Talons of Weng Chiang

The first part of The creepy and atmospheric Doctor Episode Talons of Weng Chiang was broadcast 26 February 1977. It begins When the Doctor and Leela arrive at a Victorian musical theatre in London. Performing at the Palace Theatre is the stage magician Li H’sen Chang, On their way to the Palace Theatre, the Doctor and Leela encounter a group of Chinese thugs who have apparently kill a cab driver. They attempt to silence the Doctor and Leela but are frightened away by the distant whistle of an approaching policeman. All but one escape, and he, the Doctor and Leela are taken to the local police station. At the station, Li H’sen Chang is called in to act as an interpreter, but unbeknownst to everyone else he is the leader of the group. The Doctor, upon a brief examination of the body, finds a scorpion tattoo—the symbol of the Tong of the Black Scorpion, devout followers of an ancient god, Weng-Chiang.

The body is taken to the local mortuary, along with the body of the cabbie which had just been found floating in the river. There they meet Professor Litefoot, who is performing the autopsies. The cabbie is Joseph Buller, whose wife Emma has mysteriously vanshed. It transpires that Buller had recently confronted Chang concerning his wife’s disappearance, threatening to report Chang to the police shortly before he was found dead. Chang also knows a chap named Magnus Greel, an evil despot from the 51st century who fled from the authorities in a time cabinet, and is now masquerading as the Chinese god Weng-Chiang. However the Zygma Energy he used to escape has taken its toll on him and he now has to resort to draining the life essences from young women to keep himself alive. He is acompanied by the evil Mr Sin the Peking Homunculous.

The Time Cabinet was seized by Chinese Imperial Soldiers and given by the Imperial Court to Professor Litefoot’s parents as a gift. Unfortunately Greel steals the time cabinet and the Doctor tracks Greel to the sewers underneath the Palace Theatre, aided by the theatre’s owner, Henry Gordon Jago. Unfortunately they discover something rather unpleasant lurking in the sewer. While the Doctor and Leela try to find Greel’s new hideout, Jago comes across a bag of future technological artefacts, among which is the key to the time cabinet. He takes it to Professor Litefoot’s house. Meanwhile, the Doctor and Leela discover Chang in an opium den, already half dead from his injuries and the narcotic; and he informs them of Greel’s current location.

The Doctor and Leela return to Professor Litefoot’s house to await Greel’s arrival. When Greel arrives The Doctor makes a bargain Concerning Litefoot and Jago’s release. Unfortunately this goes wrong. Leela, Then confronts Greel. However She is captured and set in his life-essence extraction machine, a catalytic extraction chamber, which drains her life essence in order to keep Greel alive and it is up to the Doctor to escape, defeat Greel and save Leela.

National Tell a Fairy Tale Day

National Tell a Fairy Tale Day takes place annually on February 26. National Tell a Fairy Tale Day provides a perfect opportunity to read fairy tales to your kinds and enjoy your favorite childhood tales yourself. A fairy tale is a short story that typically features fantasy characters and magic. Many started off as oral histories, myths, and legends retold around the fire or by traveling storytellers. They were written down and become known the world over as fairy tales. The origins of many fairy tales were quite gruesome and would not be approved or rated as appropriate for children by the Association of Fairy Tales by today’s standards. Most were told as a way to make children behave, teach a lesson or to pass the time much like ghost stories around a campfire today.

Many of the stories have some basis in truth. For example, some believe the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is inspired by the real life of Margarete von Waldeck, the daughter of the 16th century Count of Waldeck. The area of Germany where the family lived was known for mining. Some of the tunnels were so tight they had to use children – or small people such as dwarfs – to work the mines. Margarete’s beauty is well documented, and she had a stepmother who sent her away. She fell in love with a prince but mysteriously died before she could have her happily ever after.

As the stories evolved they began to take on a more magical quality and started including fantasy elements such as fairies, giants, mermaids and gnomes. Some of the stories also had rather gruesome story plots such as: Toes being cut off to fit into a slipper, a wooden boy killing his cricket or a prince having his head cut off. The brothers Grimm collected and published some of the more well-known tales we are familiar with today. Jakob and his brother Wilhelm together set out on a quest to preserve these tales at a time in history when a tradition of oral storytelling was fading. In 1812, they published their first volume of stories titled Household Tales. Their stories had a darker quality and were clearly meant for an adult audience. Rumpelstiltskin, Thumbelina and Snow White Are some of the tales they collected.

