Follow us: Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Google+ Follow us on Linkedin Follow us on Tumblr Subscribe to our RSS or Atom feed
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Southern Weather Radar


Our Writers

  • Adam Peck
  • Alan Gordon
  • Alex Kearns
  • Alex Seitz-Wald
  • Alice Murray
  • Allison Korn
  • Alyssa Cagle
  • Amanda Marcotte
  • Amanda Peterson Beadle
  • Andrea Grimes
  • Andrea Lee Meyer
  • Andrew Bowen
  • Andy Brack
  • Andy Kopsa
  • Andy Miller
  • Andy Schmookler
  • Ann Marie Pace
  • Ann Woolner & Leonard Ray Teel
  • Anna Dolianitis
  • Anna Forbes and Kate Ryan
  • Annelise Thim
  • Anoni Muss
  • April Adams
  • April Moore
  • Ariel Harris
  • Armando
  • Arthur Blaustein
  • Austen Risolvato
  • Austin McMurria
  • Barry Hollander
  • Bert Roughton III
  • Beth Ostlund
  • Betsey Dahlberg
  • Bill Caton
  • Bill Hamm
  • Bill Mankin
  • Bill Montgomery
  • Bill Moyers & Michael Winship
  • Bill Phillips
  • Bill Semple
  • Bill Tush
  • Billy Howard
  • Bob Bohanan
  • Bob Pritchard
  • Booth Malone
  • Bootsie Lucas
  • Boyd Lewis
  • Brad Clayton
  • Braden Goyette For ProPublica
  • Brandon Collins
  • Brett Martin
  • Brian Randall
  • Brianna Peterson
  • Bruce Dixon
  • Bruce E. Levine
  • Burton Cox
  • Candice Dyer
  • Carl Kline
  • Carol Carter
  • Carson M. Lamb
  • Casey Hayden
  • Cathleen Hulbert
  • Center for American Progress
  • Chantille Cook
  • Charles Finn
  • Charles O. Hendrix Jr.
  • Charles Seabrook
  • Charles Walston
  • Chelsea Toledo
  • Chelsey Willis
  • Chris Bowers
  • Chris Kromm
  • Chris Wohlwend
  • Christopher Burdette
  • Chrys B. Graham
  • Chuck Collins
  • Cliff Green
  • Cody Maxwell
  • Collin Kelley
  • Craig Miller
  • Crissinda Ponder
  • Dallas Lee
  • Dan Kennedy
  • Daniel Flynn
  • Daniel K. Williams
  • Daniel Palmer
  • Danny Fulks
  • Dante Atkins
  • Darby Britto
  • Dave Cooley
  • Dave Johnson
  • Dave Pruett
  • David Bradford
  • David Evans
  • David Harris-Gershon
  • David Jenks
  • David Kyler
  • David Parker
  • David Roberts
  • David Rotenstein
  • David Swanson
  • Dean Baker
  • Deb Barshafsky
  • Debbie Houston
  • Deborah Chasteen
  • Denise Oliver Velez
  • Dennis McCarthy
  • Desiree Evans
  • Dian Cai
  • Diana
  • Diane Rooks
  • Dina Rasor
  • Dindy Yokel
  • Doc
  • Don Lively
  • Don O'Briant
  • Donnie Register
  • Door Guy
  • Doug Couch
  • Doug Cumming
  • Dr. Brian Moench
  • Dr. Dorothy Ann Boyd-Bragg
  • Dr. Nick De Bonis
  • Dr. Ravi Batra
  • E. David Ferriman
  • Earl Fisher
  • Eden Landow
  • Eileen Dight
  • Eleanor Ringel Cater
  • Elizabeth Shugg
  • Ellen Brown
  • Elliott Brack
  • Erin Kotecki Vest
  • Fatima Najiy
  • FishOutofWater
  • Francisco Silva
  • Frank Povah
  • Fred Brown
  • Frederick Palmer
  • Gadi Dechter, Michael Ettlinger
  • Gail Kiracofe
  • Gaius
  • Georgia Logothetis
