Man in Black


By: Wayne Brown


I heard it first way back in 1963

I was just a boy but man it affected me

Boom-Chicka-Boom on that old radio

Johnny Cash and his Two puttin’ on a show




I fell in love with The Ring of Fire

It was the trumpets that I most admire

But I really loved his music the best

When Cash sang of trains and the old west

Clickety-clack, Clickety-clack



He went to Folsom Prison and recorded it live

Prison boys love that rock-a-billy jump n’ jive

Cash, Luther Perkins, and Marshall Grant, the crew

Known as Johnny Cash and The Tennessee Two




Cash had his demons waiting in the wings

Pills and alcohol soon became his king

Too drunk when the demons came out to shout

Went on the Opry, kicked the stage lights out

Hey Porter! Hey Porter!



I listened to his stories of pain, love, and western days

Of John Henry, Mr. Garfield, and the Indian, Ira Hayes

He hung out with the likes Dylan and Kristofferson

Waylon Jennings, and Bocephus, Hank Williams’ son




The pains and ills of the world rode heavy on his back

To symbolize concern he became the man in black

He wrote the pain of Native Americans and gunslingers famed

Of the wild west frontier and the hell that needed tamed

Cry! Cry! Cry!



He made it to the famous Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame

And you can see The Country Hall also bears his name

He lived through the sadness of losing June, his wife

She was his rock, his world, and the love of his life

I Walk The Line!



Johnny buried his friend Waylon, laid him in the ground

He buried Luther Perkins, the man who picked his sound

He helped a young Bob Dylan when all the others past

He knew Dylan had talent and was surely here to last

Understand Your Man!



Johnny Cash was an icon in the music of our time

He influenced Rock and Country with musical line

On his inspiration, young artists were Nashville bound

He gave us all he had, his music, his words, his sound




God Bless John R. Cash


© Copyright WBrown2010. All Rights Reserved.

© 2010 Wayne Brown

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Comments 31 comments

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ralwus 6 years ago

He still lives! Like Elvis in so many ways. Nice tribute to another King Wayne.

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jpohl 6 years ago from Rockford, IL

My parents were BIG Johnny Cash fans. Growing up I heard all his songs being played on the 8-track player :) I still like his music today but its one of those things that as soon as I hear his music it takes me back to my childhood.....just like your post....thanks

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Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas Author are correct! It was a big part of my teen years and I go back there every time I hear that boom-chicka-boom. By the way, I also have a hub entitled "ABoom-Chicka-Boom" written about Luther Perkins. Check it out when you have time. Thanks for dropping in.! WB

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Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas Author are so right CC. Cash created some "permanent" fans who will listen to his music until they depart this life. If only I could be that successful as a writer! WB

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billyaustindillon 6 years ago

Wayne I am a HUGE Johnny Cash fan and this tribute is awesome. Ring of Fire is one of my all time favs - and also love hearing it or the cover version of it by the Wall of Voodoo but I digress. He had one heck of a life and you caught all the key parts on your ode to the great man - June and God and even Bob Dylan!

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Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

An excellent ode to a star that will forever shine.

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saddlerider1 6 years ago

I to am a HUGE Johnny Cash fan along with Elvis they both walked the line and lived on the edge. They did it there way and stood the test of time until the booze and drugs did them both in. They are two of the BIGGEST IKONS the music industry has every witnessed. Johhny now is the man in WHITE walking along and singing with the love of his life June. The King of rock n roll Elvis is with his dear mama and papa who he loved so much. I am blessed to have grown up with their music all around me.

Kris and Willy will one day sing again as The Highwaymen they are and walk side by side in the BIG HALL OF FAME in the sky. Great post Wayne.

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Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas Author

Ken...thank you sir. Cash will always be an icon of mine! WB

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Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas Author

@springboard...thank you so much. I was afraid that I could not do justice to a memory that big. I hope that I did and I appreciate your compliments. WB

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Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas Author

@BAD...glad I could thrill ya', Billy. Cash was a giant and he was the real deal as well. That's the good part! WB

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 6 years ago

Johnny Cash rules. My sister was so in love with him that it scared me. Great hub.

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Tom Whitworth 6 years ago from Moundsville, WV


Johnny lives on in his music and our memories forever!!!!!!!

FCEtier profile image

FCEtier 6 years ago from Cold Mountain

Didn't care for Cash much when I was a teenager.

As I've grown older though, it's been like acquiring a taste for good scotch.

I've acquired a taste for Cash and really enjoy his work now. "Sunday Morning Coming Down" is a fav!