Some fairy tale storytellers, such as Aesop, have a long and sometimes ancient history (The Fox and the Goose, The Ant and the Grasshopper), whereas others such as the Grimm brothers are more recent . Danish Author Hans Christian Andersen, also published written versions of many fairy tales such as the Princess and the Pea, The Ugly Duckling, The Little Mermaid and many more. Many Fairy tales have also been adapted for film and television numerous times (This seems like a good excuse to watch Tale of Tales again).


Events and National Holidays 26 February

  • Levi Strauss Day
  • International STAND UP to Bullying Day
  • National For Pete’s Sake Day
  • National Pistachio Day

Bullying is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate or aggressively dominate others. The purpose of International Stand Up to Bullying day is to educate people how to prevent, reduce and stop bullying. Many campaigns and events are designated to bullying prevention throughout the world. Bullying prevention campaigns and events include: Anti-Bullying Day, Anti-Bullying Week, International Day of Pink, International STAND UP to Bullying Day and National Bullying Prevention Month. Anti-Bullying laws in the U.S. have also been enacted in 23 of its 50 states, making bullying in schools illegal.

Bullying can be defined in many different ways. The United Kingdom has no legal definition of bullying, while some states in the United States have laws against it. Bullying is divided into four basic types of abuse – emotional (sometimes called relational), verbal, physical, and cyber. It typically involves subtle methods of coercion, such as intimidation. Bullying ranges from one-on-one, individual bullying through to group bullying called mobbing, in which the bully may have one or more “lieutenants” who may seem to be willing to assist the primary bully in his or her bullying activities. Bullying in school and the workplace is also referred to as peer abuse. Robert W. Fuller has analyzed bullying in the context of rankism.

Bullying is often repeated and habitual. One essential prerequisite is the perception, by the bully or by others, of an imbalance of social or physical power, which distinguishes bullying from conflict. Behaviors used to assert such domination can include verbal harassment or threat, physical assault or coercion, and such acts may be directed repeatedly towards particular targets. Rationalizations of such behavior sometimes include differences of social class, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, appearance, behavior, body language, personality, reputation, lineage, strength, size or ability. If bullying is done by a group, it is called mobbing.

A bullying culture can develop in any context in which humans interact with each other. This includes school, family, the workplace, home, and neighborhoods. The main platform for bullying is on social media websites. In a 2012 study of male adolescent American football players, “the strongest predictor of bullying was the perception of whether the most influential male in a player’s life would approve of the bullying behavior”.

Individual bullying tactics can be perpetrated by a single person against a target or targets and can be classified into four types. Collective bullying is known as mobbing, and can include any of the individual types of bullying. Physical, verbal, and relational bullying are most prevalent in primary school and could also begin much earlier whilst continuing into later stages in individuals lives. It is stated that Cyber-bullying is more common in secondary school than in primary school.

Physical bullying hurts someone’s body or damages their possessions. Stealing, shoving, hitting, fighting, and destroying property all are types of physical bullying. Physical bullying is rarely the first form of bullying that a target will experience. Often bullying will begin in a different form and later progress to physical violence. In physical bullying the main weapon the bully uses is their body when attacking their target. Sometimes groups of young adults will target and alienate a peer because of some adolescent prejudice. This can quickly lead to a situation where they are being taunted, tortured, and beaten-up by their classmates. Physical bullying will often escalate over time, and can lead to a tragic ending, and therefore must be stopped quickly to prevent any further escalation.

Verbal bullying is conducted by speaking. Calling names, spreading rumors, threatening somebody, and making fun of others are all forms of verbal bullying. Verbal bullying is one of the most common types of bullying. In verbal bullying the main weapon the bully uses is their voice. In many cases, verbal bullying is the province of girls. Girls are more subtle (and can be more devastating), in general, than boys. Girls use verbal bullying, as well as social exclusion techniques, to dominate and control other individuals and show their superiority and power. However, there are also many boys with subtlety enough to use verbal techniques for domination, and who are practiced in using words when they want to avoid the trouble that can come with physically bullying someone else.

Relational bullying is done with the intent to hurt somebody’s reputation or social standing which can also link in with the techniques included in physical and verbal bullying. Relational Bullying is a form of bullying common amongst youth, but particularly upon girls. Relational bullying can be used as a tool by bullies to both improve their social standing and control others. Unlike physical bullying which is obvious, relational bullying is not overt and can continue for a long time without being noticed.

