I would have to say Willie Nelson, just because he had so much influence in bringing country music to the "mainsteam" music listener.
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My favorite current equipment demo song is "The Warmth of the Sun" by Willie Nelson on a tribute CD, "The Beach Boys,
Stars and Stripes vol.1". It sounds fantastic & really shows how good redbook CD can sound.
I heard a song from the latest Johnny Cash CD on Smallville the other night, it sounded outstanding on an over-the-air broadcast, I'm gong to buy that CD this week. It will be my first Johnny Cash album.....
Awfully tough question. Love them both, tremendous artists, true ground breakers. I guess I'll give Willie the nod if only because he has done something like 10 farmaid concerts. He also recently created his own brand of bourbon, the raw materials are purchased only from small local farms.
Musically its a wash, no way to say which was more influential, talented, etc. Cash was MORE influential into the other genres he ventured into, while Willie ventured into more.
The man in black... Dylan wrote a song years ago called "Man in the Long Black Coat" which has little to do with Cash, although the song's title does evoke Cash. Dylan has been singing this song fairly regularly in his current European tour. And he cites Cash as being a great influence. I'm sure that, as great as Willy Nelson is, that more musicians have been influence by Cash than by Nelson.
Good question. I very much enjoy and respect each of them. However, at the end of the day, my nod goes to Johnny. The man is a rock. And Johnny Cash, more than any other singer that I can think of, has a sense of timing with his vocal delivery that really contributed to, if not drove, the overall rhythm and meter of a song.
My one regret is never having seen him in concert. I guess that I'd better go out and see Willy while I still can! I do make sure to catch BB King whenever he comes around. At 78 years old, we may not have him available to us (live) for much longer.
Again, really good comparison.
I think there is some sensory balance between Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson - you can't do without either of them! Willie Nelson jumps on the "live it up" wagon before anyone. I just saw him at Neil and Pegi Young's Bridge Concert. He performed with just his harmonica player and Neil Y. joined on a few. Timeless! Johnny Cash wrestled with the demons on the other side. If you want to be hit with a sledgehammer, buy his American IV: The Man Comes Around. There's a DVD included with Cash doing the Nine Inch Nails song "Hurt". It is the most powerful video ever created. The whole record is outstanding too.
I've been a Cash fan since I was a kid, it started with "A Boy named Sue." His country music as well as his Folk music in latr years crossed many boundaries in my life and I don't even particularly care for country.
I can't find much interest in Nelson. He is more of my parents music. I admit he is unique but it all sounds the same to me. I will however go and try his music out again!