April 5, 2020
The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash (Official Documentary)

The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash (Official Documentary)

[train whistling] [“Folsom Prison Blues” playing]♪ I hear
the train a-comin’ ♪
♪ It’s rolling
around the bend ♪
♪ And I ain’t seen
the sunshine ♪
♪ Since I don’t know when ♪♪ I’m stuck in Folsom Prison ♪♪ And time keeps draggin’ on ♪♪ But that train
keeps a-rollin’ ♪
♪ On down to San Antone ♪♪ The song of the prisoner ♪♪ The song of the lonely man ♪♪ Locked behind the bars ♪♪ A man finds himself
in such a place ♪
♪ Because of acts
committed against ♪
♪ His fellow man
or against his land ♪
♪ Anyway, it’s a cold, lonely ♪♪ Hard-to-live-with place ♪♪ This is the song
of the prisoner ♪
♪ When I was just a baby… ♪[Emmylou Harris]
Johnny’s album

At Folsom Prisonwas incredibly powerful.He had a message.And this message was the truthabout being alive
in this world,
and all the things
that we experience.
He was acknowledging
our common humanity.
[John Carter Cash]
The Folsom Prison show
is really a distillation
of my dad’s life.
It is a performance
that brings it all together.
There were periods
of great clarity
in my father’s career.
And 1968, at Folsom Prison,was one of those times.[Rosanne]He was being
his real self.
It was rustic, raw
and primitive art,
the essence of him.[Springsteen]The magic was
in the simplicity of it.
♪ From a fancy dining car ♪♪ They’re probably
drinkin’ coffee ♪
♪ And smoking big cigars ♪[Springsteen]Johnny’s music
at the Folsom Prison
was a combination
of sin and salvation.
That was the rule
in country music.
Saturday night, Sunday morning.Sunday morning was aboutrepenting, repenting,for the fun you had
on Saturday night.
[laughs]It was this idea of redemption.But, Johnny, that was
an enormous part
of his whole career.
[“Further On Up The Road”
playing]♪ Where the road is dark ♪♪ And the seed is sowed ♪♪ Where the gun is cocked ♪♪ And the bullet’s cold ♪♪ Where the miles are marked ♪♪ In the blood and the gold ♪♪ I’ll meet you further on ♪♪ Up the road ♪♪ Further on up the road ♪♪ Further on up the road ♪♪ Where the way is dark ♪♪ And the night is cold ♪♪ One sunny mornin’ ♪♪ We’ll rise, I know ♪♪ And I’ll meet you
further on ♪
♪ Up the road ♪[Johnny Cash speaking] [interviewer speaking] [Johnny speaking]Everybody in the family
worked in the field.
We had a small farm
ploughed with mules.
Walked behind the mules
with the plow
and hoed the cotton,
picked it in the fall.And that’s how I grew up.[folk music
playing on the radio] [Johnny]I could
listen to that radio
when I came into the fields.
There was
a whole world of music
out there for me.
The Carter Family.Jimmie Rodgers
and all those Texas artists.
Now, those songs
will make you feel better.
♪ T for Texas ♪♪ T for Tennessee ♪[John]The radio
became a place
that he could escape to.
♪ That gal done made a wreck ♪♪ Out of me ♪[John]The thing that
drew him the most
to the music were
the characters that the music
would bring to his mind.
[Jackson]His father
actually was the guy
that Jimmie Rodgers was
singing about.
His father did
ride in boxcars
and jump trains.
And now he’s hearing about it
on the radio
and romanticizing it.[Streissguth]His writing
was very present
even at a young age.Cash was actually
trying to emulate
what he read
in some of the folk songs,
what he heard on the radio.[Muldoon]He’s a man who,
through his childhood,
had so many influences.Just as poets take ina huge amount of material,I think the same
is true of Cash.
And the influences
would have informed him
of the song tradition.He’s trying
to understand himself.
♪ Just to see her
jump and fall ♪
That’s the force behind
most art-making.
“Who am I?”“Where did I come from?”“What am I doing here?”[Johnny]
My father always told me
I was wasting my time
listening to old records
on the radio.
I said, “But it sounds good,
I like it.”
He said, “It’s gonna keep you
from making a living.”
He said,
“You’ll never do any good
“so long as you got that music
on your mind.”
As I remember, he was drinking
when I was very small.
Terrible abuse
my mother suffered.
The screaming fights that wouldwake me up
early in the morning.
It was strange that my dad
never hit me a lick.
On the other hand,
he never hugged us.
Just never ever came close
to even telling us he loved us.
Never once.My big brother, Jack,he loved to hear me sing.He told me thatI was supposed to do that
with my life.
Jack was my best friend.And my big buddy.My protector, my mentor.I really admired him.It was May 12th, 1944,on a Saturday morning.Jack and I would
always go fishing together.
I said, “Go fishing with me.”
And he said, “No.
“I got to work.
We need the money.”
He had a job cutting oak trees.I just remember
my mother telling him,
“You seem like you don’t feel
like you should go.”
And he said, “I don’t. I feel
like something’s gonna happen.”
And she said,
“Please don’t go.”
And I said,
“Go fishing with me.
Let’s go fishing.”
Then he kept saying,
“I’ve got to go to work.”
And I went on down
toward the fishing hole.
Here comes my father
in the car with a preacher.
I knew something was
really bad wrong.
Then he took
a bloody brown sack.
He pulled Jack’s clothes
out of that bag.
And showed me where
the table saw had cut him from
his ribs down all through
his stomach.
And that was
the first time I ever
saw my dad cry.
Then he said, “Come on
into his room. Let’s say
goodbye to him.”
My mother was
right at the head of his bed.
And Jack got calm.And he looked around
and he said,
“I’m glad you’re all here.”Then he closed his eyes
and he said,
“It’s a beautiful river.“It’s going two ways.”He said, “Oh, Mama,
can’t you see it?”
“No, son, I can’t see it.”“Well, can you hear
the angels?”
And she said,
“No, I can’t hear the angels.”
Tears came out of his eyes,
and he said,
“I wish you could.
They’re so beautiful.
“And what a beautiful place“that I’m going.”[train whistling and whooshing]There are a lot of memories
that I have, uh…
purged and discarded,
and promised to never…
bring them back up again.Times of hurt and pain.But I’ll never forget
those songs
for Jack’s funeral.It gave me a lift.The spirit
and the power
that I felt.
I’ve always felt that
I’m supposed to sing
those gospel songs.[prison gate buzzer sounding]♪ O Lord my God ♪♪ When I ♪♪ In awesome wonder ♪♪ Consider all… ♪[Springsteen]There was always
a religious and spiritual bend
to Johnny’s presentation.That was an integral part ofhow he saw himself.[John]If you look at
the setlist of Folsom Prison,
the songs showed what he
went through in his life.
[Rosanne]Folsom was
connected to the most
important things in his life,
both loss and salvation.♪ Then sings my soul ♪♪ My savior God to thee ♪[Rosanne]You always
got the feeling that
my dad was trying toget away from pain.He worked out
his deepest problems
on the stage with an audience.♪ Then sings my soul ♪♪ My savior God to thee ♪♪ How great thou art… ♪[Crowell]
The Folsom Prison album,
to me, it’s always had
a redemptive quality
in its narrative.
The religious overtones.That’s very much part
of John’s brother passing away.
John decides to go towards
the music and the light.
At a young age,John accessed that pathwayfor inspiration
and works of art.
[Rosanne]Music was
spiritual to him.
It was the place he turnedin the darkest moments
of his life.
It came from the songs
they sang in church
and the songs they sang
in the field.
[Johnny]I would
start off in the morning,
singing hillbilly songs.