Cyber bullying is the use of technology to harass, threaten, embarrass, or target another person. When an adult is involved, it may meet the definition of cyber-harassment or cyberstalking, a crime that can have legal consequences and involve jail time. This includes email, instant messaging, social networking sites (such as Facebook), text messages, and cell phones.

Workplace bullying can occur in may jobs such as Information Technology, The legal Profession, medicine, nursing, teaching or blue collar jobs. It occurs when an employee experiences a persistent pattern of mistreatment from others in the workplace that causes harm. Workplace bullying can include such tactics as verbal, nonverbal, psychological, physical abuse and humiliation. This type of workplace aggression is particularly difficult because, unlike the typical forms of school bullying, workplace bullies often operate within the established rules and policies of their organization and their society. Bullying in the workplace is in the majority of cases reported as having been perpetrated by someone in authority over the target. However, bullies can also be peers, and occasionally can be subordinates.

Research has also investigated the impact of the larger organizational context on bullying as well as the group-level processes that impact on the incidence, and maintenance of bullying behavior. Bullying can be covert or overt. It may be missed by superiors or known by many throughout the organization. Negative effects are not limited to the targeted individuals, and may lead to a decline in employee morale and a change in organizational culture.

Collective bullying tactics are employed by more than one individual against a target or targets. Trolling behavior on social media, although generally assumed to be individual in nature by the casual reader, can sometime be organized by many. Mobbing refers to the bullying of an individual by a group, in any context, such as a family, peer group, school, workplace, neighborhood, community, or online. When it occurs as emotional abuse in the workplace, such as “ganging up” by co-workers, subordinates or superiors, to force someone out of the workplace through rumor, innuendo, intimidation, humiliation, discrediting, and isolation, it is also referred to as malicious, nonsexual, nonracial / racial, general harassment.

Bullying is typically ongoing and not isolated behaviour. Common ways that people try to respond, are to try to ignore it, to confront the bullies or to turn to an authority figure to try and address it. Ignoring it often does nothing to stop the bullying continuing, and it can become worse over time. It can be important to address bullying behaviour early on, as it can be easier to control the earlier it is detected. Bystanders play an important role in responding to bullying, as doing nothing can encourage it to continue, while small steps that oppose the behaviour can reduce it. Authority figures can also play an important role, such as parents in child or adolescent situations, or supervisors, human-resources staff or parent-bodies in workplace and volunteer settings. Authority figures can be influential in recognising and stopping bullying behaviour, and creating an environment where it doesn’t continue.

In many situations however people acting as authority figures are untrained and unqualified, do not know how to respond, and can make the situation worse. In some cases the authority figures even support the people doing the bullying, facilitating it continuing and increasing the isolation and marginalising of the target. Some of the most effective ways to respond, are to recognise that harmful behaviour is taking place, and creating an environment where it won’t continue. People that are being targeted have little control over which authority figures they can turn to and how such matters would be addressed, however one means of support is to find a counsellor or psychologist that is trained in handling bullying.

Tim Commerford (Rage against the Machine, Audioslave)

Tim Commerford, American bassist with Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave was born 26th February 1968. He first played bass for a band called Juvenile Expression with Zack de la Rocha, who also played in a band called which in de la Rocha’s words, were “about completely detaching themselves from society seeing themselves as spirits, and not bowing down to a system that sees you as just another pebble on a beach. I channeled all my anger out through that band.” After Inside Out broke up, he embraced hip hop and began freestyling at local clubs, where he met Tom Morello and Brad Wilk. Eventually, de la Rocha’s Juvenile Expression bandmate Commerford joined them and Rage Against the Machine was formed.

After playing Lollapallooza Rage Against the Machine became one of the most politically charged bands ever to receive extensive airplay from radio and MTV. De la Rocha became one of the most visible champions of left-wing political causes around the world while advocating in favour of Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal, and supporting the Zapatista movement in Mexico. He spoke on the floor of the UN, testifying against the United States and its treatment of Abu-Jamal. Rage’s second and third albums peaked at number one in the United States, but did not result in the political action de la Rocha had hoped for. He became increasingly restless and undertook collaborations with artists such as KRS-One, Chuck D, and Public Enemy. In October 2000, de la Rocha left Rage Against the Machine, due to “creative differences.” Upon leaving the band, de la Rocha issued a statement saying: “it was necessary to leave Rage because our decision-making process has completely failed”,in reference to the disagreement over the release of Renegades. The other members of the band sought out separate management and secured the immediate release of Renegades. After searching for a replacement for de la Rocha, the other members of Rage joined Chris Cornell of Soundgarden to form Audioslave.

