Of all the dozens of albums released by Johnny Cash during his nearly half-century career, 1964's Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian was among the closest to the artist's heart. A concept album focusing on the mistreatment and marginalization of the Native American people throughout the history of the United States, its eight songs – among them "The Ballad of Ira Hayes," a #3 hit single for Cash on the Billboard country chart – spoke in frank and poetic language of the hardships and intolerance they endured.
I love guitars. I look at them online like most people look at porn. Over the years, I’ve built up a nice little collection. Acoustics from the ‘30s. Electrics from the 50s. When I’m on tour, I make a point of finding rad guitar shops (thank you, Gbase), guitar factories to tour (thank you, Collings!!) or museums with exhibits that have anything remotely guitar about them. Over the summer i was playing a show in Indianapolis, and happened to catch signs hanging around downtown for the Eiteljorg Museum’s “Guitars! Roundups to Rockers” exhibit. So I busted a move over there, not knowing what to expect.
I love a great cover performance. Especially one that has a different take than the original, but remains recognizable. Sometimes I am more interested in listening to great cover than to the original! The artist took something that’s already familiar and added his or her own personality to it. Not only that, but the new performer is paying respect to another artist.
If you're into autographed guitars and helping to fight hunger, you're in luck. The 27th Annual Hungerthon by WhyHunger is now underway, and up for auction this year are guitars signed by Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi's Richie Sambora, Maroon 5, David Byrne, and Mumford & Sons, just to name a few.
Learn all your favorite Johnny Cash songs with The Best of Johnny Cash Songbook (Second Edition), which is now available at the Guitar World Online Store. The book features 27 songs from the heart and soul of country, including "A Boy Named Sue," "Folsom Prison Blues," "Ring of Fire" and "I Walk the Line."
A museum honoring Johnny Cash will open later this year in Nashville. The museum will be run by Bill Miller, a serious and longtime collector of Cash memorabilia. It will feature items donated by the Cash family and several items from the now-closed Johnny Cash Museum in Henderson, Tennessee.