By Antonino D'Ambrosio
A Heartbeat and a Guitar tells of the collaboration of 2 unique but attached musicians--iconoclast Johnny money and pioneering people artist Peter l. a. Farge-- Bitter Tears: Ballads of the yank Indian, the album that inspired the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan. during this intimate portrayal of the 2 musicians, D'Ambrosio interviewed surviving participants of Cash's band, his manufacturers, and admirers Pete Seeger and Kris Kristofferson. He renders a dramatic photo of either an period of radical protest and the making of 1 of the main debatable and enduring works of political pop paintings of the Nineteen Sixties.
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Additional info for A Heartbeat and a Guitar: Johnny Cash and the Making of Bitter Tears
For the congregation at the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church around the corner from the Mingus house, shaving your head meant physically defiling your body, God's temple. It was a vivid sign of Baby's sinful ways, a scarlet A. Every Sunday, the Mingus family went to the AME church. The music at the services went from the old hymnals to Baptist-style shouts, while the sermons touched the usual chords of hellfire and damnation. For the Mingus children, the weekly churchgoing became an empty ritual of righteousness.
They played on weekends at weddings and dances. Charles came by and watched them rehearse. As he and Britt became close, the Woodmans worked on his poor music-reading skills. They helped train his sensitive ear to work with written music. But he'd never be able to read a score easily on first sight. Britt tried to open other doors to teen social life. BRITT WOODMAN: I was an expert on the rings, and gymnastics, at athletics— Ping-Pong, horseshoes, basketball. So I showed him all that. I liked to play him Ping-Pong with my left hand because he couldn't never really play.
His intellectual curiosity went into reading books he got from the library, the encyclopedia at home, odds and ends he picked up in his wanderings around Los Angeles. His heart went into learning to play the bass. He played along with songs on the radio and learned more tunes from the other boys. Like most beginners, he concentrated on flashy moves, playing fast. It got him attention and approval, and girls. But he also was a perfectionist. He was driven to succeed. Right away, he wanted to be the best.