After RATM’s breakup, de la Rocha worked on a solo album he had been recording since before the band’s dissolution, working with DJ Shadow, El-P, Muggs, Dan The Automator, Roni Size, DJ Premier, and The Roots’ Questlove with production partner James Poyser. The album never came to fruition, and de la Rocha started a new collaboration with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, in which around 20 tracks were produced. Reznor thought the work was “excellent”. In 2000, de la Rocha appeared on the song “Centre of the Storm”, from the Roni Size/Reprazent album In The Mode, while in 2002, he appeared in a minor role in the first part of the Blackalicious song “Release” on the album Blazing Arrow. A new collaboration between de la Rocha and DJ Shadow, the song “March of Death” was released for free online in 2003 in protest against the imminent invasion of Iraq. The 2004 soundtrack Songs and Artists that Inspired Fahrenheit 9/11 included one of the collaborations with Reznor, “We Want It All”. This album also contained “No One Left”, the debut recording by former Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello as The Nightwatchman.

On October 7, 2005, de la Rocha returned to the stage with new material, performing with Son Jarocho band Son de Madera. He later spoke as MC and again performed with Son de Madera at the November 22 Concert at the Farm, a benefit concert for the South Central Farmers. In 2007 Rage Against the Machine reunited & headlined the final day of Coachella 2007. Morello and de la Rocha reunited on-stage early to perform a brief acoustic set at House of Blues in Chicago at the rally for fair food with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW). Rage Against the Machine, as a full band, headlined the final day of the 2007 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on April 29. The band played in front of an EZLN backdrop to the largest crowds of the festival. The performance was initially thought to be a one-off, this turned out not to be the case. The band played 7 more shows in the United States in 2007, and in January 2008, they played their first shows outside the US as part of the Big Day Out Festival in Australia and New Zealand. The band has since continued to tour around the world, headlining many large festivals in Europe and the United States, including Lollapalooza in Chicago.

Fats Domino

American pianist and singer-songwriter Antoine “Fats” Domino Jr. was born February 26, 1928 and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Domino family was of French Creole background. Louisiana Creole French was his first language. Antoine was born at home with the assistance of his grandmother, a midwife. Domino learned to play the piano from his brother-in-law, the jazz guitarist Harrison Verrett while studying shipping management at his local community college.Even after his success, he continued to live in his old neighborhood. His large home was roomy enough for his 13 children, but he still preferred to sleep in a hammock outside. In 1947, Billy Diamond, a New Orleans bandleader, accepted an invitation to hear the young pianist perform at a backyard barbecue. Domino played well enough that Diamond asked him to join his band, the Solid Senders, at the Hideaway Club, in New Orleans. Diamond nicknamed him “Fats”, because Domino reminded him of the renowned pianists Fats Waller and Fats Pichon.

In 1949 Domino attracted national attention with his first recording, “The Fat Man” an early rock-and-roll record featuring a rolling piano and Domino vocalizing “wah-wah” over a strong backbeat which sold one million copies by 1953 and is widely considered the first rock-and-roll record to achieve this feat. Domino released a series of hit songs with the producer Dave Bartholomew, the saxophonists Herbert Hardesty and Alvin “Red” Tyler, the bassist Frank Fields, and the drummers Earl Palmer and Smokey Johnson. The saxophonists Reggie Houston, Lee Allen, and Fred Kemp, Domino’s trusted bandleader also contributed Domino crossed into the pop mainstream in 1955 with “Ain’t That a Shame”. Domino’s debut album, Carry On Rockin, was also released containing several of his hits and was reissued as Rock and Rollin’ with Fats Domino in 1956. His 1956 recording of “Blueberry Hill”, becane his biggest hit Having previously been recorded by Gene Autry, Louis Armstrong and others), reaching number 2 in the Top 40 and number 1 on the R&B chart for 11 weeks.