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Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas Author

FC...see if you can get your hands on a copy of "Gunfighter Ballads Of The Old West". This was one of Cash's early works and one of his first theme type albums. I think it contains some of the best stuff that he did especially if you like storytellers. Thanks for your comments! WB

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valeriebelew 6 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA

This is awesome. No wonder Charie reads your hubs. You're a lot deeper than I imagined. I tend to analyze artists and musicians, and fall in love with all of them. Music and writing are actually my life, and all else superficial. I should have been an actress so I could live in fantasy, because its so far superior to reality. Great write. Love it. Glad Rose listed you on her site. (:v

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Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas Author

@valerie...I was a bit afraid on this one when I pushed that "publish" button. Cash is such a giant and an icon in the world, who was I to try to do his memory justice. Ladyjane1 made me promise a couple of months ago that I would never throw anything away so I pushed the button. Glad you liked it. BTW...I have a hub called "A-Boom-Chicka-Boom that I wrote right after coming here. It's about Luther Perkins, Cash's guitar might enjoy that one as well! Thank you for the feedback and the kind words! WB

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Pachuca213 6 years ago

I love Johnny Cash, how well you wrote about him. You are a great writer and an even better poet. Loved it!

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas Author

Pachuca213...The country singer/songwriter, Rodney Crowell, married Roseanne Cash, Johnny's oldest daughter. Crowell tells the story of the first time he met Cash. He said Cash looked him up and down, shook his hand, and said "boy,I don't know you well enough to miss you when you're gone."....not a bad line for a C/W song! WB

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ralwus 6 years ago

I never heard that one Wayne. Poor Crowell.

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geegee77 6 years ago from The Lone Star State!!

Awsome Hub Love Johnny Cash:)

Sasha'sOnHubShell profile image

Sasha'sOnHubShell 6 years ago from Florida

This is the best thing I've read all day! I pay much homage to The Man In Black, in my online publication and in real life... He comes on every trip, provides the soundtrack to needed cries and always gets me dancing with, "Get Rythym." This is awesome. Perhaps you'll appreciate this little ditty I wrote in dedication of Mr. Cash last month..

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas Author

@Sasha'sOnHubShell...Thank you Shasha. I will check your link. I have been a fan of Cash for many years. I also wrote about Luther Perkins, his first lead guitar player. You will find that in my hubs titled "A-Boom-Chicka-Boom. I appreciate the good words. I have been working on another about Cash but I don't know if it is going to come together. I keep going back to it and it is making progress! WB

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Longhunter 6 years ago

I lived in the same town as Mr. Cash - Hendersonville, TN. I would see him out from time to time but you'd never know he was a legend as he carried himself as nothing special, just another man. He was a super nice guy to all that spoke to him but most people just left him alone. Most were in awe of seeing someone so famous out doing what they were doing.

Nice tribute, Mr. Brown.

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas Author

@Longhunter...Wow! What an opportunity to see such a legend! On the other hand, being a legend is hard work and I figure that once Cash got his head screwed on straight he didn't care much for filling those shoes. I think he was taken with the artistry and the performance throughout his was as fresh to him at the end as it was at the start. Glad to hear that he possessed those qualities! Thanks much for the read! WB

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Sasha'sOnHubShell 5 years ago from Florida

always love your hubs, but I can say with certainty, this is the top contending leader! ;)

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Sasha'sOnHubShell...Thank you so much for those nice words. Johnny Cash was a constant in most of my life and an example to many of how we do not need to approach fame and success. I hope you also read, "Boom-Chicka-Boom...I'm thinkin' you did! WB

Sasha'sOnHubShell profile image

Sasha'sOnHubShell 5 years ago from Florida

Funny, Johnny Cash has been the 'footsteps in the sand' beside me for most of my life, as well. I grew up on classic tunes, and won't be leaving the musical works of them anytime soon... Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Cat Stevens ... helped to shape who I am, really. Continue to do so.. even in 1963 releases :)

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anndavis25 5 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

Awwww,'ve heard me sing. I was one of the back-up singers on his first album. At the time,(1956) we thought he was boring. All songs in the same key. Little did we know that he would become a legend. Now, wait a minute...that makes me one tooooo! But nobody knows it. lol.

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@anndavis25...Wow! You're about as close as I've ever got to Cash! LOL! That must have been something great although you don't know that you are part of greatness at the time. I heard one explanation of Cash's singing one time as "He goes down when everyone else is headed up". BTW, I have a story on here called "Boom-Chicka-Boom" which I wrote about Luther Perkins...check that out when you have time. You should write of your experience with Cash. WB

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PabstPenrose 5 years ago from Dardenne Prairie , Missouri

This was amazing! Nothing less. It all flowed so well, and how you brought it the names of his songs. I definitely voted up on this, and I'm going to link a few friends to this. So great.

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@PabstPenrose...Thanks, Brett. I suggest you give poetry writing a's great exercise for writing those good stories. Glad you liked this one. WB

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