  • Gib Ennis
  • Gina Williams
  • Gita M. Smith
  • Glenn Carroll
  • Glenn Overman
  • Gordon Anderson
  • Gregory C. Dixon
  • Gryphon Corpus
  • Hamp Skelton
  • Harriet Barr
  • Heather Boushey
  • Henry Dreyer
  • Henry Foresman
  • Hollis B. Ball III
  • Hugh
  • Hyde Post
  • Ian Kim
  • Ian Millhiser
  • Isabel Owen
  • Ivy Brashear
  • J.A. Myerson
  • Jack deJarnette
  • Jack Wilkinson
  • Jacklyn C. Citero
  • Jake Olzen
  • James Hataway
  • James Marc Leas
  • James N. Maples
  • Janet Ward
  • Jasmine Burnett
  • Jason Palmer
  • Jason Parker
  • Jay Thompson
  • Jaz Brisack
  • Jeff Cochran
  • Jeff Davis
  • Jeff Rayno
  • Jeff Spross
  • Jeffry Scott
  • Jennifer Hill
  • Jesse Harwell
  • Jessica Luton
  • Jim Allen
  • Jim Bentley and Jeff Nesmith
  • Jim Clark
  • Jim Cobb
  • Jim Fitzgerald
  • Jim Newell
  • Jim Stovall
  • Jim Walls
  • Jim Warren
  • Jimmy Booth
  • Jing Luo
  • Jingle Davis
  • JL Strickland
  • Joan Donovan
  • Jodi Jacobson
  • Jody Wegmueller
  • Joe Earle
  • Joe Shifalo
  • Joel Groover
  • Joey Ledford
  • John A. Tures
  • John Dembowski
  • John Hickman
  • John Hickman with Sarah Bartlett
  • John Huie
  • John M. Williams
  • John Manasso
  • John Sugg
  • John Tabellione
  • John Yow
  • Jon Sinton
  • Jonathan Grant
  • Jonathan Odell
  • Joni Hunnicutt
  • Jonna Pattillo
  • Joseph B. Atkins
  • Joseph Gatins
  • Josh Dorner
  • Josh Sewell
  • Joy Moses
  • Judith Stough
  • Judy McCarthy
  • Juli Ward
  • Julian Bond
  • Julian Riggs Smith
  • Julianne Wyrick
  • Julie Ajinkya
  • Julie Puckett Fodera
  • Just Plain Will
  • Kaili Joy Gray
  • Kate Greer
  • Kate McNally
  • Katherine A. Edmonds
  • Kathleen Brewin Lewis
  • Kathleen Harbin
  • Kathleen R. Gegan
  • Kathryn Hoffman
  • KC Wildmoon
  • Keith Graham
  • Ken Edelstein
  • Ken Haldin
  • Ken Hawkins
  • Ken Peacock
  • Kevin Austin
  • Kevin Duffy
  • Kip Burke
  • Kirk McAlpin
  • Kirsten Barr
  • Kos Moulitsas
  • Kristie Macrakis
  • Lacey Avery
  • Lamont Cranston
  • Laura Clawson
  • Laura Smith
  • Laurence Lewis
  • Lawrence S. Wittner
  • Lee Leslie
  • Lee Robin
  • Leon Galis
  • Leonce Gaiter
  • Les Eatwell
  • LikeTheDew
  • Linda Hunt Beckman
  • Linda Jordan Tucker
  • Lisa Byerley Gary
  • Lisa Kerr
  • Lois Beckett, Propublica
  • Lorraine Berry
  • Louie Crew Clay
  • Louis Mayeux
  • Lovell Jones, Ph.D.
  • Lucy Emerson Sullivan
  • Lucy Guest
  • Maggie Lee
  • Maisha White
  • Mandy Richburg Rivers
  • Margi Ness
  • Marian Wang, ProPublica
  • Marie Diamond
  • Mark Dohle
  • Mark Johnson
  • Mark Sumner
  • Martha W. Fagan
  • Mary Civille
  • Mary Elizabeth King
  • Mary Kay Andrews
  • Mary Lee
  • Mary Willis Cantrell
  • Matt Blakely
  • Matt Johnson
  • Matt Musick
  • Matt Renner
  • Matthew Wright
  • Maurice Carter
  • Meg Livergood Gerrish
  • Meghan Miller
  • Melanie Rochat
  • Melinda Ennis
