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Little, Brown and Company
<strong>The definitive biography of an American legend</strong></br></br> In <i>Johnny Cash: The Life</i>, Robert Hilburn conveys the unvarnished truth about a musical icon whose colorful career stretched from his days at Sun Records with Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis to the remarkable creative last hurrah, at age sixty-nine, that resulted in the brave, moving "Hurt" video. As music critic for the <i>Los Angeles Times</i>, Hilburn knew Cash well throughout his life: he was the only music journalist at the legendary Folsom Prison concert in 1968, and he interviewed Cash and his wife June Carter for the final time just months before their deaths in 2003. Hilburn's rich reporting shows the remarkable highs and deep lows that followed and haunted Cash in equal measure. A man of great faith and humbling addiction, Cash aimed for more than another hit on the jukebox; he wanted to use his music to lift people's spirits and help promote what he felt was the best of the American spirit.<br><br>Drawing upon his personal experience with Cash and a trove of never-before-seen material from the singer's inner circle, Hilburn creates an utterly compelling, deeply human portrait of one of the most iconic figures in modern popular culture - not only a towering figure in country music, but also a seminal influence in rock, whose personal life was far more troubled, and whose musical and lyrical artistry much more profound, than even his most devoted fans ever realized.
Little, Brown and Company
<strong>The Big Fall Books Preview 2013</strong>: To adequately describe <i>Johnny Cash: The Life</i>, it helps to begin with the author. For more than thirty years, Robert Hilburn worked as a music critic at the <i>Los Angeles Times</i>, rubbing shoulders with the greats of the industry--Dylan, Lennon, Joplin, Springsteen, U2, and many others. But this tenderhearted, penetrating biography stands as an argument that he knew Johnny Cash best. Cash was an unlikely artist, born in debt-poor Arkansas to cotton farmers. He began working (and singing) in the fields at the age of five; and from there, Hilburn--who counted Cash as a friend and was the only music journalist at the famous Folsom Prison concert--draws from his extensive personal interviews with the singer, as well as new material from Cash’s inner circle, to create a biography that is both compassionate and clear-eyed. As he details the stunning rises and tortuous stumbles of The Man in Black, Hilburn conveys an intimate, consuming, human portrait of the drama, the art, and the purpose that made the man a legend. <i>--Chris Schluep</i>