By mid-afternoon,
I was into gospel.
And my brothers and sisters
would be singing along with me.
I sang those old gospel songs
for my mother.
And she said, “Is that you?”And I said, “Yes, ma’am.”Then she came over
and put her arms around me
and said
I was gonna leave the farm
and do well in life.
“When you graduate
from high school here,
do it on your own.”
First, I hitchhiked
to Pontiac, Michigan,
and got a job
making those 1951 Pontiacs.
Got really sick of it.Went back home
and joined the Air Force.
They sent me to
Brooks Air Force Base, Texas,
to study Russian code.I met my first wife
while I was in Texas.
I met her
at the skating rink
in San Antonio
before I shipped out.
I only had
two or three dates
with her.
We had talked about marriage,
we’d practically set
the wedding date.
I knew that when I came home,that I wanted to marry her,and I wanted to settle down
and raise a family.
And I wanted to sing
and I wanted to make records.
I wanted to do
the best of both.
He wound up in Germany
as a radio interceptor,
because he can listen,
he can hear things.
He can hear the cadenceand the rhythm
of the communications
as they’re going
back and forth.
He understands how
words can fit together,
and how lines and rhythms
can fit together.
He developed perfect timing.[Johnny]In the prime
of my life,
when I was 19, 20,
21 years old,
I was overseas
in a closed-in society there.
I didn’t make a phone call.I didn’t get to come home
for three years.
I went to see a movie
Inside the Walls
of Folsom Prison.That movie just
really got to me.
I thought of that movie
half of the night.
And then I got up
and started writing.
Well, I could relate
my life in the Air Force
to the lives
of those prisoners.
Folsom Prison Blues,
I wrote it as if I were
in Folsom Prison,and I dreamed up
the crime I committed.
To shoot a man
just to watch him die.
And you go to jail for that,
you know.
[laughs]♪ But I shot a man in Reno ♪♪ Just to watch him die… ♪[Johnny]I’m speaking
from the criminal’s mouth.
As it happened,
there were a lot of people
who liked to hear
such lurid tales
told musically.They tried to get me
to stay in the Air Force,
and I said, “No. I’m going out
and singing on the radio.”
When I came back
from the Air Force,
I knew I never would be
again happy
just working in the dirt.I knew I wanted
to get a job and…
support a new wife
and hopefully a new family.
We got married right away.Got a very cheap car,an old apartment
in a rundown part of Memphis.
Then I started trying
to get on the radio.
I went down
to see my brother.
He was a mechanic.He’d been telling meabout these two guys
that like to play music.
He introduced me
to Marshall Grant
and Luther Perkins
in 1955.Luther played the guitar,Marshall played the bass.Luther was like
he never met a stranger.
And Marshall was
a little more reserved,
but we got along beautifully.Sit on the porch and make musicuntil the yard was
full of neighbors.
We had
some good times together.
I have a great deal
of fondness
when I think back
on those days.
Elvis Presley wastearing up the airwaves.My new wife and I,
we went out to see him
at one of his
first public appearances
that was on
a flatbed of a truck
at a Katz drugstore opening.He was on Sun Records.Sam Phillips was
a man of vision
over at Sun Records.
And the first time
I talked to Sam,
I told him I’m a gospel singer.And he said
he couldn’t record gospel.
The market wasn’t big enough.So then I wound up
on his steps,
waiting for him one morning.
When I went in, I sangCarter Family songs,
Jimmie Rodgers.
But then he kept directing me
back to my own repertoire.
I didn’t really think
it was any good,
but I had told him about
Hey Porter.“Come back tomorrow
and bring those guys
“you’ve been
making the music with.
Then we’ll put it down.”
♪ Hey, porter
Hey, porter ♪
♪ Would you tell me the time? ♪♪ How much longer will it be ♪♪ Till we cross
that Mason Dixon line? ♪
♪ At daylight would you
tell that engineer ♪
♪ To slow it down? ♪♪ Or better still
Just stop the train ♪
♪ ‘Cause I wanna look around ♪[Grant]Our inabilityhad more to do with our successthan our ability did.First eight barsthat we ever played together,that Johnny Cash sound
was right there.
♪ And ask everybody
that ain’t asleep ♪
♪ To stand right up and yell ♪[Phillips]
I didn’t take Johnny Cash
and try to refashion his soul.We just took that old…[humming tune]And I’m gonna
tell you something.
Hey, that was distinctive.That was different.[Johnny]‘Cause everything
coming out was the same,
the arrangements were
so predictable.
And I didn’t want to
sound like anybody else.
I put paper in the strings
of my guitar to get that…
[humming]…Sound.And the beat to it was so bare
and sparse,
it sounded like a train
with two wheels gone.
♪ Hey, porter
Hey, porter ♪
♪ Please open up the door ♪♪ When they stop this train
I’m gonna get off first ♪
♪ ‘Cause I can’t wait no more ♪♪ Tell that engineer
I said thanks a lot ♪
♪ And I didn’t mind the fare ♪♪ I’m gonna set my feet
on Southern soil ♪
♪ And breathe
that Southern air ♪
[Browne]He came up
through Sun Records
at a very pivotal time
in the history
of American music.
[Ferguson]One of
the big differences
between Johnny
and most of the other artistson Sun was,
Johnny was a writer.
Johnny was a poet.
And Johnny
wrote his own material.
[Jackson]The songwriting
of Johnny Cash
and his use of languageis the thing that’s most often
overlooked about him.
It’s the thing that
really sets him apart
from people like Elvis,who were doing
more traditional material.
That’s the thing that
Sam Phillips picks up on.
[Tench]There was the way that
that came through the airwaves.
The fewer instruments,
the better.
The emptiness of itreally hada very haunting quality.When you limit
the number of instruments,
when you can hear the song,his voice was
a universe of its own
as far as tone and sound.The song and the singer
become inseparable.
[Johnny]In that first year,when I really started
on the road
with a record out,
it was a nice time,
it was a pleasant time.
I went on tour
with Elvis and…
good things started happening.♪ Well, a train driver
pulled up to the tollgate ♪
♪ And a man hollered
and asked him ♪
♪ What all he had on board
and he said ♪
♪ I got livestock ♪♪ I got livestock ♪♪ I got cows, I got pigs ♪♪ I got sheep, I got mules ♪♪ I got ♪♪ All live stock ♪[Johnny]It was timefor something
with a new feeling
and a new spirit and a new moodto take over, and that’s
what happened in Memphis.
We knew our limitations.We never tried to do
cool crossover records.
As it so happened, I was
a big crossover hit
from country to pop.It felt really good
to know that
I had an audience out there,
and that I might be able
to record something that
they want to hear.
I had arrived.[strumming guitar slowly] [strumming tempo increasing] [audience cheering
and applauding] [screaming] [Johnny]I was kind of stunnedwhen I would see
the record sales.
I thought at first
it was all hype,
but then
every record I released,
they knew I was gonna
sell a quarter of a million.
♪ Down the Rock Island Line
She’s a mighty good road ♪
♪ Rock Island Line
It’s the road to ride ♪
♪ Rock Island Line
It’s a mighty good road ♪
♪ Well, if you ride it
You got to ride it
like you find it ♪
♪ Get your ticket
at the station
for the Rock Island Line ♪
[Johnny]It had been a really
joyful period of growth
artistically with me.We were really having fun
with our music,
and every day was a gold mine.♪ Down the Rock Island Line
It’s a mighty good road ♪
