Johnny Cash
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

, /10
Links:

Il merito principale di Johnny Cash fu quello di costruire il primo ponte fra l'ambiente musicale di Nashville (che dominava ancora l'industria discografica), quello del rock and roll e quello dei folksinger di protesta alla Woody Guthrie. Le sue ballate con il passo di marcia segnato dal basso e il tono glaciale con cui raccontava le sue storie conferirono al country un tono epico.

Cresciuto in Arkansas, dopo aver trascorso quattro anni nell'esercito tento' la fortuna a Memphis: con Perkins, Lewis e Presley formo` il quartetto di star della Sun ai primordi del rock and roll. Affiancato dal chitarrista Luther Perkins e dal bassista Marshall Grant, Cash registro` ballate fluenti e cadenzate come Folsom Prison Blues (1956), nota anche come Understand Your Man, e I Walk The Line (1956).

Ma Cash trovo` la sua vera vocazione a Nashville, dove fuse (come tanti altri) country, pop e rock, eccellendo con il rockabilly Get Rhythm e l'hillbilly Rock Island Line. With His Hot and Blue Guitar (Sun, 1957) e` l'album di quella stagione, che contiene i singoli e la sua versione di The Wreck Of The Old 97. Fluente, melodico, drammatico, capace di avvolgere le sue storie in atmosfere eroiche, in quel periodo diede alcuni intensi sermoni laici di profonda moralita', come Jack Clement's Ballad Of The Teenage Queen (1958), Guess Things Happen That Way (1958), Don't Take Your Guns To Town (1959).

Trasfertitosi nella zona di Los Angeles, alcolizzato e drogato, Cash si trasformo` in folksinger impegnato ma senza riuscire a conquistare i cuori dei giovani. Uscirono album sempre piu` mediocri come Fabulous (Columbia, 1958), Hymns (Columbia, 1959), Songs Of Our Soil (Columbia, 1959), Now There Was a Song (Columbia, 1959), Ride This Train (Columbia, 1960), che e` uno dei meno peggio, una storia degli USA attraverso le "train songs", Sound of Johnny Cash (Columbia, 1962), Blood Sweat And Tears (Columbia, 1963), etc. A risollevarne le sorti fu l'hit Rings Of Fire (1963), scritto da June Carter. Cash si era trasferito al Greenwich Village e aveva tentato di entrare a far parte della nuova generazione di cantautori (Bob Dylan docet), ma senza grande successo. Gli album Ring of Fire (Columbia, 1963), Bitter Tears (Columbia, 1964), Sings The Ballads Of The True West (Columbia, 1965), Ballads of the True West (Columbia, 1965), Everybody Loves a Nut (Columbia, 1966), Happiness Is You (Columbia, 1966), decretarono in realta` una progressiva discesa nell'inferno della tossico-dipendenza, da cui si risollevo` soltanto nel 1967. June Carter lo ripuli`, sposo` e converti` alla religione.

Cash divenne cosi` un banale cantante country (Long-Legged Guitar Pickin' Man, 1967; Daddy Sang Bass, 1968; A Boy Named Sue, 1969, scritta da Shel Silverstein e nota anche come The Man in Black; Sunday Morning Coming Down, 1970; Flesh and Blood, 1970). Conservo` un minimo di dignita` grazie ai concerti nelle carceri, che fornirono materiale per album di grande successo popolare come Folsom Prison (1968) e San Quentin (1969). Mentre proseguiva le sue campagne religiose con la moglie, Cash raccoglieva anche qualche successo nelle classifiche del country come A Thing Called Love (1972) e One Piece at a Time (1976), ma gli album del periodo, come A Man in Black (Columbia, 1971), A Thing Called Love (1972), America (1972), hanno poco da farsi invidiare.

Nel 1982 Cash formo` i Survivors con Carl Perkins e Jerry Lee Lewis. Dal 1985 al 1995 registro` dischi con Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, e Waylon Jennings: Highwayman (Columbia, 1985), Highwayman 2 (Mercury, 1990), The Road Goes On Forever (Liberty, 1995).

La sua carriera solista, che aveva preso una direzione piu` seria con Water from the Wells of Home (Mercury, 1988) e The Mystery of Life (Mercury, 1991), sfocio` negli American Recordings (American, 1994) per sole voce e chitarra acustica.

(Translated by Ornella Grannis)

The main merit of Johnny Cash is that he built the first bridges between Nashville (the domineering recording industry), rock'n'roll and the folk singer songwriters a la Woody Guthrie.

He grew up in Arkansas. After a four year stint in the Army he ventured to Memphis in search of fortune. With Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley he put together the first rock'n'roll quartet under the Sun label. But Nashville was the answer to his vocation. Cash was the first, after Hank Williams, able to blend country and pop. He did it when rock'n'roll ruled, with rockabilly tunes such as Get Rhythm, and hillbilly ones, such as Rock Island Line; or with fluent and rhythmic ballads -- I Walk The Line (1956), Folsom Prison Blues (1956) and The Wreck Of Old 97, at which he excelled. Fluent, melodic, full of drama and able to wrap his stories in heroic atmosphere, he recorded some very intense layman sermons of profound morality (Ballad Of The Teenage Queen, 1958, and Guess Things happen That Way, 1958) under the Sun label. He stayed committed to folk music with Ring Of Fire (1963, by June Carter) for a while, then switched to commercial country (A Boy Named Sue, 1969). Famous for his prison concerts, some of which became successful albums (Folsom Prison, 1968, and St. Quentin, 1969), Cash's glacial tone and his unique way to tell a story make him a natural, modern storyteller.

The solo acoustic American Recordings (American, 1994) was the first of a trilogy completed by Unchained (1996), with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and American III: Solitary Man (2000), on which his failing health is a major factor. The albums of the trilogy, unfortunately, collect weak material that would be more typical of an album of rarities. American IV (American, 2006), mostly covers, and American V (American, 2006), whose arrangements were devised by producer Jerry Rubin two years after Cash's death, closed the series. The double-CD Personal Files (2006) collects more of the songs that Cash recorded in the months before his death. This quickly became one of the most spectacular business speculations on an artist's death since Jimi Hendrix.

The Essential (Columbia, 2002) e` un'ottima antologia. Unearthed (Unviersal, 2003) is a 5 cd box-set of, mostly, unreleased material.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

Se sei interessato a tradurre questo testo, contattami

What is unique about this music database