PHOTO: Johnny Cash Captured on KODAK Film During a 1964 Concert

by Matthew Wilson
photo-johnny-cash-captured-on-kodak-film-during-a-1964-concert

Johnny Cash may be gone. But his memory and legacy live on. The spirit of the country singer is preserved in songs and also in film. A KODAK camera captured the country singer mid-performance at a 1964 concert.

The black and white snapshot showed a young Cash, rocking his signature hairdo and guitar. He also seemed to be mid-song with his accompanying band playing beside him. Cash played the Masonic Temple, located in Davenport, Iowa. It’s a venue that Cash also played several times over his career.

They say that pictures speak a thousand words. Well, it would take more than a thousand to sum up Cash and his iconic career. The image conjures to mind the lyrics of Cash’s many hit songs. The singer first rose to prominence with his hit song “I Walk the Line” in 1956. You can almost imagine Cash in the photo, singing: “I find myself alone when each day is through/ Yes, I’ll admit that I’m a fool for you/Because you’re mine, I walk the line.

Johnny Cash and the 1960s

Or perhaps he was singing “Ring of Fire,” his other great hit instead. That song released a year prior to the concert. The tune would become one of the biggest hits of his career, inspired by the growing love between himself and June Carter. Cash spent the early 1960s with the Carter Family. He became friends with Mother Maybelle and her daughters Anita, Helen, and June.

June Carter fell in love with Cash despite reservations and common sense. The Man in Black of the 1950s and 1960s was not the man he would become. He was a wild sort that often found himself in trouble with the law on more than one occasion. Cash’s drug and alcohol use often landed him in jail. And he was at whim to his vices, once even starting a forest fire during an inebriated moment.

But eventually, Cash gave up on drugs and alcohol. He credited his love for June with saving him and making him a better man. During the 1960s, Cash became an even bigger star, his music captivating audiences across the world. And by the end of the decade, he and Carter would marry each other in 1968. They stayed married for decades until their deaths, only months apart, in 2003.

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