♪ Rock Island Line
It’s the road to ride ♪
♪ Rock Island Line
It’s a mighty good road ♪
♪ Well, if you ride it
You got to ride it
like you find it ♪
♪ Get your ticket
at the station
for the Rock Island Line ♪
[audience cheering
and applauding] [Johnny]I began
to realize that…
there was gonna be
some friction,
or some tension and stress
from me doing my music
and doing what I wanted to doand stay
happily married to her, too.
There was
always a battle going on
at my house.
And it was
really a hopeless fight
because I was
not going to give up
what I was doing out there.[Rosanne]All the pieces were
thrown up in the air.
My mother did not know how
to navigate it.
She had tremendous fear,confusion, grief.This enormous sense of loss.My mother was supportive.And then it became
really complicated for her,
because she saw him
going away from her.
And she became more desperate
to hold him at home.
In the 1950s,you would get in a carwith the bass
strapped to the roof.
You’d drive 200 miles,do two or three shows,get back in the car,
drive again.
Or do an afternoon show,
an evening show,
do it again over and over
and over, no break.
And then, one day,another musician said to Dad,“Take this, it’ll help you
stay awake.
“And take this,
it’ll help you fall asleep
when the day’s over.”
And that was it.Amphetamines and barbiturates.And doctors would prescribe it
to them.
It was a different time.[Zanes]In the post-war periodin America,it’s a new commercial culturebased around feeling better.A new time
in how people thought
about medicine and drugs…can have control not just
over their physical experience,
but how they feel.It happens too fastto be regulated
with any kind of certainty.
And that’s the world
of medicine and drugs
that Johnny Cash enters into.[Johnny]In the late ’50s
and the early ’60s
when there was very little…really known
about amphetamines,
for a long time, I always
got ’em by prescription.
“The doctor gave me these,
so they got to be good.”
Most doctors didn’t balk about
giving someone like me
who was traveling a lot
and had late hours to keep
something to help
keep him awake
to drive all night.
To help me with the miles.I’d always take amphetamines
to energize me for concerts.
Not always, but usually always.The amphetamines
really supercharged me.
Johnny Cash! [“Big River” playing]♪ I met her accidentally ♪♪ In St. Paul, Minnesota ♪♪ And it tore me up ♪♪ Every time I heard her drawl
Southern drawl ♪
♪ Then I heard my dream
was back downstream ♪
♪ Cavortin’ in Davenport ♪♪ And I followed you,
Big River ♪
♪ When you called ♪[Yoakam]Those songs,some folks might refer to it
as being simplistic.
It was anything but that.It was succinct.[Nash]The words were
most important to Johnny.
Not a word out of place,not a word too many,not a word too few.Just enough.♪ Now, won’t you batter down
by Baton Rouge ♪
♪ River Queen, roll it on ♪♪ Take that woman on down
to New Orleans, New Orleans ♪
♪ Go on, I’ve had enough ♪♪ Dump my blues
down in the gulf ♪
♪ She loves you, Big River
More than me ♪
[Geller]When he was
approached by Don Law
of Columbia Records,
he asked if he were
to join Columbia,
would he be permitted
to make gospel.
He wanted to make
concept albums.
Law assured him that
he would be able to do that.
That really sealed the deal.[Johnny]When I left
Sun Records,
it was a traumatic thing
with leaving Sam Phillips,
who had been
so good to me
and had done
so much for me.
But I knew it was
a major record company,
that I could reach
more people and do
what I wanted to do
as an artist.
Right about that time,
at ’58, I moved to California.
I was taking amphetamines,and I was living
up and going
23 hours a day,
running on reserve
all the time.
Life is a matter
of choices.
When it came to
either staying home
with my family
or going on the road
and working in the
music business,
I felt like I was
born to perform,
born to sing,
born to write and record.
It took me away
from my family.
My kids suffered
and Vivian suffered.
The music business was
taking me away from her.
I wasn’t there for
the graduations
and school plays.
I wasn’t there to see them
dress up for the proms.
Writing and singing
all night long.
And would be there wide awake
and red-eyed in the morning
when she got up.
My pill taking scared Vivian.She saw it as something
that was gonna kill me.
She was literally begging me,
“Please get off these pills.
“They’re gonna
destroy us both.”
I let it roll off of me.Made a lot of records,
I did a lot of traveling.
To living the life
of a rambler.
[applause]♪ Bound by wild desire ♪♪ I fell into
a ring of fire ♪
♪ I fell into
a burnin’ ring of fire ♪
♪ I went down, down, down ♪♪ And the flames went higher ♪♪ And it burns, burns, burns ♪♪ The ring of fire
The ring of fire ♪
[Zanes]By the time
Ring of Fire,he is a man who feels
that his desires
are bigger than he is.He can’t control
his drug use,
he can’t control
his romantic inclinations.
It’s somehow
butRing of Fire
is a song he didn’t write.
June Carter did.[Johnny]June joined
the show in ’62.
And when she
joined our show, it was
a beautiful thing for me.
Although I had a feeling
at the time
it was deeper than
just a employer-employee
kind of relationship.
I liked her a little too much
from the very beginning.
Everybody really
respected June.
She had a great reputationamong her peers
in the music business.
♪ Oh, you wouldn’t have me
for love nor money ♪
♪ But, baby, I tried ♪♪ I knew the odds
were against me, honey ♪
♪ But, baby, I tried ♪♪ You never met
such a fool, I bet ♪
♪ You went and said
from the day ♪
♪ That I first met you ♪♪ That I wouldn’t have a chance
in the world to get you ♪
♪ But, baby, I tried ♪♪ Baby, I tried ♪♪ Honey baby, I tried ♪♪ And though you never
took me for your bride ♪
♪ I said at first that
I just couldn’t make it ♪
♪ So I’d take a walk
and I’d try to shake it ♪
♪ ‘Cause I knew to myself
that I just couldn’t take it ♪
♪ And, baby, I tried ♪[June]I studied dramatics
for two years in New York.
And I went to school
to Sandy Meisner.
I wanted so
to be an actress
for a long time.
I did comedy.
I did a lot of things.
I was very liberated.I had so much ambition.Johnny Cash lets me be a part
of everything he does.
We write together,
we sing together.
I couldn’t ever forget
looking at him.
But I was scared.He was married,
and I was married
to somebody else.
[Robin]June Carter came from
a very famous family.
First family
of country music,
the Carter family.
[Jackson]The Carter family
came from Appalachia,
poor, outside of society,writing and collecting songsthat were about
everyday life.
It was, essentially, newsto people
who were growing up
in the rural areas.
[Harris]John certainly had
a sense of history.
Of course he would’ve been
drawn to the Carter family.
They’re sort of
the royal family
of American old-time
country and folk music.
[inaudible] [Johnny]In 1962,
when Maybelle, Helen,
and Anita, and June
started working
on my show,
it was a great feeling
out there on the stage
to have that support
to share the music with.
I have never been
more comfortable on stage
than when I was
singing with them.
We had that chemistry going.And I used them
on a lot of sessions.
♪ Were you there
when they crucified
my Lord? ♪
♪ Were you there
when they crucified
my Lord? ♪
[vocalizing]♪ Sometimes it causes me ♪♪ To tremble ♪♪ Tremble ♪♪ Tremble ♪♪ Tremble ♪♪ Oh ♪♪ Were you there ♪♪ When they crucified
my Lord? ♪
♪ Were you there
when they nailed hm
to the cross? ♪
♪ Were you there
when they nailed him
to the cross? ♪
