Cash on Cash: Interviews and Encounters with Johnny Cash

Chicago Review. Sept. 2022. 400p. ed. by Robert Burke Warren. ISBN 9781641606349. pap. $19.99. MUSIC
The Johnny Cash interviews contained in this collection span his career from a 1958 TV appearance to the summation of five days of conversations months before his death in 2003. Cash is hardly an obscure figure; he’s been the subject of several books (including two autobiographies) and a major film (2005’s Walk the Line). What new discoveries, then, are to be made here? For one thing, while a few interviews are with high-profile outlets (including a 1975 Q&A with Penthouse magazine; a 1969 profile in Look; and a 1997 interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air), the majority of these interviews are with smaller news outlets that would be difficult to find online without the aid of a librarian or archivists. For another, taken together they make an interesting series of snapshots: not only of Cash’s career, but of how he, and music journalists, talked about that career and about his art. It’s especially interesting to read how Cash’s thinking on his own creativity and artistic persona evolved over time.
VERDICT An intriguing and often insightful collection. For Cash aficionados, music critics, and researchers.
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