Beginning his career as an outlaw to the Nashville establishment, Johnny Cash has
come to define country music over the last 40 years. At first, his unique mix of
hillbilly music with gospel and blues made him a perfect fit at Sam Phillips' Sun
records, where he recorded such classics as "Folsom Prison Blues" and "I Walk The
Line." From there, Johnny signed with Columbia records and embarked on one of the
most remarkable musical careers of the twentieth century. Transforming into The Man
In Black, Johnny spent more than thirty years reinventing and contradicting himself--breaking
all of the rules of traditional country music only to emerge as the ultimate mythic
hero and archetype of the genre.
No other artist has touched the world of music quite like Johnny Cash. He is the only person to be inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame, The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame AND The Songwriter's Hall Of Fame. His very name is synonymous with the fight for the rights of the poor and downtrodden and the image of "The Man In Black" is as deeply American as the stars and stripes themselves. Johnny Cash is America.
Jennings died on February 13, 2002, at his home in Chandler, Arizona. Married since 1969, he and Jessi Colter had one child together, Waylon Albright “Shooter” Jennings. Jennings had five other children from his three previous marriages.
Friends and fans alike mourned the passing of the country music superstar. “Waylon Jennings was an American archetype, the bad guy with the big heart,” Kristofferson told the Los Angeles Times. Despite his difficult final years, “he was filled with creativity and joy,” his son Shooter explained to People magazine.
Shooter Jennings has followed his father’s footsteps, playing in a number of bands. With his backup band, the .357s, he put together an album of his father’s music consisting of tracks recorded years before Waylon’s death. The recording, Waylon Forever, was released in October 2008.
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