[vocalizing]♪ Sometimes
it causes me ♪
♪ To tremble ♪♪ Tremble ♪♪ Tremble ♪♪ Tremble ♪♪ Oh ♪♪ Were you there ♪♪ When the stone
was rolled away? ♪
Here was a man who was
still searching as an artist.
He was retreating
into the desert,
into the national parks,exploring the myths of the West
that he had in his mind,
trying to understand
the stories that were
so important to him
about a nation growing older,
about the frontier.
He is molding
who he becomes
to the popular audience.The rambler,
the brakeman,
the patriot,
the frontiersman,the cowboy,
the Indian.
And that desire
to make a bigger statement,
have a theme
to his career,
a philosophy behind
what he was doing,
very much set him apart
from other artists.
He’s defining America.[Rubin]When he tells
a story in a song,
you believe that story.His ability
to inhabit these songs,
it’s real.[Johnny]I did a lot of
music in the ’60s
that in the spirit of it all,
I was really 100% there.
I probably recorded more
in that decade than any.
And a lot of things
that I’m extremely
proud of.
I wanted to do
a concept album
Ride This Train.The first big
concept album
in country music.
I did another album
Blood, Sweat and Tearsthat I really felt
good about.
When I was doing
True Westalbum,I would wear
authentic Western clothes.
A lot of times I would
even strap on my gun.
It was loaded
with blanks.
And I really could get into
the flavor of the West
in my emotions and spirit.I felt like I was
accomplishing something real.
At that time, I was doing one
concept album after another,
and one of them happened
to be
Ballads of the
American Indians.A hundred years
have come and gone.
It’s good to point out
the mistakes that we’ve made,
what we did
to these minorities.
The anti-Semitism
that’s still going on
in this country.
the anti-immigrants,
the anti-women,
and the near genocideof the aboriginals
of America.
[Muldoon]His capacity
to represent the underdog
and engage with the othergoes partly
to the ballad tradition,
but it falls in with the
Christian world picture, too.
He was ahead of his time.The tragedy of Native America
and its obliteration
by white people
is not particularly welcome
in this country.
Nobody wants
to hear about it.
American audiences
were totally unfamiliar
with Native American anything.Indigenous resistance
goes back 500 years.
Every now and then,
somebody else will come along
and champion the things
that Indigenous people
are longing for
and protesting for.I liked the gesture
of having at least tried
Bitter Tears.♪ But on the
Seneca reservation,
there is much sadness now ♪
♪ Washington’s treaty
has been broken ♪
♪ And there is no hope no how ♪♪ All across
the Allegheny River
They’re throwing up a dam ♪
♪ It will flood
the Indian country ♪
♪ A proud day for Uncle Sam ♪♪ But it broke
that ancient treaty ♪
♪ With a politician’s grin ♪♪ It will drown
the Indians’ graveyard ♪
♪ Cornplanter,
can you swim? ♪
♪ Earth is mother
to the Seneca ♪
♪ So they’re trampling
sacred ground ♪
♪ Change the mint green earth
to black mud flats ♪
♪ As honor hobbles down ♪[Miller]He was doing stuff
that nobody cared to do it
or were afraid to do it.He was getting
real resistance from radio.
[Browne]The radio stations
didn’t want to play it
because it demands
to be looked at further.
[Smith]It was a very hard play
around the country.
John realized that
at some point,
and took out a full-page ad
Billboardmagazine,and chastised the disc jockeys
and called them gutless.
It was quite progressive.
Johnny had
an open musical mind.
He was very close
to a folk musician,
as certainly as close
as he was to
a country musician,
without being necessarily
any of those things.
[Johnny speaking] [inaudible] Got a special request
from a friend of ours to do a song tonight.
And I’m very honored. I ain’t never been
so honored in my life. Our good friend
Bob Dylan. We’d like to do
one of his songs. And… Is there
any water here? May I have a…
Thank you. [man] Got some bourbon
for you, buddy! No, I don’t
drink anymore. I don’t drink any less,
but I don’t drink any more. [audience laughing] [guitar playing]♪ Well, it ain’t no use
to sit and wonder why, gal ♪
♪ If you don’t know by now ♪♪ It ain’t no use
to sit and wonder why, gal ♪
♪ I can’t hear you anyhow ♪♪ When your roosters
are crowing ♪
♪ At the break of dawn ♪♪ Look out your window ♪♪ And I’ll be gone ♪♪ Don’t you know
you are the reason why ♪
♪ I’m traveling on ♪♪ Well, don’t think twice
It’s all right ♪
[Johnny speaking]When I went to
the Grand Ole Opry,
I don’t remember
much about that night.
I tried to take the mic
off the mic stand.
It didn’t come off
quick enough
so I just threw
the mic stand
all around.
I hit a couple of lights
and knocked them out.
I liked the way
they shattered.
Took the lights down,and I dragged it all the way
along the edge of the stage
and broke ’em all.June and I were singing,and she just backed up
and just kind of wilted.
They told me
they couldn’t
use me anymore.
In the ’60s,
I was busted seven times
in various jails
in the country.
The situation
at home in California
was so deteriorated
by that time, that, um…
Uh, I had made
my last trip to California
to see my girls,
and she wouldn’t let me
see them anymore.
And the divorce was final
in late ’67.
Every time I’d get high,
I’d head for Chattanooga.
I had been up
two or three days
and nights.
I was drinking
a case of beer a day
and taking up to 100 pills,half amphetamines
and half barbiturates.
Keep me going up and down,
keep the cycle going.
There is a cave near
Chattanooga, Tennessee,
that I…
I like to explore.I was sitting at the
mouth of that cave crying.
June found out where I was.And I found out
she was coming,
so I started
walking into that cave.
And I decided I’d walk
as far as I could go
and then lay down.
And then my flashlight
completely burned out,
and it was black.
I laid down
flat on my back,
said my goodbye prayers.I felt a presence.I saw a little flick of light
way off in the distance,
and I started
crawling and clawing
toward that entrance.
And when I awoke,
June was there.
She knew it was
really, really bad this time.
She said,
“You’re almost dead,
aren’t you?”
And I said, “I want to live.”I knew if I could ever get
a live recording at a prison,
it was gonna be
a great album.
[buzzer sounds]We managed to do it in 1968
at Folsom Prison.
I was hungry,
and you gave me food.
I was thirsty,
and you gave me a drink.
I was naked,
and you clothed me.
I was sick,
and you visited me.
I was in prison,
and you came to me.
The spirit of the Lord
is upon me
because he has
anointed me
to preach the gospel
to the poor.
He has sent me to heal
the broken hearted.
To proclaim liberty
to the captives.
[Harris]He felt that he
had something in common
with those men.
He could have just as easily
been in there himself.
He would sing
“I see you, I know you.”
The record company thought
it was a terrible idea,
but for John, a true artist
is gonna follow his vision
no matter what.The album of the year,
Johnny Cash
At Folsom Prison. [audience cheering]♪ I hear the train a-comin’ ♪♪ It’s rolling
around the bend ♪
♪ And I ain’t seen
the sunshine ♪
♪ Since I don’t know when ♪♪ I’m stuck in Folsom prison ♪♪ And time keeps draggin’ on ♪♪ But that train
keeps a-rollin’ ♪
♪ On down to San Antone ♪[Rubin]
After that album came out,
he became Johnny Cash,
the mythical character,the man in black.[Nash]He was showing people
that he can change his life.
“I screwed up,
but I fought back,
and here I am.”
People loved that.It’s an incredible
