Twenty-nine years ago today, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted country music icon, Johnny Cash.
With all of his songs about trains, gunfights, and prison, Cash was a true rock n’ roll bad boy. And with a nickname like The Man In Black, it was only a matter of time before he ended up in the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. In fact, Cash even recorded some songs at the birthplace of rock n’ roll, Sun Studio. “I Walk The Line,” “Ballad of a Teenage Queen,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” and “Big River” were all recorded there. Cash later teamed up at the same studio with Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis for an impromptu jam session. In conclusion, Cash is just as rock n’ roll as he is country.
During his speech, Cash listed the way rock n’ roll has influenced his music throughout his career. He then said that he listed those influences as a way to prove that he “belonged” in the Hall of Fame.
“Maybe I was trying to make sure that I belong here tonight. And make you see that I might possibly actually belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” said Cash. “I’m extremely proud of it — and whether I belong or not, I’m going to show it off at home.”
Johnny, wherever greatness is honored, you belong.
Johnny Cash Fully Embraces Rock N’ Roll
Following his induction into the Hall of Fame, Cash dove fully into the rock n’ roll world. For his American Recordings series, Cash recorded songs by Glenn Danzig, Soundgarden, and U2. However, arguably his most famous song in the series was his cover of Nice Inch Nails’ “Hurt.” At 70 years old, Cash poured his life’s memories, pain, accomplishments, and more into the song. And everyone who listened could hear the significance of his performance. Cash passed away just under a year after the song was released.
Johnny Cash, you’ll always be both a rock n’ roll and country music legend to us.