Cash, Johnny - The Burden of Freedom
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Cash – the Autobiography of Johnny Cash
The 1970s for me were a time of abundance and growth, not just in terms of finances and property, but personally, spiritually, and in my work.
My marriage with June grew and flourished; John Carter came into the world; Bible study became an important part of my life and produced the most ambitious project of my career to date, the movie Gospel Road; and following the commercial success that began with my Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison album in 1968, plus the increase in public visibility my weekly TV show generated, I was able to walk through all kinds of new doors and go to all manner of new places.
On the other hand, the '70s also saw the implosion of my recording career. I ended 1969 with nine albums on the Billboard charts and began 1970 with 'Flesh and Blood' moving up the country singles chart to its eventual position at number one.
I ended 1979 and the whole decade with only one more country number one to my credit, 'One Piece at a Time' (in 1976). My singles spent a total of thirty weeks on the Billboard pop chart in the '60s; in the '70s the number was just eleven, eight of which came right at the beginning of the decade, in 1970. That was a trend, too; in the '80s, as I've said, I became invisible on the charts. No weeks at all on the pop charts, zero number-one country singles (unless you count 'The Highwayman' with Waylon, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson in 1985; I don't).
In fact, if you look at the arc of my whole career from the perspective most commonly used, that of purely commercial success you have to conclude that my star came on strong in the mid-'50s, cooled in the early and mid-'50s, reignited with a vengeance in '58, burned brightly until '71, and then dimmed again, save for a brief flare-up in 1976 with 'One Piece at a Time' and my current comparatively small-scale popularity as a recording artist (which doesn't translate into 'action' anywhere except on the new, alternative-style Americana chart, plus, thankfully, at the cash register).
Which is fine with me.
I'm happy in my personal and spiritual life, and any commercial success at all is icing on the cake.