American story.
Most successful artists,
there’s always a little bit
of the messianic complex
stuck in there.
It might be just the result
of being incredibly fortunate
and put in a position
of some power.
An element
of survivor’s guilt.
Not only were you saved,but you can save
others, you know.
[John]The more success
that he gained,
the more he solidified
his reputation
as an activist artist.Every one of us
finds himself at some point in his life in a spot where
he has to reach out for him. [John]He speaks out against
the struggles that were
happening in the world.
He worked
for prison reform.
People have got to
become conscious of the problems
in the prisons. [John]He spoke out
against war.
Servicemen and prisoners
have a lot in common.I think they feel
a lot of the same things,
the loneliness,
[Browne]It’s a validation
of Johnny Cash,
and then June Carter sees
the good in him.
She brought happiness to him
because she was a jolly person.
And Johnny needed June
in every way.
He loved June
for who she was.
[John]Early 1968 was
when my parents’ love
really flourished.
I’m sure it had
been there for a while,
but that was when
it could be completely
in the public’s face.
♪ Well, they’ll
laugh at you
in Jackson ♪
♪ And I’ll be dancin’
on a pony keg ♪
♪ They’ll lead you
’round town ♪
♪ Like a scolded hound ♪♪ With your tail tucked
between your legs ♪
♪ Yeah, go to Jackson ♪♪ You big-talkin’ man ♪♪ And I’ll be
waitin’ in Jackson ♪
♪ Behind my Japan fan ♪♪ Well, now, we got
married in a fever ♪
♪ Hotter than a pepper sprout ♪♪ We’ve been talkin’
’bout Jackson ♪
♪ Ever since
the fire went out ♪
♪ I’m goin’ to Jackson ♪♪ And that’s a fact ♪♪ Yeah, we’re goin’
to Jackson ♪
♪ Ain’t never comin’ back ♪♪ Well, we got
married in a fever ♪
♪ Hotter than
a pepper sprout ♪
[applause] Hello, my friends. [Johnny]By 1969, I get
my own ABC television show,
and I was doing it
without any kind of
mood altering drugs.
I couldn’t have done it
if I had been on
mood altering drugs.
I was straight and sober
for all of those shows.
My show became a machine
that just kept on running,
and, uh…the Carter Family,
The Statler Brothers,
and Carl Perkins,and The Tennessee Three
and myself,
they’re wonderful people.
I love that whole family.
I was doing
what I loved to do.
♪ If you go
when the snowflakes fall ♪
♪ When the rivers freeze ♪♪ And summer ends ♪♪ Please see for me… ♪[Browne]Television
has always been problematic.
Getting real music
to happen on TV is very hard.
Television production
has extinguished
many a beautiful moment.It’s always been terrible.But Johnny Cash
was one of the first ones
to get real music
to be played live on TV.
♪ If you go
when the snowflakes storm ♪
♪ When the rivers freeze ♪♪ And the summer
comes to an end ♪
♪ Oh, please see… ♪[Sainte-Marie]Trying to bring
various genres of music,
various kinds of artistswith different backgrounds
together onto the same stage,
was quite daring.♪ The howlin’ winds ♪[Harris]Even though everyone
had their different style
and people were putting
different labels on them,
there were no labels
when it came to John.
[Nash]What was unique
about Johnny’s show was that
people would actually…
They were actually singing.
Johnny’s show was all real,
all the time.
♪ Woo ♪♪ The taste ♪♪ Of love is sweet ♪[Johnny]The more I was on TV
and the more I performed
with black people
or introduced black people,the more I’d hear
from the Klan.
It was Charley Pride
that I hugged
on my television show.
The letter came the next weekfrom the Klan,
written in blood.
It would be dangerous
to become complacent
and think
the attitudes changed.
♪ I done fell, I done fell ♪♪ I done fell ♪♪ For you like a child ♪♪ Like a little, little baby[Hilburn]Not too many years
before this,
they had segregated
audiences in Nashville.
African-Americans had to sit
in the balcony
and the whites down below.[Rosanne]He had to expurgate
his own native racism.
Growing up in Arkansas
in the ’30s and ’40s?
♪ I fell into
a burning ring of fire ♪
♪ I went down, down, down ♪♪ Said, ooh
The flame went higher ♪
♪ And it burns, burns, burns ♪♪ The ring of fire ♪♪ The ring of fire ♪[audience applauding] [June]Maybe most of you know
about our little baby.
We’ve got a little baby boy,
John Carter Cash. And he’s a perfect little baby and I just wanted to say thank you to all you
wonderful people
all around the world.♪ Where are you going ♪♪ My little one ♪♪ Little one ♪♪ Little T-shirts
and overalls ♪
♪ Where have you gone? ♪♪ Turn around ♪♪ And you’re tiny ♪♪ Turn around ♪♪ And you’re grown ♪♪ Turn around ♪♪ And you’re a young man ♪♪ With babes of your own ♪[John]Now, when I was born,
Dad was at a prime.
Physically, emotionally,
connected with family.
Something that sadly my sistershad not experienced
during their early life.
I think my father
also was aware
of his shortcomings
and his own selfish nature.
The potential for falling shortor my own interior darknesses
taking control.
The supposed bounty of self
being greater than giving.
But he also learned
just as importantly
that there was forgiveness.[Rosanne]My dad caused
so much chaos in my family,
and so much pain for my motherand so much pain for him.He was absolutely tortured.He wanted to redeem himself.And that goes back to Jack.That’s where it started.He always had this ideathat part of Jack’s deathwas why he became who he was.He always felt thatJack was a sacrificial lamb
in some ways.
It was a deep woundand fueled his restlessnessand fueled much of
his writing and music.
On top of that, his dadactually saying to him,
“It’s your fault.”
And the guilt that he carried
his whole life because of that.
[Johnny]I still dream
about my brother Jack.
And now through the years
when I dream about him,
he would age with me.And he’s like,
he’s always there
when I’ve got a problem,kind of looking at me
and smiling,
as if to say, “I know you,”
you know.
“I know what you really got
on your mind.”
He’s been like a guiding light.He was called to be a minister.Even after his death,for years he’s been
a minister to me.
His influence has been
powerful on my life.
“Our Heavenly Father,
we thank you “for this beautiful day
that we might “all come together
and enjoy ourselves.” [Johnny speaking] “We know that we have
more blessings“given to us than we deserve
here on this earth.”
[Johnny speaking] [John]The most
beautiful aspect
of my father’s spiritualityperhaps was his capacity
for forgiveness.
I never once heard
my father say
anything disrespectful
to my grandfather.
If there was…an anger that remained,it was not evident.[Duvall]I’ve spent
a lot of time
with Johnny Cash
and whatever he manifested
in his artwork
came from the human
and the divine.
It was hit and miss,
hit and miss,
hit and miss, hit and miss.Searching for that connection.That definitive connection.♪ Lord, is it I? ♪♪ Is it I? ♪And Jesus says…♪ Have a little bread, Simon ♪♪ Pass the wine
to James, my brother ♪
♪ Go ahead and eat, friends ♪And love one another ♪♪ Have a good time, boys ♪♪ ‘Cause tomorrow ♪♪ I must die ♪♪ And I’m nevermore
gonna eat with you again ♪
♪ I’m gonna loose the chains
and set the captives free ♪
♪ I can tell ♪[Johnny]Gospel music,
it’s part of what I am
and part of what I do.
I make no apologies for it
and I don’t cram anything down
the people’s throats,
but I have to
tell it like it is,
and sing it like it is.
I started doing the crusades
with Billy Graham.
This is an important meeting
