A couple of well-placed movie trailers have me now recalling Johnny Cash. It’s funny how if you hang out long enough, everything comes back around. When I was pretty young, the first non-nursery-rhyme LP’s which I had were “Johnny Cash Live at San Quentin” and “Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison.” My friends had the Partridge Family Album and the Monkees. I don’t exactly recollect how this came to be, but one could argue that it put me on the path to reasonably non-mainstream musics. I remember specifically one of my 7 or 8 year old friends telling me he didn’t want to listen to it anymore - didn’t like the “…I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die” imagery of “Folsom Prison Blues”. It was pretty wild stuff - Johnny Cash even cursed on the records - and I’m sure there was the excitement of getting away with something at that age.
But those songs which really never left my head - “Long Black Veil”, “Orange Blossom Special”, “Cocaine Blues”, “I Walk the Line” and of course “Boy Named Sue” all rattled around there for years - still burbling up as the occasional Head Music. If the pending movie doesn’t take too many dalliances from the truth, it will be interesting to see the legacy of the Man in Black passed on to a new generation.