Friday, April 4, 2008

J-Bio Thursday (even though it's Friday!)

I am fan of J.R. Cash, as I'm sure you are as well. I think that's one thing that we as Americans have in common. We love apple pie, baseball games, and Johnny Cash. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that at all...that being said, there has been an onslaught of bios, tributes, and now a film about the Man in Black since his 'rebirth' (even though he never went anywhere) and death in 2003. I've read a few, but NOTHING has compared to this little dusty gem of a biography written by Anne Neimark. And it was written for children... The book is Up Close: Johnny Cash and the impact on your impression of the man is HUGE. Since it's short (180 pages) it pares things down simply and to the point. Which is totally fitting for the complex man. It described his heroic battle with addiction, his sorrowful childhood after losing his brother, his first marriage, his rise to fame, his love for June, and his VOICE and TALENT in a way that will entice kids to put away the Hannah (maybe) and pick up one of their parent's (or grandparent's) Johnny Cash albums. I think boys around 11-12 will be especially influenced, due to boys' fascination with music, guitars, the Air Force, and total bad-assness that was Johnny's life. I truly feel this book will help entice a whole new generation of fans. I cannot emphasize this enough: READ THIS BOOK. It may not have all the minute details, but it grabs his essence more than any work I've ever read him. GET IT. It breaks it down RAW. Especially since the film Walk the Line, for all it's fantastic acting it featured, got the facts mostly totally left out his activism for Native Americans and Prison Reform (for the most part)...and the book hails him as something of a warrior for both (which if you look at the research--he really did huge amounts of work and created change in both arenas...) It also emphasizes how BRILLIANT he was, not just in music and writing, but SMART from a very young age. Most people don't realize that, or appreciate that he did well in need to hear that...
Post is on the left. Seriously, get it from your library or purchase it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome! I wish more of my young students would listen to his stuff..or any of my students for that matter. I would like to know more about what he did for Native Americans. Take care, sis!