In honor of yesterday’s release of the Johnny Cash forever stamp, here are 10 reasons why he deserves it. Prepare to be awed and inspired.
1. He worked his way up from cotton fields at age 5 to a Grammy (his first of many) at age 35.
2. He was a devoted artist, writing 1000+ songs, 60 of which were penned in the last four months of his life.
3. He recognized hardships in others, often playing free shows in jails and wearing his signature black on their behalf.
4. He wasn’t afraid to try new things, venturing beyond country, folk, and gospel to rock, pop, metal, and punk across his 50-year career.
5. He was a true romantic, recognizing his soul mate at first sight, going after her against all odds, and dying just four months after losing her.
6. He overcame addiction, battling through setbacks that nearly cost him is life and his love.
7. At the end of his recording “We’ll meet again,” he had his family sing back up–a touching tribute to the loss of their mom and grandmother and, soon after, their dad and grandpa.
8. I’m pretty sure his “Hurt” video, in addition to being his own heartbreaking epitaph, pays homage to Dicken’s Great Expectations.
9. He fought for his country honorably, later becoming close friends with the peace-loving Jimmy Carter.
10. He voiced the spirit coyote in what’s perhaps the best-ever episode of The Simpsons.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to buy a couple hundred stamps.
Have your own favorite things about Johnny? Please share in the comments.