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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
208 pages
Nov 2003
Relevant Books

The Man Comes Around: The Spiritual Journey of Johnny Cash

by Dave Urbanski

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


"Listen long enough to the recordings of the fabled father of American music, Johnny Cash, and two things will unfailingly arrest your attention: his craggy bass-baritone voice that is distinctive among all other country music artists, and the sincere, down-to-earth messages of his lyrics. In spite of his achievements, ranging from being voted into the Country Music Hall of Fame to racking up scores of gold and platinum albums, Cash is found to be a man of varied moods, goals, and conflicts. When he died, his face was on the cover of every major periodical from USA Today to Time magazine. No one ever doubted that the “Man in Black" was America's musical icon.

"Cash, however, had a life of trials. He was divorced from his first wife; he battled alcohol and drug problems; he spent time in jail; and at various stages in his life he faced financial crises. An early recording of his was, "I've Got Jesus, And That's Enough." But did he really have Jesus?

"Author Urbanski has written a lively and thoroughly documented account of Cash's life, but as to revealing anything about the man's so-called spiritual journey, there is scant substance here. Cash himself said that his take on Christian dogma was "nickel and dime theology." To his credit, Urbanski does not try to fabricate stories or offer speculations about the meanings between the lines of Cash's songs. He lets the lyrics speak for themselves.

"There are no great revelations here about the singer’s doctrine or beliefs, and, because of this, the book is rather generic and disappointing. On the other hand, Urbanski portrays Cash as a man of passion and authenticity, with amazing insights on life, love, and music. The book succeeds in presenting a refreshingly real look at an American legend. Through it fans will gain new perspectives on the hundreds of songs recorded by this complicated anti-hero." -- Jason Bilbrey, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

Who Was Johnny Cash? Rock star? Country boy? Folk hero? Preacher? Poet? Drug addict? Rebel? Sinner? Saint? In truth, the Man in Black lived long enough and hard enough to embody all of the above-and much, much more. He was a musical legend, a one-of-a-kind communicator, an American icon-but you could never pigeonhole him or pin him down. You never completely knew him...or what he was going to do next.

Cash's faith in God was no different: "I'm still a Christian, as I have been all my life," he once said. "Beyond that I get complicated." Cash's faith wasn't smooth, slick, or sweet-it was grizzled, challenged, broken, and messy. Worlds away from perfect. But it was transparent ... and real. Always real. The Man Comes Around: The Spiritual Journey of Johnny Cash explores with vivid, narrative detail the wild ups and downs, the highs and lows, the ebbs and flows, that took place within this man's soul-from beginning to end. It's his spiritual chronicle. His sacred story-yet one that no doubt describes, in one way or another, where we've all been...and perhaps where we're all going.