Ain't No Grave At All: The Lighter Side Of Johnny Cash

On what would have been his 78th birthday, Johnny Cash is seeing yet another resurgence in popularity. Since his death in 2003 and the biopic that was released two years later, Walk The Line, the man's shadow has grown to heights that no one ever would have imagined. In death Cash is growing ever stronger by the day, and rightfully so.

Rocks Off got word today that the ten billionth song to be purchased on iTunes was one of Cash's compositions. The buyer, Georgia grandfather Louie Sulcer, received a phone call from Apple honcho Steve Jobs, another from Cash's daughter Roseanne, and a $10,000 gift card for the online music store. No word on what the exact song was, but we hope it was our favorite Cash track, "Man In Black," the lyrics of which are emblazoned in tattoo ink across our chest.

This week producer Rick Rubin's influential American label released what he has said is the last of the sessions he recorded with Cash close to his death. The new American VI: Ain't No Grave is a stirring and fitting coda to the work that Rubin and Cash were doing at the time of the singer's death. Starting with 1994's inaugural American Recordings album, the pair ran through five albums of Cash doing both traditional songs and covers of songs by such disparate artists as Glenn Danzig, Soundgarden, Beck, Neil Diamond and most famously a version of Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt."

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty