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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Happy 81st Birthday Johnny Cash

    There's simply no avoiding the influence of Johnny Cash. Everyone knows him, and has their own favorite songs of his. And they're usually all over the place. There's the comedy of "Boy Named Sue," the hungover musings in "Sunday Morning Coming Down," and the fire and brimstone message of "God's Gonna Cut You Down." While he was alive, his influence was not exclusive to the modern sense of country and western music; he influenced the likes of Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson,    the Rolling Stones, and even more modern acts, like The Band Perry, and any number of singer-songwriters.
    The man came to define outlaw-country, and recorded groundbreaking, top-notch music up until the day he died. His last hurrah so to speak, came in 2002. He recorded his final studio album before his death, and recorded a music video for his cover of the Nine Inch Nails song, "Hurt." The song reflects on the musical empire that Cash created, and the sacrifices that he made along the way. The video shows clips of Cash during his prime; young, energetic and at the peak of his musical career. He contrasts this with shots of his countless awards, gathering dust in his house, and a Cash who is clearly outside his prime; old and decrepit  he can hardly pluck his guitar comfortably. Johnny Cash died a year after recording this song, and it is by and large considered his epitaph. The song won a Grammy for Best Video, Cash's last in a long line of awards for his vast body of work. On what would have been his 81st birthday today, bust out some of your old Johnny Cash music, take a listen. The Man in Black is one of the all-time greats.

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