for all of us here today. Because our whole world seems to be in trouble. We may be standing on the verge of either the Third Word War or Armageddon itself.♪ For now drink the cup ♪♪ And break the bread ♪♪ And I’ll eat my last supper
here with you ♪
[Johnny speaking] [Routh]He didn’t have
a lot of hits during that time.
But he was spending
a lot of time with the family.
John Carter was a young boy.And he was really taking
that time to be a father.
Taking him to school,
picking him up.
And it was a real inspiration
to see that
as he never got to be
much of a father
to the girls
’cause he was
gone all the time.
[John]He was connected
with his girls.
Rosanne, Cindy,
and Kathy, and Tara.
And he showed
absolutely no less
love and consideration
to my sisters
Rosie and Carlene,
my mother’s daughters.Here’s Kathy
and Rosanne. Rosanne’s only. [cheering] [whooping] We don’t thank you like we should all the time for all you do for us. And this is just like
a big thank you
from all of us.♪ Oh, I never got over
those blue eyes ♪
♪ I see them everywhere ♪♪ I miss those arms
that held me ♪
♪ When all the love was there ♪♪ And I wonder if he’s sorry ♪♪ For leavin’ what we’d begun ♪♪ Yes, there’s someone
for me somewhere ♪
♪ But I still miss someone ♪[audience cheering, applauding] Terrific! [cheering] [singing] [John]And he may not
have had any big hits
through the 1970s.But he identified
what he stood for
and who he was
and where he was headed.
And then he lived
in the joy of his life.
♪ There’s a better ♪♪ Home awaiting ♪♪ In the sky, Lord ♪♪ In the sky ♪♪ Then I followed ♪♪ Ride along
close behind her ♪
[June]We try to lead
a simple life.
We try to keep
our little family group
as close together as we can.We don’t do anything
too elaborate.
We’re just country people.Johnny Cash had
a problem with drugs.
With a stupid little
old thing like a pill.
And it caused us
an awful lot of heartbreak and lot of heartache.He quit all that junk.[Johnny chuckles]And everything’s all right now.I’ve been completely,
totally happy
since I’ve been married
to Johnny Cash.
[buzzing] [keys jangling] [door opens] [Johnny]During the show,I stopped after a songand I said,
“l learned a song
“here last night that was
written by one of you.”
A man on the front row,
he was in there for life.
It was a man named Glen Sherleywho wrote a song
Greystone Chapel.♪ Inside the walls
of a prison ♪
♪ My body may be ♪♪ But my Lord ♪♪ Has set my soul free ♪♪ There’s a grey stone chapel ♪♪ Here at Folsom ♪[John]The first time
that he ever shook
Glen Sherley’s hand,he connected with
the goodness that was there.
The hope that was in the man,despite the darknesses
that were very real.
[Grant]He had such
a deep feeling
for these guys in prison.Felt sorry for them
because they were human beings.
And then finally wound up
getting Glen Sherley
out of prison.
[Robin]We went to
the Governor,
arranged for him
to parole Glen.
He wanted to help Glen
on the outside.
♪ But the door
to the house of God ♪
♪ Is never locked ♪♪ Inside the walls
of a prison ♪
♪ My body may be ♪♪ But my Lord ♪♪ Has set my soul free ♪[Robin]Glen eventually
joined the show.
But he had a very tough
time adjusting.
♪ Ten years ago ♪On a cold dark night ♪♪ Someone was killed
‘neath the town hall lights ♪
♪ There were few
at the scene ♪
♪ But they all agreed ♪♪ That the slayer who ran ♪Looked a lot like me ♪[Robin]Stories
he would tell about
being back in prisonwere a little scary
and you knew
that’s where he wanted to be.It was too tough
to make a living
in the music business.[Ronda]That freedom…That overwhelming freedomweighed on him.He had a bad drug addiction
in prison.
And after a period of timehe got back on drugs.The friendship dissolved.He felt like he had
failed a lot of people.
And he saw that spiralgoing even further.And he was gonna stop that.And I think that’s why
he took his life.
[Rosanne]That was crushing.The burden of thinking
that you are responsible
for turning people’s
lives around.
He realized he couldn’t do it.And then he just stopped
all of it.
He certainly helped people
for the rest of his life.
But this idea that he could
save some people,
that went away.♪ She walks these hills ♪♪ In a long black veil ♪[Green]Johnny did see
this lost soul
he was gonna save
in Glen Sherley.
But he was trying
to save himself, too.
[John]In the late 1970s,my father went back
into addiction.
People tend to think thatwhen Johnny Cash was
the craziest was in the 1960s.
I’m not so sure it wasn’t
in the early 1980s.
My parents’ relationshipwent through some
extreme difficulties
because of my father’s
drug addiction.
And I was around a lot
of their arguments
at that time.
They nearly split up.There’s a certain understanding
about my parents’ love affair.
Some people seem to thinkthat it was happily ever after
once they married.
It was not.[Rosanne]The story of
Johnny and June,
well, it’s not that simple.People want their myths.It wasn’t just that one dayhe fell in love
with June and left.
That’s not what happened.Johnny and June deeply
loved each other.
But it also became complicated.[Johnny speaking]That whole period
of the ’80s,
Johnny Cash needed
all the help he could get
at that particular time
making records,
and some of them
were overproduced.
I didn’t really take
it all that seriously.
After a long period
of apathy there, I just, uh…
I didn’t really care
what the record company wanted.
I made the fatal, terrible
mistake of burlesquing myself.
I was catching myself
trying to sing
like Johnny Cash.
Doing the concerts…
Going out, same thing
over and over again.
You know? And that’s the
worst thing an artist can do,
is burlesque himself.[Rubin]You know, he thoughtregardless of what he did
nobody was gonna care,
for maybe 20 years.He was feeling likehe was not gonna
make music anymore.
[Crowell]Dark times.I remember going to a verysparsely attended show
of John’s.
That place was nearly empty.The audience
isn’t what it used to be.
You know, this is Johnny Cash.
This place should be packed.
[Roe]During the ’80s
and early ’90s
when I got there,
he was just treading water.He was playing
performing arts centers.
He’d been pretty much
cast aside by Columbia
and everybody else.
He was pretty disheartened
by all that.
[Stuart]To be demoted backto country fairs
and little carnivals.
There was a lot of shows
to keep the machine rolling.
[Lynn]He called me
and he said,
“Can you believe that
“the record company
is not trying to do anything
with these songs.”
It broke my heart.[Robin]We talked to many
different labels
about their interests,and everybody was
coming back with,
“Well, we’ll do one album“with an option to maybe
do another one.”
He said no. That didn’t work.So we just didn’t do
any recording.
[Johnny singing]♪ I’m tired and so weary ♪♪ But I must go alone ♪♪ Till the Lord comes
and calls ♪
♪ Calls me away, oh, yes ♪♪ And the morning’s so bright ♪♪ And the lamb is the light ♪♪ And the night ♪♪ Night is as black
as the sea, oh, yes ♪
♪ There’ll be peace ♪♪ In the valley for me ♪Someday ♪♪ Peace in the valley for me ♪♪ Dear Lord, I pray ♪♪ There’ll be no sadness ♪No sorrow ♪♪ No trouble ♪I see ♪♪ There’ll be peace
in the valley ♪
♪ For me ♪♪ Oh, yes ♪[Geller]Over time you remove
all the challenges,
the adventure,
and it may be
more comfortable,
but artists require
the challenge.
[Johnny]When I stopped
making records,
it was like, uh…
“Where did all
of the magic go?”
I’d run up against
so many walls,
I didn’t care that much
about making new music.
I was really just playing it,not really serious about it.[Zanes]Here’s a man
