Robert Hilburn’s vivid new biography, Johnny Cash: The Life, thoroughly examines all aspects of the performer’s life, from his start in the Arkansas cotton fields to his late-life renaissance working with producer Rick Rubin. But Hilburn is particularly canny when it comes to Cash’s genius for slipping in and out of musical categories.- The Daily Beast
He was not exactly a country singer, but not really in the rock ‘n’ roll camp either. Nor was he a straightforward folk or gospel singer, although he excelled in those genres.
At every turn, Hilburn ably conveys the impossibility of pigeonholing this unique artist, but two moments, excerpted here, stand out: when Cash wrote and recorded ‘I Walk the Line’ and when he performed for the inmates at San Quentin.