magazine articles, if the media didn't go and make them available to anybody and everybody. It's pop culture. The media go and tell people about a person, then those people all regognize him as a symbol of country music. DAMN all those people!

The thing is, and it's another point I was trying to make: it doesn't matter if we, as indivuals think someone is more deserving of representing a music genre to others. We're not going to be successful in convincing enough people to matter.

Anybody who think you're abusing Johnny Cash by preferring another musician or criticising him IS taking it a bit too personally.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 23 Apr 06 - 10:29 AM

"It's pretty clear to me that criticism of Johnny ( and the criticism related to his "icon" status), has been taken personally by many posters. It's as if any diminishing of Johnny also diminishes them."

I don't think that is the case at all. I think we are amazed that you do not see the reasons why he is considered to be such an icon. Perhaps it is because you are living in the UK and did not see the impact he had over here. It is more than an opinion, it is a statement of fact that Cash had an huge impact on the American music scene. The reasons that those of us listed above were meant to explain to you why we see it, not as a slight on our own egos.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: Severn
Date: 23 Apr 06 - 10:29 AM

After all the years of singing and all the phases and changes, ups and downs, the truth is that every guitar player I know can pull out about 5 or so Cash songs if needed, some of them learned by osmosis, rather than consciously trying to learn them, and be able to trot them out at a gathering to a good response from warm memories and not have it considered a guilty pleasure when they are doing it. So throw away the talk of Religion, posing, personal demons and such for a moment, and just consider the place his songs hold in the people's hearts. I first heard him as a kid, and at 57 years old, I can never remember a time when some of his SONGS were ever completely out of fashion, even if he himself drifted in and out. Even you professed non-fans out there can do a few by heart and a vocal imitation of both speech and song that no matter how bad it is, people will know what you're attempting-Don't lie to me now. Neither Richard T. or Brittney has THAT down yet. (Bob Wills, yes, to some extent).

THAT, my friends, constitutes a REAL ICON. Brittney Spears, as somebody brought up, may someday become an Icon through rediscovery but Johnny Cash never completely LEFT the consciousness of the country (or Mexico or the UK) as a whole, as even such Icons as Bob Wills or Professor Longhair had to stay in the regional consciousness before all the local fans and musicians had to point them out to the masses as source points. Occaisional waning, but NO eclipse.

There 'tis!


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: Danks
Date: 23 Apr 06 - 09:41 AM

As I have said previously, it's not Johnny's fault that he is an icon - although he worked hard at cultivating an image. Of course, the book/record business love icons - they sell lots! Yesterday, I was in HMV in Manchester, UK, and there was a huge area given over to Johnny's recordings. Today, I was in a Waterstones' bookshop and, again, there was a huge display given over to his biogs. A previous poster said anyone can become an icon; well, the trouble is, icons take up so much space! If a record store stocks 20 different Johnny Cash titles, they won't have space for other artists. And the bookstore that had the huge Johnny Cash display didn't have one book relating to British/Irish folkmusic. Ultimately, it was the media that decided that Johnny should me an icon. It's pretty clear to me that criticism of Johnny ( and the criticism related to his "icon" status), has been taken personally by many posters. It's as if any diminishing of Johnny also diminishes them.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: Jeri
Date: 23 Apr 06 - 08:39 AM

You have to know that respect isn't a prize won by competition. All of those guys you named can be icons. Icons are symbols - pick the ones you want. Societies make icons, not individuals, so it doesn't really matter what we think.

He's probably in the running for sainthood because 1) he was famous, and 2) he died. Simple. You were his fan for a long time, so you may be more aware of his humanity than some of those who just listened after he died. Keep in mind though, that icons and saints are completely different things. I believe he was an icon long before he died.

I watched his TV show, and claimed (to the other kids) that my parents made me when they took over the TV. Well, they DID take over the TV, but I actually enjoyed the show. I even liked HIM, although I can't remember ever admitting that to other kids. There was something dark and deep about his music, and he'd paid his dues.

He wasn't a great singer or player, but he did well enough. He wrote good songs. The brain is said by some to be the ultimate musical instrument, and he was a virtuoso at that. At a point in his life when others would have played it safe and become parodies of themselves, he recorded songs by the likes of Nine Inch Nails, and bared his soul in videos where his hands shook and he looked as fragile as a frost-touched autumn blossom. He wasn't afraid to talk about his failures. The creativity and courage remained even as his health failed. They aren't enough for sainthood - I don't believe in saints anyway. These public aspects of the man are enough for my respect and admiration, the mistakes he made along the way aren't enough to diminish those things.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Apr 06 - 07:08 AM

life can be a shitty business. Johnny Cash gave pleasure to a lot of people, lightened a lot of dark moments for a lot of us.

Of course you have the democratic right to abuse Johhny Cash, but don't be surprised if you lose our respect by exercising that democratic right.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: kendall
Date: 23 Apr 06 - 06:46 AM

As David Brinkley, news anchor for NBC national news said as the title for his book, "My opinion is as good as yours."


