This post is in response to, “Johnny Cash: The Incarnation of America”.
The blog’s main argument is that musician Johnny Cash is the ultimate American icon. The author states, “Every American can somehow identify himself with Johnny Cash.” While I believe that this is true, I also think that if we change the word, ‘American’ to simply, ‘person’ it is still a very accurate statement. Most people – myself included – find it easy to make connections between their own lives and Cash’s life, whether that be due to going through monetary struggles, dealing with complex relationships – familial or romantic – or even, in some cases, addiction.
The blog also compares Cash to Elvis. While I agree that Presley was perhaps more of a staple of popular culture at the time, I think that both musicians now share the status of musical legends, especially to those of us in the Western world. The writer makes a good point about how, “Country music does not export that well in other countries.” And I very much agree with this comment. I would argue, however, that Cash’s music transcends genre. Undoubtedly, most will call him a country music star, but there is a lot more to it than that. His materials often embraced staples of other musical genres such as rock and roll, folk, blues and gospel.
The blog touches on the idea that Johnny Cash embodied the ultimate American. On the face of things, he was. He was a hardworking, God-fearing patriot from rural Arkansas. Although, I think that he was representative of people in general, and not just Americans. By this, I mean that the turbulence of Cash’s life – the peaks and lows of not just his musical career, but his personal experiences – is something that we all face, and his overcoming adversity in the most unlikely of circumstances is what makes him a role model for so many people. For this reason, I would say that Johnny Cash is not simply an American icon, but a global icon.
 edwindutilleul, ‘Johnny Cash : The incarnation of America’, published May 8th, 2016
[accessed 23rd February 2017]