  • Michael Bailey
  • Michael Beckel
  • Michael Castengera
  • Michael Ettlinger
  • Michael J. Solender
  • Michael Linden
  • Michael Lux
  • Michael W. Twitty
  • Mike ”Hunter” Lazzaro
  • Mike Copeland
  • Mike Cox
  • Mike Handley
  • Mike Lofgren
  • Mike Ludwig
  • Mike Williams
  • Mimi Skelton
  • Moni Basu
  • Monica Smith
  • Murray Browne
  • Myra Blackmon
  • Nancy Melton
  • Nancy Puckett
  • Nancy Robinson
  • Nancy Rogers
  • Neill Herring
  • Nelly McDaid
  • Nikki Gardner
  • Niles Reddick
  • Noel Holston
  • Occupy Wall Street
  • Overman & Senn
  • Pamela Sumners
  • Pat Garofalo
  • Pat LaMarche
  • Pat Norman
  • Patrick Andendall
  • Patrick L. Ledford
  • Patsy Dickey
  • Patti Ghezzi
  • Paul Buchheit
  • Paul Krupin
  • Paul Rutledge
  • Paul Thim
  • Pete & Jack
  • Peter Crawford
  • Peter Turnbull
  • Phil Gast
  • Phil Noble
  • Philip Graitcer
  • Phyllis Alesia Perry
  • Phyllis Gilbert
  • Piney Woods Pete
  • Polly
  • R S
  • R.L. Miller
  • Rafael Alvarez
  • Randy Conway
  • Randy Schiltz
  • Ray Bearfield
  • Raymond L. Atkins
  • Reagan Walker
  • Rebecca Sive
  • Ric Latarski
  • Richard Eisel
  • Righton C. Willis
  • Rob Chambers
  • Rob Coppock
  • Rob Douthit
  • Robert Allen
  • Robert Dardenne
  • Robert E Hunt Jr
  • Robert Jensen
  • Robert Lamb
  • Robert M. Williams, Jr.
  • Robert Mashburn
  • Robert Weiner & Richard Mann
  • Robin Marty
  • Rodney Adams
  • Roger Gregory
  • Ron Feinberg
  • Ron Taylor
  • Rose Aguilar
  • Rose Weaver
  • Rosemary Griggs
  • Russ Wellen
  • Sam Morton
  • Sao Magnifico
  • Sara Amis
  • Sarah Ayres
  • Sarah Bufkin
  • Saralyn Chesnut
  • Scott Anna
  • Scott Borchert
  • Scott Keyes
  • Scott Wooledge
  • Sean Manion
  • Seth Cline
  • Shane Gilreath
  • Sharon M. Riley
  • Shay Dawkins
  • Sheffield Hale
  • Sheila Barnard Nungesser
  • Sigrid Sanders
  • SoniaTai
  • Sonya Collins
  • Soraya Chemaly
  • Spencer Lawton
  • Stephanie Taylor
  • Stephen Lacey
  • Stephen Wing
  • Steve King
  • Steve Krodman
  • Steve Valk
  • Stuart Liss
  • Sue Sturgis
  • Sujigu
  • Susan De Bonis
  • Susan Soper
  • Susan Wilson
  • Suz Korbel
  • Tammy Andrews
  • Tammy Ingram
  • Tanya Somanader
  • Ted Kooser
  • Terri Evans
  • The Barnacle Goose
  • Thomas A. Bledsoe
  • Tiger Liliuokalani
  • Tim Oliver
  • Timothy Freeman
  • Timothy Hurst
  • Tom Baxter
  • Tom Crawford
  • Tom Ferguson
  • Tom Millsop
  • Tom Poland
  • Tom Walker
  • Travis Waldron
  • Travis Waldron & Pat Garofalo
  • Trevor Stone Irvin
  • Tricia Collins
  • Troubadour
  • Valerie Evans
  • Viveca Novak
  • Waldron, Somanader & Garofalo
  • Walter Rhett
  • Wanda Argersinger
  • Wayne Countryman
  • Wayne Johnson
  • We The People
  • Will Cantrell
  • Will Nelson
  • William Cotter
  • William Hedgepeth
  • Yana Kunichoff
  • Yasmin Vafa
  • Zack Beauchamp
  • Zack Ford
  • Zaid Jilani
  • Zaina Budayr




