Title: Cash: The Autobiography of Johnny Cash
Author: Johnny Cash
Page Count/Review Word Count: 341
This is the story of Johnny Cash as you’ve never heard it before, the story of the man in black from his own lips – it turns out that Cash isn’t just a songwriter, he’s an accomplished novelist and autobiographer in his own right, and this is his second book of autobiographical stories, a fascinating insight in to his mind.
This isn’t an autobiography in the traditional sense of the word – it’s not really linear, and it really is more like a set of stories told around a campfire than the detailed life story of a man who knew he hadn’t got long left. By the end, you’ll feel as though J.R. is a close friend, rather than the mysterious Cash who performed on stages at San Quentin and Folsom Prison.
It’s fascinating, too, to hear his tales of the superstars that he met and conversed with, figures as notable and diverse as Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon, Roy Orbison and Bob Dylan, Bill Clinton and George Bush. Hell, president Jimmy Carter was even a cousin of his, a direct blood relative of June Carter, Johnny’s loving wife and a talented performer in her own right.
The book is offset beautifully by black and white photographs from Johnny’s own collection, and they really help to bring his story to life – at the end of the day, Cash was a fundamentally likeable person, even if he does talk about religion a little too much for my liking. But that’s just the man he was, he pulled no punches and was just himself, unashamedly, throughout his career.
If you’re a particular fan of Johnny Cash and country music, or if you’re simply a fan of music in general, this is the book for you – it’s one of the most interesting autobiographies I’ve ever read, and I’ve read a lot of autobiographies. Keep on walking that line, kid.