God's Gonna Cut You Down
Text from the video tribute:
Johnny Cash (born J. R. Cash; February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was a Grammy Award-winning American singer-songwriter and one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Primarily a country music artist, his songs and sound spanned many other genres including rockabilly and rock and roll (especially early in his career), as well as blues, folk and gospel.
In 1997, Cash was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease Shy-Drager syndrome. The diagnosis was later altered to autonomic neuropathy associated with diabetes. This illness forced Cash to curtail his touring. He was hospitalized in 1998 with severe pneumonia, which damaged his lungs. The albums American III: Solitary Man (2000) and American IV: The Man Comes Around (2002) contained Cash’s response to his illness in the form of songs of a slightly more somber tone than the first two American albums. The video that was released for “Hurt”, a song by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, fit Cash’s view of his past and feelings of regret. The video for the song, from American IV, is now generally recognized as “his epitaph,” and received particular critical and popular acclaim.
June Carter Cash died on May 15, 2003, at the age of seventy-one. June had told Cash to keep working, so he continued to record and even performed a couple of surprise shows at the Carter Family Fold outside Bristol, Virginia. (The July 5, 2003 concert was his final public appearance.) At the June 21, 2003 concert, before singing “Ring of Fire”, Cash read a statement about his late wife that he had written shortly before taking the stage. He spoke of how June’s spirit was watching over him and how she had come to visit him before going on stage. He barely made it through the song. Despite his poor health, he spoke of looking forward to the day when he could walk again and toss his wheelchair into the river near his home.
Johnny Cash died less than four months after his wife, on September 12, 2003, while hospitalized at Baptist Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. He was buried next to his wife in Hendersonville Memory Gardens near his home in Hendersonville, Tennessee.
On May 24, 2005, Vivian Liberto, Cash’s first wife and the mother of Rosanne Cash, and three other daughters, died from surgery to remove lung cancer. It was Rosanne Cash’s fiftieth birthday.
His stepdaughter, Rosie (Nix) Adams and another passenger were found dead on a bus in Montgomery County, Tennessee, on October 24, 2003. It was speculated that the deaths may have been caused by carbon monoxide from the lanterns in the bus. Adams was 45 when she died. She was buried in the Hendersonville Memorial Gardens, Hendersonville, Tennessee, near her mother and stepfather.
In June 2005, his lakeside home on Caudill Drive in Hendersonville, Tennessee, went up for sale by the Cash estate. In January 2006, the house was sold to Bee Gees vocalist Barry Gibb and wife Linda Gibb and titled in their Florida limited liability company for $2.3 million. The listing agent was Cash’s younger brother, Tommy Cash. The home was destroyed by fire on April 10, 2007.
One of Johnny Cash’s final collaborations with producer Rick Rubin, entitled American V: A Hundred Highways, was released posthumously on July 4, 2006. The album debuted in the #1 position on Billboard Magazines Top 200 album chart for the week ending July 22, 2006. Enough of Cash’s music was left to put together a posthumous album which he had helped plan. The album, American VI, is supposedly planned for release sometime in 2009.
Thought for the day
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who as the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. [Theodore Roosevelt]