Mourning the Man in Black

Download Audio
photoJohnny Cash wrote to his audiences that "we sing it the way we feel it; we tell it the way we know it." Nowhere was this truer than at his 1968 recorded concert inside the Folsom State Prison, where he sang "Folsom Prison Blues," penned in the early 50s.

Johnny Cash, the rumble-voiced balladeer for the hard livin' and the downtrodden died early this morning in Nashville, Tennessee. He was 71. A 10-time Grammy-winner who recorded more than 1,500 songs, Johnny Cash performed to the public in a long black coat, part rockabilly rebel, part country preacher. He sang to America's everyman. And he sang eloquently of heaven, hell, and a world that wasn't pretty.

Click the "Listen" link to hear about the iconic Johnny Cash, who sang from his heart and his experience, singing and recording the trials of the downtrodden.


Brian Mansfield, Nashville Correspondent for "USA Today," author of "Remembering Patsy," a biography of Patsy Cline, author of forthcoming book "Ring of Fire" about Johnny Cash

Nick Spitzer, producer and host of the public radio series "American Roots," Professor of Folklore at the University of New Orleans

Sam Moore, singer from the soul duo "Sam and Dave", Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, 1992

Johnny Western, played guitar with Johnny Cash on the road for 31 years

Marshall Grant, lifelong bass player for Johnny Cash, member of Cash's first band "The Tennessee Three"

This program aired on September 12, 2003.


More from On Point

Listen Live