RARA-AVIS: Where the Cash is

From: Mark Sullivan ( DJ-Anonyme@webtv.net)
Date: 15 Jul 2000

I just got the new Johnny Cash box, Love-God-Murder. Tarantino wrote the liner notes for the Murder disc. He places Cash firmly in the hardboiled tradition, what Woodrell calls "Country Noir":

"In a country that thinks it's divided by race, where actually it's divided by economics, Johnny Cash's songs of hillbilly thug life go right to the heart of the American underclass. With their brutal sheriffs, pitiless judges, cheatin' tramps, escaped fugitives, condemned men, chain gang prisoners, unjustly accused innocents, and first-person protagonist who'd shoot a man just to watch him die, Cash's songs, like the novels of Jim Thompson, are poems to the criminal mentality."

[That's just the opening paragraph, the whole short essay's pretty interesting.]

Johnny Cash's own notes conclude:

"So here is my personal selection of my recordings of songs of robbers, liars and murderers. These songs are just for listening and singing. Don't go out and do it."


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