The Career of Music Legend Johnny Cash Explored at Rock Hall and CWRU
A man on stage in a black tuxedo with ruffled cuffs holds a guitar, as he stands with his back to the audience. Suddenly, he spins forward and strums a chord, staring you in the eye. His bass voice rumbles, "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash."
Cash used this dramatic flourish to open his groundbreaking television program in the early 1970s, and it typified a riveting performing style that sold millions of records worldwide and has influenced singers ever since. The career of the late Johnny Cash --- one of popular music's most magnetic and mysterious performers --- goes under the spotlight this week in Cleveland. Cash is the subject of the 21st Annual Music Masters symposium, being presented by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Case Western Reserve University.
Every fall, the two institutions spend a week exploring the legacy of a pioneering popular musician. This coming week, Cash's career will be examined through films, interviews, and panel discussions, culminating in an all-star concert, helmed by Cash's son, John Carter Cash.
"I helped put the band together," he says. "I've worked with most of these guys for years down in Nashville, and they're all coming up to be part of the house band. And then I'm working with the artists, helping pick songs, helping put the show together."
And, befitting Johnny Cash's wide-ranging musical footprint, the Friday night show will feature a diverse group of artists, ranging from traditional country to punk rock.