The Johnny Cash Museum (JCM) in Nashville (119 Third Avenue South) debuts its event space on Friday, November 1 with a symposium on Cash’s life anchored by author and renowned journalist Robert Hilburn and hosted by Museum Founder Bill Miller. (The event starts at 7.00pm and admission is free to the general public).
Hilburn’s Johnny Cash: The Life will be published by Little, Brown and Company (the publisher of Peter Guralnick’s massive two-volume Elvis Presley biography, Last Train to Memphis and Careless Love, and Keith Richards’ recent autobiography, Life) on October 29.
“Bob Hilburn and I have been friends for years,” says Miller. “He’s a very highly regarded observer and critic of popular music, so when I heard he was doing a biography on Cash, it got my attention. We are honored to host Bob’s debut East Coast book signing as well as a Q&A session I’ll be moderating.”
Hilburn’s book covers Cash’s artistic career and his turbulent life, from his days growing up in Arkansas to becoming one of the true icons of 20th century popular music.
“Of the many great rock pioneers in the 1950s,” Hilburn says, “Cash was the only one who approached his music as more than hits for the jukebox. He wanted his music to inspire and uplift people. In that goal, he was the crucial link between Woody Guthrie’s music of social idealism and commentary in the 1930s and 1940s and Bob Dylan’s music of revolution in the 1960s and beyond.”
Hilburn served as the acclaimed music critic of the Los Angeles Times from 1970 – 2005. Since the Times, he dove into authoring accounts of his experiences in the music industry, with his latest project focusing on the life of country music icon Johnny Cash. During his time at the LA Times, he was the only music writer permitted to enter Folsom Prison to witness the legendary performance. Hilburn has long been a member of the nominating committee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.