who’s lived
this remarkable, creative life.He’s hitting bottom.All around him are
the artifacts
from decades of success.He throws these thingsinto the lake behind the house.To move ahead,he has to let it all go.[Crowell]Things that you
don’t want anymore,
you submerge them
under the water.
Baptism.All of the shadows
and the darkness…
…washed away.It’s the promise of redemption.The promise of life.[Johnny]In ’92 I was playing
a show in California.
Lou Robin came to my
dressing room and said
Rick Rubin would like
to meet me.
He said, “I’d like
to sign you up, man,
and record you.”
I said, “What’re you gonna
do with me
“that nobody else
has been able to do?”
He said, “I would like you
to sit in my living room
with a guitar
“and two microphones
and just sing
to your heart’s content,
“everything you ever
wanted to record.”
Sounded like a dream
come true for me.
And went through my list
of 200 or more songs
and started singing them
one after another.
So, we put together the albumwith just a guitar and myself.[guitar playing]♪ Down a dangerous road ♪♪ I have come
to where I’m standing ♪
♪ With my head bowed low ♪♪ And my hat clutched
in my hand ♪
♪ Such a foolish man ♪♪ God ain’t known
no greater sinner ♪
♪ I have come
in search of Jesus ♪
♪ Hoping he might understand ♪[Rubin]The first album
was recorded in my living room.
They were just demos. They were
not necessarily what the album
was gonna be.
And then we went
into the studio
with different bands.
And of all
the different options,
the solo recordings
were the most interesting.
♪ If I give my soul ♪♪ Will he put new boots
on my feet? ♪
♪ If I bow my head ♪♪ And ask God
for his forgiveness ♪
♪ Will he breathe
new life within me ♪
♪ And bring her back to me? ♪[applause] [Rubin]When our first album
came out
and people really
responded to it,
and a whole new group
of young people
started coming to see him
and he got to feel that,
from then on he was
very excited about the work.
[Muldoon]The arc of the lifefalls into a recognizable arc.Success, a dip.That is for many peoplethe end of the story.That’s how most
artists function.
Some of them have
a new lease of life.
Redemption.[Johnny]The reaction was like
the ’50s all over again.
It was like
that kind of excitement.
And the reaction from
the critics and the fans
was beautiful.
The young peopleseemed to appreciate
my old stuff.
♪ Yeah, she took ♪♪ Well, if they freed me
from this prison ♪
♪ If that railroad train
was mine ♪
♪ Bet I’d move it on
a little farther down
the line ♪
♪ Far from Folsom Prison ♪♪ That’s where I want to stay ♪♪ And I’d let that
lonesome whistle ♪
♪ Blow my blues away ♪♪ Oh ♪[crowd cheering, applauding] All right. Whoo! Yeah. [chuckling] Thank you so much.
God bless you. [Rubin]Based on people liking
the acoustic album,
the most obvious thing to dowould be to make
another acoustic album.
So, my thought was,
“We can’t make
an acoustic album.”
[chuckles] [Massy]We had a backing band
that Rick handpicked
that was unbelievable.Tom Petty, Mike Campbell,
Benmont Tench,
Howie Epstein, Mick Fleetwood,Lindsey Buckingham,
Carl Perkins.
There was a lot of
love there, and trust.
And because of that
he could perform
to his friends
and be very honest
about the emotions
in the lyrics.
[Springsteen]Rick Rubin was
very smart in that he realized
that Johnny was
all about his voice.
[chuckles]That incredible voice
could transform
almost any piece of music.And it would move you
in some way or another.
Johnny just had that kind of
vocal individuality.
The voice was a master work.[Roe]At that point his voice
was definitely changed.
He was aging and, uh…It had a different
quality to it.
It had more of
an older-statesman
kind of sound.
A man in the midst
of reflection.
[Johnny]Mine and June’s
struggle to survive
and to stay alive
and be together.
It’s a fabulous love story.She was the greatest…woman I’ve ever known.I wish the whole world
could know
what a great woman she is.She lifted me up
when I was weak,
when I would fall.
She encouraged me
when I was discouraged.
She loved me when I felt likethat nobody did anymore.But the main thing is
she loves me
and I know that.[Robin]When June passed away,
everyone was surprised
because they always felt
that John would go first.
She left instructions for himthat she wanted John
to finish his music
and continue on.[John]After my mother
had passed away,
he was bound to a wheelchair.When you got close
to that wheelchair,
you felt his struggle.All that was lost.All of that pain
that had gripped him
and in that point
of greatest darkness,
just as he did
when he was a boy,
he followed the light,
he followed the music.
[“I Hung My Head” playing] [Rubin]When he was
too ill to tour,
there was a question of
how long he would survive
because that was
his reason to be alive.
Through expanding
our recording schedule,
his new purpose
became recording
and he recorded every day
from that point forward.
That was his purpose in life.♪ Early one morning ♪♪ With time to kill ♪♪ I see the gallows ♪♪ Up on the hill ♪♪ And out in the distance ♪♪ A trick of the brain ♪♪ I see a lone rider ♪♪ Crossing the plain ♪♪ And he’d come to fetch me ♪♪ To see what they’d done ♪♪ And we’ll ride together ♪♪ Till kingdom come ♪♪ I pray for God’s mercy ♪♪ ‘Cause soon I’ll be dead ♪♪ I hung my head ♪♪ I hung my head ♪♪ I hung my head ♪♪ I hung my head ♪[Rubin]There’s an energy
that comes from music.
The spirituality
of that transcends
what the words are saying.There are things about it
that can reach you in a way
that nothing else can.The spirituality
just exists in the world.
Musicians can tap into it.I think it’s just there.[Johnny]What is man
if he doesn’t have a spirit?
And what is man’s spirit,
if it cannot connect…
with the master of life?I’ve survived a lot.It is the human spirit
more than the godly spirit
that’s fighting for survival.It’s all fleeting,
as fame is fleeting.
Where do we go,
when we die?
Well, we all hope
to go to heaven.
[“Spiritual” playing]♪ I know ♪♪ I have sinned ♪♪ But Lord, I’m suffering ♪♪ Jesus ♪♪ Oh, Jesus ♪♪ If you hear my last breath ♪[interviewer speaking] [Johnny speaking]♪ Jesus ♪♪ Jesus ♪♪ All my troubles ♪♪ All my pain ♪♪ Will leave me ♪♪ Once again ♪♪ All my troubles ♪♪ All my pain ♪♪ It’s gonna leave me ♪♪ Once again ♪♪ All my troubles ♪♪ All my pain ♪♪ It’s gonna leave me ♪♪ Once again ♪♪ Gonna leave me ♪♪ Once again ♪[“We’ll Meet Again” playing]♪ We’ll meet again ♪♪ Don’t know where ♪♪ Don’t know when ♪♪ But I know
we’ll meet again ♪
♪ Some sunny day ♪♪ Keep smiling through ♪♪ Just like you ♪♪ Always do ♪♪ Till the blue skies drive ♪♪ The dark clouds far away ♪♪ And will you
please say hello ♪
♪ To the folks that I know ♪♪ Tell them
that I won’t be long ♪
♪ And they’ll be happy
to know ♪
♪ That as you saw me go ♪♪ I was singing this song ♪♪ We’ll meet again ♪♪ Don’t know where ♪♪ Don’t know when ♪♪ But I know
we’ll meet again ♪
♪ Some sunny day ♪♪ Yeah, we’ll meet again ♪♪ I don’t know where ♪♪ And I don’t know when ♪♪ But I do know
That we’ll meet again ♪
♪ Some sunny day ♪♪ So, honey ♪♪ Keep on smiling through ♪♪ Just like you always do ♪♪ Till the blue skies ♪♪ Drive the dark clouds ♪♪ Far away ♪♪ And would you
please say hello ♪
♪ To all the folks
that I know ♪
♪ And tell them
I won’t be long ♪
♪ They’ll be happy to know ♪♪ That as you saw me go
I was ♪
♪ Singing this song ♪♪ We’ll meet again ♪♪ Don’t know where ♪♪ Don’t know when ♪♪ But I know we’ll meet again ♪♪ Some sunny day ♪[train chugging]