  • Writer Login


    Johnny Cash: Talkin’ Memorial Day Weekend Blues

    by | 1 | Jan 14, 2010

    Author’s Note: On May 29, 2011, this expanded and revised version of the story, “The Johnny Cash Compassion Project,” was posted on Like The Dew.

    Having won the White House in November ’68, Richard Nixon declared he would “bring us together.” The U.S. was ripped asunder with riots, assassinations and the war in Vietnam. Nixon’s administration, however, tore us further apart. Nine months into his presidency, with anti-war demonstrations becoming more strident, Nixon addressed the nation. He used the speech, which he wrote himself, to buy time for his “Vietnamization” program, but along the way, instead of uniting Americans, he provided his own spin on the division gripping the country. Nixon referred to those opposed to the U.S. role  in Vietnam as “a vocal minority,” closing his speech with the assumption that “the great silent majority of Americans” would support his war policies. He assumed correctly, certainly enough to rally the nation and win a second term in office in ’72. Along the way, Nixon not only depended on the support of the “silent majority,” but also on White House Plumbers supervising black-bag jobs against those intensely averse to his administration.

    To obscure his devious aims, the president would sometimes make a show of appealing to the common man. One way of doing so was making a friend of Johnny Cash. It certainly made for good photo opportunities. Perhaps that’s all Nixon wanted out of the friendship, for he truly failed to sense the spirit possessed by Cash. Had he learned just a little from Johnny Cash, the nation could have avoided a lot of misery.

    This Terrible Imposition . . .  Sending over 20,000 young Americans to their deaths in Vietnam wasn’t enough to keep the Nixon White House busy. They also maintained an “enemies list.” Enemies within the USA. People who paid their taxes. People who contributed to our quality of life. People dubious of Nixon’s promise that new leadership would end the war.

    Those enemies.

    Many of the so-called enemies had made it clear they were not friends of the administration. Some had the temerity to write columns opposing the president’s policies. Some spoke out against the president in speeches and demonstrations. They were unaware of the consequences of exercising their first amendment rights. They might make the president’s list, whether they wanted to or not.

    The existence of the Nixon administration’s enemies list was revealed by White House Counsel John Dean in 1973 before the Senate Watergate committee. It was more wacky news that made the work of political satirists so difficult. You can’t make up better stuff than that.

     Some, like Paul Newman, celebrated making the list. Hunter S. Thompson lamented being left off. Considering the logic behind such a compilation was staggering. Even Joe Namath made the list. It must have been the Fu Manchu mustache. Or maybe Nixon lost a bundle on Super Bowl III. As Namath biographer Mark Kriegel asked, “Would an enemy of the Republic appear on The Brady Bunch as Namath did later that year?”

