When talking about classic country music, Johnny Cash will always be mentioned. He is an influential figure that built the standards for the country music genre after World War II. His deep, resonant baritone and spare percussive guitar combined all together made a legendary sound that only he can create. His music cannot be classified under Nashville sound, nor honky-tonk. Instead, he creatively produced songs that manifest mixtures of folk, rock & roll, and country sounds.
Cash’s outlaw attitude was evident in his songs’ themes. He may be one of the best artists to represent rock & roll but he chose to be forever tied with country. In the 50s and 60s, he helped popularize the genre he dearly embraced. He scored over 100 hit singles which have been numerously covered by various artists.
Man in Black
The Man in Black, Cash himself, explained why he doesn’t usually wear bright colors. Originally, the track was considered a protest song that targeted the effect of Vietnam War on people. As time passed by, the song transcribed a deeper message that is applicable to every generation that has come and will come.
Through his song, he made us feel his sympathy towards our unfortunate brothers and sisters who struggle each day just to have a piece of food on their plate. The lyrics criticize the treatment of the elites to the poor people. Also, the track reminds us of the reality that faith is the very essential part of human life.
For the record
Cash received a standing ovation when he first performed “Man in Black” in San Quintin. The audience felt the thrill as they watched him share about himself through a song. He delivered a message of compassion for our fellow being.
“Man in Black” notched number 3 on the U.S. Hot Country Songs and number 2 on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks.
Loquillo y Trogloditas, a Spanish rock band, recorded a cover of the song in Spanish for their album Mientas Respiremos released in 1993.
Here’s the legendary performance of Johnny Cash for “Man in Black”