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 23 Apr 06 - 01:34 AM

Danks wrote that he would have been amazed if in 1966 we would be still listening to Johnny Cash (and idolizing him) in 2006 or words to that effect. I agree with that. But if he had been in that record store in 1957, different story. Cash's early songs showed a mature approach to love and life, not a whiny losers complaint of, say Hank pere. I commend you to Hey Porter, Next in Line, Train of Love, even Home of the Blues just to name a few. During the folk years and beyond, I liked Cash, and some work is really excellent, but his last albums, with that busted, shot voice are thrilling. I listen lots to those early and late recordings. Can anyone tell me tho', why is he in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?----John


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Apr 06 - 01:07 AM

Uh-huh.

Yeah.

But what about Shatner? Eh? What about Shatner? Got ya there, eh?


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: Peace
Date: 23 Apr 06 - 01:03 AM

While I liked much of Cash's work and certainly much of his writing (especially his notes on Dylan's "Nashville Skyline"), and despite having listened to the man since I was a teenager and once even having met him in my mid-teens (which was a thrill and would have been more worth telling about had I been able to do anything but stand there and gape), and while I think he wrote fantastic melodies, I don't think of him as an icon. A great; a giant in music; one helluva man--but not an icon. Hell, I don't even think of Dylan as an icon.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 23 Apr 06 - 12:00 AM

Why is Johnny Cash an Icon?

Don't ask us...

Ask Marty Stewart...

The Man Comes Around" is about the Day of Reckoning and the notion that there will be an accounting for the way in which we live on earth. It is described by Cash collaborator Marty Stuart as "the most strangely marvelous, wonderful, gothic, mysterious, Christian thing that only God and Johnny Cash could create together"

Ask Bono...

"Locust and honey...not since John the Baptist has there been a voice like that crying in the wilderness," is how U2's Bono described him. "The most male voice in Christendom. Every man knows he is a sissy compared to Johnny Cash."

Ask Merle Haggard

"I was in the prison band in San Quentin when I first saw Johnny Cash," remembered country singer Merle Haggard. "I was impressed with his ability to take five thousand convicts and steal the show away from a bunch of strippers. That's pretty hard to do."

Cash's Obit in National Review


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Apr 06 - 11:54 PM

A guest who hasn't the courtesy to the group to get an ID and then speak as a particular individual doesn't carry much weight when they start sniping at the Mudcat membership.

If you disagree with the in-group here then you are nothing but a troll trying to cause trouble. In the land of the Mudcat you have no right to have your own opinion. You either agree or you are a troublemaker.

An individual posted a provocative statement and his statement has been proven to be not have much substance by people who have paid more attention to the subject than the original poster. The fact that he can't leave well-enough alone may or may not be a sign of a personality disorder, but it certainly is guaranteed to get a response. Which is I think what he wants. As does our sniping "guest."

SRS


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: Bert
Date: 22 Apr 06 - 11:50 PM

'Cos he was the best. Very few could sing the way that he did.

Do you remember when he had his own TV show and on one episode Tom Jones was the guest. They did a duet and he made Tom Jones sound pathetic. And Tom Jones wasn't that bad on his own.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Apr 06 - 11:16 PM

The library? Or just call up various friends until you find someone who has his recordings.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: Pauline L
Date: 22 Apr 06 - 11:15 PM

I'll make a shameful confession. I don't remember much about Johnny Cash from the 60s. I didn't see the recent movie because I avoid movies almost as much as I avoid TV. I'm reading his autobiography, which is great, but it has no audio. Where can I go to listen to some of his music now for free?


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Apr 06 - 10:49 PM

Excellent points, Guest AR282! You would have loved Saturday in Ontario today, because it rained all frickin' day and it was cold and overcast too. Just about perfect, in other words! ;-P

Anyway, you are demonstrating such a keen grasp of what it is that makes something the best that I am thinking of offering you a free course at the WSSBA where you can learn all sorts of cool stuff you didn't know about...guess who?


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 22 Apr 06 - 10:31 PM

Guest makes a good point. I apologize if any of my comments made it sound like Dank's opinion was unwelcome. I do not mean to question his motives, and he or she is entitled to their opinion. While I disagree and can point to published facts that contradict some of Danks points, that is no reason for Dank to feel unwelcome. Opinions should be encouraged.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: GUEST,AR282
Date: 22 Apr 06 - 10:20 PM

While we're bitching about something so utterly pointless, why do so many people like warm, sunny Saturdays? I mean, what's really so great about them? Oh, sure, you can have fun on those days but what about when it's Saturday but cold and rainy? Then it makes you feel even worse because it isn't sunny and warm. It would be better if all Saturdays were cold and rainy so that it wouldn't be such a bring-down for not being warm and sunny.

I remember when I too was duped into enjoying sunny, warm Saturdays in my inexperienced youthful days. Oh, I couldn't wait for the weekend, you better believe it. But only in my old age wisdom have I now come to see how I and everybody else seemed to just buy into this notion that warm, sunny Saturdays are great.

