Johnny Cash had a birth certificate marked J. R. Cash because his parents couldn’t decide what to call him. Their environment was the recurrent poverty that reigned in Thirties America, a background of depression where J. R. went to work in flooded fields, learned music and sang along with other cotton pickers, picking up jobs here and there, and finally signing up for three years in the Army. In 1954 he went back to civilian life, married Vivian Liberto, and went through the studio doors at Sun Records, where Sam Phillips recorded his first hits. In ’57 he joined Columbia Records and a decade later married June Carter (of The Carter Family) in 1968. The following years were complicated by drugs, alcohol and constant tours, yet the pair remained together until June passed away in 2003. Johnny Cash only survived another four months. His original country music showed empathy for those who had been rejected, and his vision of the misery around him. But he also had an especially warm baritone, and it gave Johnny Cash an immense and faithful audience. He sold 90 million albums, confirming him as one of the greatest artists in music, all genres included.
It is the fusion of Gospel, Blues and Jazz that gives birth to new rhythms during the 50’s in the United States. Black artists are the first ones to associate upbeat tempo with jazz and blues. But it is a revolution of the minds that gives to the 50’s its frenetic momentum that rocks the old world into the modern world. Every single area is touched by the revolution : music and painting, obviously, but also and maybe mainly society at large, ways of consuming, the new industrial era, urban life, advertising, marketing and design. The movement develops in every dimension. Rock’n’Roll is the permanent mark left by the youth of that time, embracing the new world and giving it the rhythm that fits.
The Masters of Rock collection traces back the history of these great Rock’n’Roll figures without whom Rock and music in general would not be what they are today. And just like a natural phenomenon, Rock was born at the same time as the LP, absolute revolution in the music world which marked every generation since 1950 and until today. The world could not go round without the collection that pays homage to Vinyl Records and Rock’nRoll : Masters of Rock