    What John Dean filed as “Opponents List and Political Enemies Project” is old news, oft forgotten. But Nixon’s paranoia is a gift that keeps on giving. The Nixon Library, run by the National Archives, in 2010, released 280,000 pages of records that offer more disturbing, if somewhat amusing, evidence of what made Dick tick.

    He not only attacked his opponents’ beliefs; he attacked the arts they patronized. Nixon referred to modern art as “these little uglies,” and sent a memo to his chief of staff ordering the administration to “turn away from the policy of forcing our embassies abroad or those who receive assistance from the United States at home to move in the direction of off-beat art, music and literature.”

    That explains the unhappiness at embassies in France and Switzerland. Too much Coltrane on the stereo. Too many bookshelves lined with Kerouac.

    But Nixon happily promoted his friendship with one great artist: Johnny Cash. To the president with his perceptions of a silent majority, Cash was a sure thing. No counterculture hooey with this guy. He was a big, friendly man who appeared to possess the values The White House promoted in one room as they were shredding the Constitution in the next.

    Johnny Cash had a great following among those in Middle America, the symbolic territory where Nixon sought approval. Shortly after Nixon took office in ’69, Cash was at a career peak. His Folsom Prison and San Quentin albums topped the country charts. “A Boy Named Sue,” recorded live before tough men doing hard time, was a favorite on jukeboxes in the Deep South and other conservative regions.

    In the April 30, 1970 Rolling Stone, legendary music critic Ralph J. Gleason offered a full assessment of Johnny Cash, one more encompassing than what most Middle Americans may have gathered, but the whole truth and nothing but.

    Cash is pure white America, part Indian, part cowboy, part sharecropper/poor man, part poet, part visionary, painfully learning how to adjust to the new facts the environment and history are insisting on, adapting his belief in God and tradition and motherhood and the rest to the growing realization of the exploitation of the society and so the racism built into it.

    I’ve Been Everywhere, Man …Cash was a Christian and a friend of the evangelist Billy Graham. Another famous friend of Graham’s was President Nixon. How perfect this seemed to the White House: political hay could be made in embracing Johnny Cash. All the while, they seemed to forget that Johnny Cash was genuine. He didn’t need a White House visit to feel accomplished, and he had no desire to play a role in the Nixon P.R. enterprises.

    In the May ’88 Musician, Cash talked much about his life, including his struggles with drugs, his faith and career. He claimed his two best friends were Billy Graham and Waylon Jennings. Cash and those two cover a lot of ground. Such friendships indicate Nixon may have misunderstood the life Johnny Cash lived before he was invited to play The White House in ’70.

    Among the friends of Johnny Cash were Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and others not likely to attend Republican fundraisers. Cash admired them for the same quality they saw in him: authenticity. It wasn’t only his following in the emerging youth culture that might annoy conservatives, there were also certain causes he was drawn to. For example, Cash had recorded Bitter Tears, an album lamenting the treatment of Native Americans. He also advocated prison reform.

    Regardless of one’s politics, an invitation to perform at The White House is not taken lightly. Still Cash did not grant Nixon’s request beforehand that he play “Okie From Muskogee” and “Welfare Cadillac.” Cash declined, saying he didn’t know either of those songs. “Welfare Cadillac” was a big country hit by Guy Drake that year. Its message was considered demeaning to people in need of government assistance. Cash said he wasn’t making a political statement by rejecting those songs; he simply preferred to play songs he and his band knew.

    The songs in The White House set included “What Is Truth” and “Man In Black.” Written by Cash, those songs questioned war and assailed materialism. They were not “silent majority” favorites.

    In ’72 Cash returned to The White House to speak with the president about prison reform. In a year or so, Nixon, dealing with the crimes of Watergate, may have given serious thought to conditions in the federal pens. However, he received a pardon from President Ford after resigning from office in August ’74.

