A Nice Pair: Johnny Cash

We’re back at it today and it’s time for A Nice Pair – today we’re featuring Johnny Cash. We’re pairing the biography Johnny Cash: The Life by prolific author Robert Hilburn with his album Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison.

The book provides an in-depth look at the highs and lows of Cash’s life and career, from his childhood in Arkansas to his time in the army to his rise as a music icon. His marriage to June Carter isn’t portrayed as a fairytale, but as a relationship filled with deep passion, dedication, and its share of struggles. While he was able to reinvent himself and was determined to continue making music until his death, it was impossible to ignore the dichotomy of Cash’s Christian spirituality and his struggles with addiction and infidelity.

Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison was his first live album and was recorded during two shows at the Californian prison in June 1968. This album revitalized Cash’s career and led to the release of a series of live albums recorded at prisons, Despite little initial promotion by Columbia, the album was a hit in the States, reaching number one on the country charts and the top 15 of the national album chart. The lead single, a live version of Folsom Prison Blues, was a top 40 hit, Cash’s first since 1964’s Understand Your Man.