Mudcat Café message #1725317 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #90789   Message #1725317
Posted By: Jeri
23-Apr-06 - 11:14 AM
Thread Name: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
Subject: RE: Johnny Cash - How come an icon?
Severn, some songs that last forever and people want to learn are just SO simple. They must be easy to write, and not take a lot of skill, right? They are the hardest type of song in the world to do well! (I know you knew that, I'm just pre-emptively agreeing.)

Ron, you have a point about the UK/US thing. I think there are quite a few people in the US who wouldn't even know who Charlie Rich is. I do, because he had a hit with a Kris Kristoffersen song that my mother liked (and I didn't). I know he was called the 'Silver Fox' and that he played piano. That's EVERYTHING I know about him. Maybe he was really big in the UK. Merle Haggard as a songwriter is good, but I don't like his songs as much as I like Cash's, and 'Okie from Muskogie' was something of a (well written) joke in many left-of-Atilla-the-Hun American circles. No, he most obviously did NOT mean it tongue in cheek. Certainly not hateful, but not funny either.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that Johnny Cash's entire life and body of work has, in my lifetime, in my country, seeped in to the background of me. Before the media ever started with the post-mortem frenzy, he was part of the American collective consious. It just IS. There is no SHOULD BE. And who says being an icon is a good thing?

As to Waylon Jennings opinion, I found interview, originally in 'Country Music' magazine, by Bob Campbell:
CAMPBELL: Do you have any heroes?

JENNINGS: Muhammad Ali is my hero. He really is. I think he is the greatest thing to happen in twenty years. My dad is my hero, and he comes first. And old Johnny Cash is one of my heroes. He is a great man. [snipped]
'Dismissive'? Where did you hear that?