    A few months later, out of the public eye in San Clemente, California, Nixon received a call from Jamaica. It was Billy Graham and then Johnny Cash to wish the Nixons a Merry Christmas. The call was Graham’s idea. Cash tried to beg off, saying, “He don’t want to hear from me.” Graham handed Cash the phone anyway, and he spoke with the Nixons for a few minutes.

    In his interview with Bill Flannagan of Musician, Cash admitted to being “a little nervous in the conversation.” But he was happy for Graham, who for awhile felt cast aside by the former president. Such an act of compassion explains a lot about Johnny Cash. He well understood forgiveness, from both sides. That’s something for people compiling enemies lists to consider.

    Leave Your Guns At Home . . . Memorial Day 2011. The United States is involved in three wars. All three are in need of a snappy exit plan. Declaring victory and bringing the troops home seems far preferable to wasting more lives and treasure in these “wars of choice.” Imagine what could be done if the young men and women in uniform, so devoted to their country, could provide service in America where great needs have gone neglected, especially as the nation drowns in red ink. Serving one’s country involves more than carrying weapons in foreign lands.

    Like the young Americans in military service, Johnny Cash loved America. He was guided by a sense of patriotism which stirred great empathy for his countrymen serving in Vietnam, despite his own thoughts regarding the war. Cash was supportive of the U.S. troops, those sent into battle in the days of conscription. In ’69, he and his wife, June Carter Cash went to Vietnam to sing for the soldiers. The experience left a great impact on him, quite evident in his song, “Singing in Vietnam Talkin’ Blues.”

    So we went to the hospital ward by day

    And every night we was singin’ away

    Then the shells and the bombs was goin’ again

    And the helicopters brought in the wounded men

    Night after night, day after day, comin’ and a goin’

    Cash later said, “As far as the war in Vietnam is concerned, that war just made me sick…… Maybe Vietnam has taught us a hard lesson to not be involved in foreign wars. Maybe that’s the lesson we’ve learned. I hope we have.”

    A Lesson For The Learning . . . Less than six months before his passing, Johnny Cash realized the lesson of Vietnam had not been learned. His daughter, Rosanne Cash, told The Progressive that just before the U.S. invaded Iraq, Johnny Cash was put in a medically induced coma. Before going to sleep, Rosanne said his thoughts were on the impending war. When he awoke, Rosanne said, “I was sitting by his side. He looked at me and reached over to pull the television over to him. He was looking at me like, ‘Did it happen?’ I said, ‘Dad, it happened.’ He went ‘No! No!’ Can you imagine? This is the first thing he thought of when he woke up from a week-long coma.”

    Yes, Johnny Cash was a true patriot.

    ###
    Jeff Cochran

    Jeff Cochran

    Jeff Cochran worked in advertising at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for 27 years before accepting a buy-out in the Summer of 2008. In the seventies/early eighties, he handled advertising for Peaches Records and Tapes' Southeastern and Midwestern stores. He also wrote record reviews for The Great Speckled Bird, a ground-breaking underground newspaper based in Atlanta.

     

    Print Friendly, PDF & Email

     

    • I have just read an excellent book on the Carter Family and it changed my opinion about Johnny Cash “getting God” -- for the better. While it didn’t shake my non-belief it tells that Cash was already religious -- like so many Americans in general and Southerners in particular -- but found the strength in his belief to use it to fix himself up. Years ago, the popular perception -- in Australia anyway -- seemed to be that he met June Carter and found Jesus as a by-product when in fact the book says the Carters actually helped him through a tough time by acting as enforcers and guardians, not merely preach at him till the devil left him. My admiration for JC the musician never waned, but I liked him again as a person after reading that book. Richard Nixon? Who was he?

  • Worthy of Comment






  • Health Care: U.S. vs. Canada



  • 'L-G-B-T' - James Corden
    Sings for Transgender Troops



  • "The Elections Are Rigged" Arnold Schwarzenegger On Trump, Congress, Gerrymandering

     

  •  
     
     
  • %d bloggers like this: