Story: He is known as one of the greatest country singers, writer and performer that could entertain a full house of people with his craft of storytelling and presence on stage as The Man in black and would always introduce himself saying Hello I’m Johnny Cash. As Johnny walks down the railway line, could his next destination be his next performance or is he searching for someone special in his life.
Creating: As a huge fan of Johnny Cash, just listening to him perform his songs from his rock and roll, to gospel and prison visits, there was one song that stood out to me the most when coming up with the idea to do Johnny’s photograph and this was his 1957 hit I walk the line. By listening to this special song which was his first number one hit song on the charts, I knew I had to capture this moment of Johnny on his journey to finding something important to him. By placing him on a railway line, I wanted to use this moment of showing Johnny travelling to his destination as he follows the train tracks as a guidance. What also helped me with the use of the railway line was to symbolize the railway track as to line and having him walking on them fits to the titling of the song. The thought of making this photograph of Johnny walking on a railway as a vinyl album cover was an inspiration. What also helped me create this photograph was knowing that Johnny was also afraid of flying on planes and with that information, this then added more to my photograph of seeing Johnny Cash as a man on a journey to finding his pursuit of happiness and while carrying his guitar.
Facts: Johnny Cash was born in 1932 on February 26th in Kingsland Arkansas and was known as J.R Cash by his parents Ray and Carrie Cash which stood for John and Ray and was the fourth child of the Cash family out of seven. At the age of 5 years old, Johnny was working as a farmer near his family home to support everyone and would be told of the tragic news of his older brother’s accident, which happened to be Jack and would sadly pass away on May 12th 1944. With the passing of Jack effecting the Cash family and also going through the great depression, Johnny would listen and learn to play music and be taught by his mother to play the guitar to entertain the family with his high-tenor voice. In 1950 Johnny would graduate from high school and began looking for work and ended up in the US air force and did his training at Lackland Air force base in Texas and would met his first wife Vivian Liberto and were married in July 1954 and would have 4 daughters together called Rosanne, Kathy, Tara and Cindy.
. After being discharged by the air force and doing 4 years of service, Johnny and Vivian would move to Memphis Tennessee as a married couple in 1954. For work Johnny would go to door to door as as salesman and also be playing music on the side and learning how to be a radio announcer, this then would lead Johnny to becoming a band called Johnny Cash and the Tennessee two with Luther Perkins as the guitarist and Marshall Grant as the bassist. As Johnny and his band were playing gospel songs for small groups, Johnny, Luther and Marshall went to audition for Sam Philips who was the guy to get a record out at his recording studio called Sun Records which happened to be the starting point of young Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins. After auditioning for Philips, Johnny would perform his own songs with a rockabilly style and would create his records with Philips in 1955 with his hit songs Hey Porter and Cry Cry Cry and changed his name to official as Johnny Cash. Johnny’s next record would be his Folsom Prison Blues, I Walk the Line and Home of the Blues in 1957.
. To get his name and records sold to new audiences across the America, Johnny and his Tennessee two would tour alongside with other performers like Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and June Carter. As Johnny in the years made a name for himself and seen as the bad boy of rock and roll, Johnny would be preforming 300 shows a year and appear on television shows. In the 60’s Johnny was known for taking a lot of drugs, drinking and arrests which would lead to his divorce with Vivian in 1966. After dealing with a bad patch of his life, Johnny nearly faced death and was recused by his faith in god and began touring in prisons to making a great comeback in his music career in 1968 with his 27th album Johnny Cash at Folsom Blues and this would be the first ever record to ever be recorded inside the walls of prison. Later that year Johnny would marry June Carter and they would have a son in 1970 John Carter Cash.
. In 2003 on may 15th June Carter Cash had passed away and Johnny would follow with his passing that same year on the 12th December. Johnny’s legacy as the Man in black that would give him the image he is seen today in the hall of fame for country music, and kept creating music to the end with a voice that will echo through the ages.