“Early morning, April 4 … “

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Cash and Rubin unchained … 

March 14, 1998 ~ Weeks after Johnny Cash‘s “Unchained” wins the Grammy for Best Country Album, his producer Rick Rubin takes out this full-page ad in Billboard.

The photo of course is the classic from the lens of Jim Marshall taken at the legendary San Quentin prison concert Johnny put on in 1969. (Cash made the gesture after being asked to “do a shot for the warden.”)

The photo was not widely seen until Rubin used it in the ad to make the point that Cash got the Grammy win even without support from country radio, which had little use for the aging legend on their playlists. But while country stations remained enamored with the likes of Shania Twain and Garth Brooks, Cash found a wider audience with Unchained, which had cross-genre appeal.

The photo hangs on the walls of many. It’s on my office wall. Willie Nelson even hangs it in his tour bus as an emblem of real country music.

 

Source: Cash and Rubin unchained … – You Can’t Make This Stuff Up