Johnny Cash once said, "Johnny is the nice one. Cash causes all the trouble." That so simply and clearly defines the life of Johnny Cash. He was a liar and he was honest. He was bad and he was good. He was a fighter and a peacemaker. He was the worst and he was the best. In the end he settled in. And on the way he wrote us a book, filled with songs. He spoke a word of hope to those stuggling in life, and that's why he wore black.
Born in Arkansas, one of seven children, his birth name was J.R. Cash. Only when he enlisted in the Air Force and they wouldn’t let him use initials as his name, did he adopt the legal name John R. Cash. In 1955, when signing with Sun Records, he took things a step farther and acquired Johnny Cash as his stage name. He was the man who told the story of our nation one song at a time. Cash led a tumultuous life, battling drug addiction, going against orthodoxy, and overall just doing things his own way. Known as “The Man in Black”, Johnny Cash became and icon, earning universal respect among music fans. His songs were laden with regret, hope, lust, and fury. The heart of the subject matter ranged from God, the plight of prisoners and Native Americans. His family’s economic and personal struggles during the Great Depression inspired many of his songs, especially those about other people facing similar difficulties. At age five, he was working in the cotton fields alongside his family, singing all the while. The flooding of the family farm became the inspiration for the song “Five Feet High and Rising.” Tragedy struck the Cash home in 1944 when his 15 year old brother, Jack, working at a saw mill to bring in money for the family, was pulled into a whirling head saw and was almost cut in two. He suffered for over a week before he died. Johnny often spoke of the horrible guilt he felt over this accident. On his deathbed, Jack said he had visions of heaven and angels.
Read the article in its entirety in the 6-page
February 2015 Bevil newsletter, which accompanies the cover.
First Day of Issue
June 5, 2013
Nashville TN 37202
First Day of Issue