From the December, 2005 issue of Touchstone
Just As He Was by Mark D. Linville

Just As He Was

Mark D. Linville on Why Johnny Cash Sang from His Mother’s Hymn Book

The satirical newspaper The Onion once featured the headline: “Affluent White Man Enjoys, Causes the Blues.” The article reports on a self-described “blues nut” who is a senior vice-president of a Chicago-area industry that employs—and grossly underpays—African Americans. At least a part of the humor here pokes fun at the Caucasian blues aficionado who “loves the music” but, of course, has never really participated in the culture from which it emerged.

Your typical Taj Mahal concert these days will be attended by throngs of adoring, Abercrombie & Fitch-wearin . . .


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