I'm not saying people are wrong. I just don't think that warm, sunny Saturdays deserve all the hype and praise people give them. I mean, if they're so great why are they only 24 hours long? A warm, sunny Saturday should last a minimum of 72 hours to deserve that kind of adulation. But 72 hours after Saturday starts it's time to be back at work. WHAT A RIP-OFF!!! Warm, sunny Saturdays are a dirty cheat!! And you stupid fools have all bought into it. Wake up, you ninnies! Start seeing what's in front of your face!

Fridays are FAR superior to Saturdays. I'll take Fridays any day of the week over Saturday. Saturday is a rip-off especially when they're warm and sunny. I like Sundays better too because Sundays keep it real. Sundays say, "Yeah enjoy it today but tommorrow you gotta go back to work." Keeps things in perspective. But Saturdays lie. Saturdays say, "Wouldn't it be nice if everyday could be a warm, sunny Saturday?" But then you have to go back to work anyway. GOD I HATE THAT!!! At least a cold rainy Saturday makes you wish for it to be over and then you can enjoy Sunday which is a better day than Saturday.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Apr 06 - 10:02 PM

The really crucial criteria that decide whether or not someone deserves to be an icon are...

1. Charisma (think William Shatner)
2. Uniqueness (William Shatner again...)
3. Staying Power (Shatner...)
4. Sex Appeal (Shatner...)
5. A notoriously big "Willy" (Shatner) (Note: N/A for female icons...)
6. Looking good without a shirt on (Shatner)
7. Moving unstoppably from triumph to greater triumph (Shatner)
8. Inspiring envy and even hatred in those who only WISH they could be like him! (Oooooo! Shatner. Bigtime!)

Now I think that Johnny Cash meets enough of the above criteria to qualify as a true icon. I give him definitely 1,2,3,4...5 is unconfirmed...6,7 (with a few minor setbacks like drug addiction and arrest), and 8.

Be glad, Danks, that Johnny Cash did not quite reach the Shatneric level of iconic perfection, because if he had, you would REALLY be bothered by it. I'm kind of surprised, actually, that you have not started a thread attacking William Shatner's iconic status.

If you're going to do battle with famous men, why not take on the ULTIMATE CHALLENGE? ;-)


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Apr 06 - 09:33 PM

Hey Danks,

Give it up...you'll never win. If you disagree with the in-group here then you are nothing but a troll trying to cause trouble. In the land of the Mudcat you have no right to have your own opinion. You either agree or you are a troublemaker.

I thought that only Guests were problem causers here (other then Martin Gibson and Shambles). Supposedly, if you tokk on a false name you could say what you wanted to whether it was politicly correct or not. Danks has a name and said what he believes. Just because some of you don't agree with him doesn't make him a troll and is no reason why anyone should challenge his motives. He has a right to his opinion whether the Mudcat in-group agrees to it or not. No need to berate him for it.

This is a good reason for a Guest to remain a Guest. Why subject oneself to Mudcat abuse?

For the record, I think Johnny Cash is one of the greats. Danks certainly has a right to his opinion though. Different strokes for different folks. I can't understand why some other performers are considered greats. That doesn't make me wrong. It's a matter of what I like and don't like.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 22 Apr 06 - 08:56 PM

Danks, Haggard was at San Quentin in 1958 when Cash appeared there. The LP that came out eleven later of a 1969 appearance ath prison documented something that Cash was doing his entire career -performing for prisoners. He did not excuse them of their crimes but acknowledged them as human beings. He also saw the path to redemption.

Your opinion of Haggard's thoughts about Cash do not seem to have any basis in reality. The evidence is that they were good friends and respected each other. Cash wrote liner notes to one of Haggard's albums and had him on this TV show.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: GUEST,A Cash Fan
Date: 22 Apr 06 - 08:31 PM

another DANKS underhanded putdown of Johnny Cash

I bet Merle was thinking, " If this guy is making a nice living doing what he's doing, and I could do better standing on my head, then I'm going for it when I get out".


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: GUEST,thurg
Date: 22 Apr 06 - 08:17 PM

According to someone in the documentary that a poster mentioned earlier, that big whoop after "just to see him die" was added after the fact through studio magic ...


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 22 Apr 06 - 03:21 PM

Sounds like a chihuahua yapping at a lion.


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Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
From: Danks
Date: 22 Apr 06 - 03:16 PM

"Image is everything" - or so someone once said, and in Johnny Cash's case they were close to the mark. Take, for example, the San Quentin Prison episode. I'm sure most would agree that his performance there is one of the highlights of his career and it was a big step in his move to becoming an icon. But why? He performs to a bunch of prisoners - god only knows what crimes they were guilty of, and, of course, he takes their side! When he sings the line, " I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die", he receives a very loud cheer from the inmates. Now what's that all about? Of course, it was Johnny's unsavoury manipulation of the event. He knew exactly what he was doing. He knew exactly the response he would receive. Stangely, no poster has mentioned the obvious Merle Haggard/Johnny Cash connection. It appears that Merle was in San Quentin ( as a prisoner) when Johnny appeared there and Johnny inspired him to try his hand at singing when he got out. But, I bet Merle was thinking, " If this guy is making a nice living doing what he's doing, and I could do better standing on my head, then I'm going for it when I get out".


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