Today in Music History: July 15, 1986
Songwriter, storyteller and cat lover, Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash, the Man in Black, was a singer, guitarist and songwriter whose music innovatively mixed country, rock, blues and gospel influences.
Music was an integral part of everyday life in the Cash household. John soaked up a variety of musical influences ranging from his mother's folk songs and hymns to the work songs from the fields and nearly railroad yards. He absorbed these sounds like a sponge absorbs water... Read the bio HERE!
Cash's first Columbia single, "All Over Again," made the country Top 5.
His second, "Don't Take Your Guns To Town" made it all the way to NO.1.
In November 2005, the life and times of Johnny Cash were depicted in the movie Walk the Line. His was a career of many highs during the 50s but also plagued with drug-related lows in the 60s. Cash was lured away from Sun Records (his first label) with a lucrative deal with Columbia Records in 1960. The hits just kept comin'...
After 26 years of history-making partnership, on July 15, 1986, Columbia Records dropped Cash from its roster. While Johnny cash established himself as an iconic figure selling millions upon millions of records for Columbia, the mid-80s brought about a shift in music that caused his numbers to decline drastically. For Columbia, Johnny Cash was no longer profitable. Of course, we all know the rest of this story. It was NOT by any means the end of Johnny Cash. His resurgence emerged in 1994 under contract with Mercury Records with the guidance of Rick Rubin.
Under Rubin's influence, Cash moved to a raw, stripped-down sound that proved to be enormously successful with critics, with country traditionalists and with hipster newcomers to country music. When his second Rubin-produced album, Unchained, won a Grammy for Best Country Album in 1998, American Recordings placed a full-page ad in Billboard magazine featuring a 1970 photo of Cash brandishing his middle finger under the sarcastic line of copy, "American Recordings and Johnny Cash would like to acknowledge the Nashville music establishment and country radio for your support."
And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...
Johnny Cash @Awakenings: