Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Heartbeat and a Guitar: Johnny Cash...

One of the best books I read this past year.

Amazon has a better discreption than I could come up with:
A Heartbeat and a Guitar tells of the collaboration of two
distinct yet connected musicians—iconoclast Johnny Cash and pioneering
folk artist Peter La Farge—and the album they created, Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian.
It also tells of the unique personal, political, and cultural struggles
that informed this album, one that has influenced the likes of Bruce
Springsteen and Bob Dylan.

D’Ambrosio has interviewed dozens of
Cash’s and La Farge’s friends, family, and collaborators, including
surviving members of his band, his producers, and Pete Seeger and Kris
Kristofferson, creating a dramatic picture of both an era of radical
protest and the making of one of the most controversial and enduring
works of political pop art of the 1960s.

I found the book both moving, insightful and as readable as any plot driven pulp adventure novel I have come across in years. If you are a fan of Cash, folk music, or the history of the early 1960s this  book needs to find it's way into your hands.

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