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Johnny Cash Essay

1576 words - 6 pages

I have chosen to write about Johnny Cash. He is a popular country music legend whose life spanned 1932 to 2003. I have chosen the Behavioral Model in order to portray his life and actions.
The Behavioral Model and behavioral theorists believe that our actions are determined by our experiences in life. The focus of this model is on the subject’s behaviors in response to their environment. These behaviors can either be external or internal. Learned behaviors can help some people cope and lead to productive activities in life. Learned behaviors can also be abnormal and lead to abnormal functioning (Comer, 2005-2011).
Throughout his life Johnny Cash had many experiences that he had to learn to cope with. You can see this in his behaviors at an early age and on and off throughout his life. In the beginning of his life Johnny Cash was born the fourth of seven children. He was raised in the backwoods of Arkansas on 20 acres of land in a small shack for a house. He had to work very hard as a boy. He plowed the land, and picked cotton all day long. They lived in poverty and often had very little money to afford anything (Cash, Johnny, 1987).
Johnny’s mother loved to play the piano. And the family was from a musical heritage. Johnny’s maternal grandfather loved music as well, and although he struggled with poverty as well he was known to always own musical instruments. The Cash family managed to get a piano when Johnny was young and music was always a part of their lives. The house was alive with music, most of it hymnals led by his mother. Johnny took to the music and it deeply impacted him. He would sing while doing work, and sing at home. When he was just 12 he composed songs, stories and poems. He carried his love of music and used it at many times to speak of the hard times in his life (Cash, Johnny, 1987).
During Johnny’s four years in the service he fell back on his music many times. He bought a guitar and performed for his friend at the base, and in night clubs. When he was discharged he worked menial jobs but continued to pursue music always. He worked only to support his wife and family, but performed at clubs and churches nightly. He soon became a star after his first hit in 1955 (Cash, Johnny, 1987).
The road to stardom took Johnny fast. He became a sensation. Top hits, gold records, tours, TV programs, movies, money, etc. The life of stardom became hard and fast. His life on the road led to marital breakup and dependency upon drugs and alcohol. The tensions of work and home were too much. Johnny became addicted to alcohol and drugs to cope. His drugs of choice were alcohol, amphetamines, tranquilizers, and barbiturates (Cash, Johnny, 1987). Johnny was jailed several times, found walking the streets dazed on pills and booze, wrecked all his cars, sunk two boats and was destructive in several ways. He also suffered poor health due to this. Johnny was saved from his self destruction through his marriage to June...

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