Domino had further hit singles between 1956 and 1959, including “When My Dreamboat Comes Home”, “I’m Walkin’”Valley of Tears”, “It’s You I Love”, “Whole Lotta Loving”, “I Want to Walk You Home” and “Be My Guest” Domino also appeared in two films released in 1956: Shake, Rattle & Rock! and The Girl Can’t Help It. In 1957, his hit recording of “The Big Beat” was featured on Dick Clark’s television program, American Bandstand. In 1956, a riot broke out at Domino’s show in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The police resorted to using tear gas to break up the unruly crowd. Domino himself jumped out a window to avoid the melee; he and two members of his band were slightly injured. During 1962. Domino had a steady series of hits including “Walking’ to New Orleans” co-written by Bobby Charles, and “My Girl Josephine”. Producer Felton Jarvis changed the Domino sound somewhat, notably by adding the backing of a countrypolitan-style vocal chorus to most of his new recordings. Domino released the song “Red Sails in the Sunset”in 1963. Sadly by 1964 the British Invasion had changed the tastes of the record-buying public, and Domino’s chart run was over. Despite this Domino continued to record steadily until about 1970, releasing a live album and two singles plus a cover of the Beatles’ “Lady Madonna”. Domino also appeared in the Monkees’ television special 33⅓ Revolutions per Monkee in 1969. He continued to be popular as a performer for several decades. He made a cameo appearance in the movie Any Which Way You Can, filmed in 1979 and released in 1980, resulting in a Country chart hit, “Whiskey Heaven”.

In 1986 he was one of the first musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In the 1980s, Domino decided he would no longer leave New Orleans, having a comfortable income from royalties and a dislike of touring and claiming he could not get any food that he liked anywhere else. He turned down An invitation to perform at the White House. Domino lived in a mansion in a predominantly working-class neighborhood in the Lower Ninth Ward, where he was a familiar sight in his bright pink Cadillac. He made yearly appearances at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and other local events. He was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987. His last tour was in Europe in 1995. In 1998, President Bill Clinton awarded him the National Medal of Arts. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him number 25 on its list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. Domino’s large persona, dancehall piano playing, and tales of love and home made him Elvis Presley’s top rival. By the end of his career, Domino was credited with selling more records than any other 1950s musician except Presley.

As Hurricane Katrina approached New Orleans in August 2005, Domino chose to stay at home with his family, partly because his wife, Rosemary, was in poor health. His house was in an area that was heavily flooded. Consequently Someone thought Domino was dead and spray-painted a message on his home, “RIP Fats. You will be missed”, then the talent agent Al Embry announced that he had not heard from Domino since before the hurricane struck. Later that day, CNN reported that Domino had been rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter. Until then, even family members had not heard from him since before the storm. Embry confirmed that Domino and his family had been rescued. The family was then taken to a shelter in Baton Rouge, after which they were picked up by JaMarcus Russell, the starting quarterback of the Louisiana State University football team, and the boyfriend of Domino’s granddaughter. By January 2006, work to repair Domino’s home and office had begun In the meantime, the Domino family resided in Harvey, Louisiana.President George W. Bush made a personal visit and replaced the National Medal of Arts that President Bill Clinton had previously awarded Domino. The gold records were replaced by the RIAA and Capitol Records, which owned the Imperial Records catalogue. Domino was due to perform at the 2006 Jazz & Heritage Festival. However, he was too ill to perform when scheduled and was only able to offer the audience an on-stage greeting. He released an album, Alive and Kickin’, in early 2006 to benefit Tipitina’s Foundation, which supports local musicians.

In 2007, Domino was honored with OffBeat magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual Best of the Beat Awards, held at the House of Blues in New Orleans. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin declared the day “Fats Domino Day in New Orleans”. An all-star musical tribute followed with an introduction by the legendary producer Cosimo Matassa. The Lil’ Band o’ Gold rhythm section, Warren Storm, Kenny Bill Stinson, David Egan and C. C. Adcock, anchored the band, and each contributed lead vocals, swamp pop legend Warren Storm leading off with “Let the Four Winds Blow” and “The Prisoner Song”, which he proudly introduced by saying, “Fats Domino recorded this in 1958 … and so did I.” The horn section included Lil’ Band o’ Gold’s Dickie Landry, the Iguanas’ Derek Huston, and long-time Domino horn men Roger Lewis, Elliot “Stackman” Callier and Herb Hardesty. They were joined by Jon Cleary (who also played guitar in the rhythm section), Al “Carnival Time” Johnson, Irma Thomas, George Porter Jr. (who provided a funky arrangement for “You Keep on Knocking”), Art Neville, Dr. John and Allen Toussaint, who wrote and debuted a song in tribute of Domino for the occasion.

