The Corner

Man in Black

Rest in peace, Johnny Cash. For many red-staters, this resonates deep. Growing up in a Wisconsin cow town, I generally avoided country music, since if always seemed to be related to dumb jokes on Hee Haw and Porter Wagoner in foot-high hair and a rhinestone suit. But not Johnny Cash. I remember hearing “Ring of Fire” with its mariachi trumpets and thinking “this is country music?” Cash was cool. I had a friend down the street whose dad had the prison-concert records. Which oddly made singing in prison cool.

The TV obits today talk about “I Walk the Line” and “Folsom Prison Blues.” But I’d start with songs I liked most as a kid, like “Dirty Old Egg-Sucking Dog.” And you cannot beat Johnny Cash singing “Were You There?”

Tim GrahamTim Graham is Director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center, where he began in 1989, and has served there with the exception of 2001 and 2002, when served ...

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