We lost “The Man in Black” on this day in 2003 at 71-years-young.
Though Johnny Cash‘s mark on American music is immortal, as the grandfather of country goth, his weary baritone packed so much true blue damnation in it before he even committed it to vowels.
And when the vowels came tumbling forth he’d sermonize in beautiful shame-on-sleeve spades, chasing tales of redemption, love, forgiveness, community and anything else of the human condition he felt too silly to hide.
There are uncountable originals from “Ring of Fire” to “Folsom Prison Blues,” but let’s flip a cover to commemorate the man here, recorded in his twilight hours just months before his death with Rick Rubin on production knobs, deadpanning U2‘s seminal music-as-the-great-communicator gem, “One:”
Did I disappoint you?
Or leave a bad taste in your mouth?
You act like you never had love
And you want me to go without?