100 thoughts on “The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash (Official Documentary)

  1. Mi ídolo,el y Jerry lee, el único hombre que me saco una lágrima en esta vida. Ni el amor de mi vida lo logro. Gracias cash, por hacerme sentir vivo

  2. Thought this was terrific. Was very informative & very revealing personal depth. Sad & happy mix. Their lives & music have touched so many lives. He was a great man, & artist of music.

  3. Excellent Documentary about the Man in Black. Always liked his songs and music since I was in my teens, now 62. I am not alone as I see as this video has over 1,139,855 views since coming out on 11 November 2019. I have really enjoyed his American recordings thank you Rick Rubin for doing those recordings, I think those are the essence of JR Cash.

  4. This is a wonderful piece of work. I don’t believe I have ever enjoyed a documentary so much. It took me through every human emotion but especially it allowed me to learn more about a great man .

  5. it was a good and extraordinary musician, I feel introspective music at the deepest side of person and bottom of my heart

  6. When I ran my own company, just me solo, I was starting out with marketing. I got into taking 30 MG Roxicodone, about 6 per day. I was able to not only work 100 hrs or so a week, but also start doing web design.

    Drugs are good in the start, keep you going. But what they do is take tabs , and when you crash, the drugs come take what you owe.

    Also, he basically explained his coming off pills in a way that people going through depression, when they finally crawl through it, you're left with pain. But if you make it through, you get a sense of awe, humility, and a strong sense of compassion. Some decide to do things that bring them to this point in their lives, others are innocent victims to it. The point is, the pain and misery shapes you into a good person. Which is why I rarely trust people who haven't been through their own hell. They have great character.

  7. God bless Johnny Cash. So powerful story of his life.I ll never be the same.Thankyou Jesus for his life and gift.Looking forward to seeing you on the other side of Glory

  8. Johnny was the top of the ladder in music. Nobody playing a guitar anywhere at anytime had more of an impact on the entire world as this man. "Johnny was like the North Star… You could guide your ship by him." – Kris Kristofferson (in tears) quoting Bob Dylan

  9. I don't even know what to say….. What a fantastic Documentary! I do wish they would have included the NIN song Johnny did. Great, Great Video!!

  10. I've had a love for this man and his music since I was only a child. Our lives barely crossed over as I was a day short of 2 years old when he died. But if not for him and the lessons he shared through song, I wouldn't be who I am today. So I say thank you to John R Cash for everything you have shared with the world in life and in death. I say thank you to June Carter for providing the light that he needed in his darkest hours. Thank you to Vivienne for encouraging him in the beginning of his career even when the goings were hard. To John's children, I thank you for sharing with us the legacy of not only your father but your mother and step mother. You have all touched my life in a way that only his music can explain and I am blessed by it daily. Even 16 years later I say thank you, for everything.

  11. Throughout my life '68 has rung through. What just recently. My partner bought a '68 home after the old originals passed away. Folsom Prison and Cash was '68. Lol

  12. Thank you for this Gift. What a remarkable work for a remarkable Soul. Thank you Youtube. More importantly, Thank you Johnny Cash.

  13. Johnny crash got a rash
    And a Johns dick went in trash
    A John is a John
    A whore is a whore
    And John is not sure
    If flying by panty strap is the way
    But it's all he do taday

    Hide like a weasel
    In a skirt

  14. Sorry, I write it in german because I don't know so much words in english.
    This is music from his heart in my heart. One of the most importend musician for all the time.
    Thank you Johnny for all your wonderful songs. Have a nice place in haeven. ❤
    Danke für diese wunderbare Doku über einen Künstler den ich sehr schätze. Sie zeigt so viel über den Menschen Johnny Cash. Ein sehr bewegtes Leben, fast immer auf der Überholspur. Es ist sehr berührend wie er im Alter darüber Fazit zieht.
    Das war und ist Musik die so authentisch, ehrlich, glaubhaft und tiefgehend ist dass er unvergessen bleiben wird. Ich liebe sie seit vielen, vielen Jahren und das wird auch immer so bleiben.❤❤❤

  15. The eloquence of the director and editors of this film rings pure and true for a timeless artist… we are all just passing thru this realm for but a short time to see and feel what is happening all around us and for each of us to choose to help or hinder this world aimlessly and dangerously haphazardly trying to escape hell into heaven, a seemingly never ending battle that Jesus too became compassionate for, turning away from what is the obvious apathy too often unfelt, the hate too often witnessed, the ignorance too often not spoken of.
    It is an uncanny thing to live my whole life to this moment, having grown up in the country side here in Canada, singing all of Johnny Cash's songs, my Dad and and I since i was a boy, visiting the Grand Ole Opera a couple times… my Dad seeing him one last time before they both passed, i was determined to make happen and did, at Massey Hall, Toronto, a son's undying love for his father who lost his way in life…. trying to figure out my own thru him, and other musicians, Jesus, God, Mary…Buddha…and then we are all gone… where it is what we leave behind, the story telling of all art, the kind gestures, the kind words, the love, our true nature grace most of all… that is the eternal power of God in us all, easily able to help this lost wretched world escape hell one day, of what can only be heaven all around us, for those who turn towards what heaven is….love, compassion, wisdom… away from the useless petty nonsense of hate, apathy and ignorance that leads only to death and destruction…. Peace be to you all and thank you to all of you here who made this film happen. "What we turn towards…we become." ~ Jesus
    Happiness is the Journey and the only thing of any true value in life… is your time… as in time together, hear in heaven all around us.

  16. Johnny Cash is like a slice of the AMERICAN DREAM and I suppose his songs would taste like APPLE PIE! In a time where nobody can be polite or say anything KIND,…THANK YOU 4 sharing this documentary with ALL the people who have love & admiration for Dear Mr. Johnny Cash. Yall coulda sold the rights to Netflix and made a few bucks but I reckon it's a great example of what Mr.Cash must've left behind! A Great family who respectfully memorialized their celebrity father. A gift to the fans. Thank you!❤

  17. Dang, this is is a great documentary! i was pretty well informed of johnny cashes life, but this went a little deeper then the other documentaries I've watched! great stuff

  18. I'm a 23-year old Filipino living in the Philippines, and I've loved Johnny Cash since I was 15. I listen to a lot of genres, modern ones mostly. But Johnny Cash is one of my faves of all time, despite that he's not that well-known from where I come from

  19. amezing…ye USA,Americas lost some part of soul…not manny left true Americans…with Honour and rules…and amezing talets to sings…

  20. I think this is one of the best documentaries that I ever watched, and I think we can thank that to the amazing story of Johnny and the beautiful storytelling of the director.

  21. Share it with everyone, everywhere to let people reach to his songs.♥️
    So much less views & people know him, mostly now a days kids.☹️
    Share it…♥️

  22. This documentary was stellar. Cash was a legend and this piece eloquently and painfully covers his career, his struggles and triumphs.

  23. I wish they’d make a documentary fully on the Sun Years and the relationship between Luther Perkins, Johnny, Marshall, and Sam Phillips. Along with the relationship between Carl Perkins, Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, etc.

  24. Johnny Cash is an experience. If you don’t find your self riding in the same train car watching the exchange between Johnny and the Gambler while you’re listening to it, your doing it wrong.

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