A Common Man: Johnny Cash Essay

1180 words - 5 pages

"Hello, I'm Johnny Cash", the well-known, traditional, and famous words used by Cash before every show he ever played. Johnny Cash was a musical icon who positively impacted not only country music, but other genres as well.
John R. Cash (Johnny) was born in1932 to a poor family in Kingsland, Arkansas. Born the fourth of seven children, Cash began working beside his siblings and parents on cotton fields at the age of five (Johnny Cash Columbia). This is where his musical influences began. His mother, Carrie Rivers Cash, would sing hymns and other inspirational music to her children while they would toil long, hot days farming cotton. Growing up in The Depression, times were tough, and the Cash family had to work to survive. Cash actually said that he and his siblings almost died of starvation as children (Johnny Cash Biography). After he graduated from high school, he enlisted in the service. While in basic training, he met his first wife whom he married after he was honorably discharged from the military. In 1955, he went to Memphis, Tennessee where he signed with Sun Records and joined in a trio called "The Tennessee Three" (Johnny Cash – Biography). They recorded some of the famous Cash songs such as "Folsom Prison Blues" and "Hey Porter" which Johnny had written while serving in Germany. Johnny gained such a love and passion for music, that it is what he dedicated his life to.
Cash, being born and raised a "common man", did not let that stop him from being more than what his circumstances allowed him to be, he had a major influence on both country music and rock and roll music. Keith Urban (Australian-born country star) quotes, "I think that any artist would have to say that there's some type of influence from Cash in them. “If nothing else, just an astounding example of believing in yourself and following your path" (Cash’s Impact Was Worldwide). Johnny Cash could have let his childhood affect him in a negative way or a positive way, but chose to let it be positive. He did not use the let the fact that he grew up in a poor family stop him from chasing his dreams. Cash, like Keith Urban said, was a wonderful example of following your dreams. Johnny quotes, “Success is having to worry about every d*mn thing in the world, except money.” (Johnny Cash – Biography) Growing up like he did, Johnny Cash knew the kind of life he did not want to have, and did everything he could to make sure he could provide better for his family.
However, his adult life wasn’t always an easy ride, he encountered plenty of bumps on his rise to success. Around 1958, Johnny Cash started what would become a lifelong battle with drugs and alcohol that would get in the way of his music, and turned out to be the cause of the divorce of his wife with whom he had four daughters (Johnny Cash Biography). In 1965, Cash was caught trying to sneak amphetamines across the border of Mexico. (Johnny Cash Biography). However, this didn’t stop Johnny. His addictions...

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