Ten years ago today, the world learned of the passing of Johnny Cash. Putting Cash in proper historical perspective is not the easiest of tasks. After all, while he was certainly a country legend, “The Man In Black” -- more than possibly any other artist -- was able to transcend genres and be many different things to different people.
Whether it was his songs about the working man (“Busted”), the downtrodden and forgotten (“The Ballad Of Ira Hayes”), his love of God (“Daddy Sang Bass”) or his American spirit (“Ragged Old Flag”), Johnny Cash spoke to multiple generations because he was...real. If you need any documentation of this, look at his powerful recording of Nine Inch Nails' “Hurt.” What other artist would put themselves and their lives on such a naked display while in such a frail state? Not many, but when you listened to a Johnny Cash song , it wasn’t about sonic perfection as much as it was (and is) being able to relate. Love, Prison, and Heaven – he sang about them all, and made us believe. We’re still believing a decade later.