Domino returned to stage on May 19, 2007, at Tipitina’s at New Orleans and Domino was also inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. He has also been inducted into the Delta Music Museum Hall of Fame in Ferriday. In 2009, Domino made an unexpected appearance in the audience for the Domino Effect, a concert featuring Little Richard and other artists, aimed at raising funds to help rebuild schools and playgrounds damaged by Hurricane Katrina. In October 2012, Domino was featured in season three of the television series Treme, playing himself. In 2016, Domino was inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame. The ceremony was held in Detroit, Michigan; others that were inducted along with Domino were Dionne Warwick, Cathy Hughes, Smokey Robinson, Prince, and the Supremes. Fats Domino Sadly died October 24, 2017 at his home in Harvey, Louisiana aged 89, following a long illness but he will be fondly remembered.

Johnny Cash

Legendary American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor, and author Johnny Cash was born February 26, 1932 in Kingsland, Arkansas. In March 1935, the family settled in Dyess, Arkansas. He started working in cotton fields at age five, singing along with his family while working. The family farm was flooded on at least two occasions, which later inspired him to write the song “Five Feet High and Rising”. His family’s economic and personal struggles during the Great Depression inspired many of his songs, especially those about other people facing similar difficulties.

Cash’s early memories were dominated by gospel music and radio. Taught guitar by his mother and a childhood friend, Cash began playing and writing songs at the age of twelve. When Cash was young, he had a high tenor voice, before becoming a bass-baritone. In high school, he sang on a local radio station; decades later he released an album of traditional gospel songs, called My Mother’s Hymn Book. He was also significantly influenced by traditional Irish music that he heard performed weekly by Dennis Day on the Jack Benny radio program.

Cash enlisted in the United States Air Force on July 7, 1950. After basic training at Lackland Air Force Base and technical training at Brooks Air Force Base, in San Antonio, Texas, Cash was assigned to the 12th Radio Squadron Mobile of the U.S. Air Force Security Service at Landsberg, Germany as a Morse Code operator intercepting Soviet Army transmissions. It was there he created his first band, named “The Landsberg Barbarians”. He was the first radio operator to pick up the news of the death of Joseph Stalin. He was honorably discharged as a staff sergeant on July 3, 1954, and returned to Texas. During his military service, he acquired a distinctive scar on his face as a result of surgery to remove a cyst.

On July 18, 1951, while in Air Force training, Cash met 17-year-old Vivian Liberto at a roller skating rink in San Antonio. Then Cash was deployed to Germany for a three-year tour. During that time, the couple exchanged hundreds of pages of love letters. On August 7, 1954, one month after his discharge, they were married at St. Ann’s Roman Catholic Church in San Antonio. In 1954, Cash and and his wife Vivian moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where he sold appliances while studying to be a radio announcer. At night he played with guitarist Luther Perkins and bassist Marshall Grant. Perkins and Grant were known as the Tennessee Two. Cash worked up the courage to visit the Sun Records studio, hoping to get a recording contract. After auditioning for Sam Phillips, singing mostly gospel songs, Phillips told him that he didn’t record gospel music any longer.

Cash eventually won over the producer with new songs delivered in his early rockabilly style. In 1955, Cash made his first recordings at Sun, “Hey Porter” and “Cry! Cry! Cry!”, which were released in late June and met with success on the country hit parade. As his career was taking off in the late 1950s, Cash started, drinking heavily and he became addicted to amphetamines and barbiturates. On December 4, 1956, Elvis Presley dropped in on Sam Phillips while Carl Perkins was in the studio cutting new tracks, with Jerry Lee Lewis backing him on piano. Cash was also in the studio and the four started an impromptu jam session. Phillips left the tapes running and the recordings, almost half of which were gospel songs, survived and have since been released under the title Million Dollar Quartet.

Cash’s next record, “Folsom Prison Blues”, made the country Top 5, and “I Walk the Line” became No. 1 on the country charts and entered the pop charts Top 20. “Home of the Blues” followed, recorded in July 1957. That same year Cash became the first Sun artist to release a long-playing album. Although he was Sun’s most consistently selling and prolific artist at that time, Cash felt constrained by his contract with the small label. Presley had already left Sun, and Phillips was focusing most of his attention and promotion on Lewis. In 1958, Cash signed with Columbia Records, where his single “Don’t Take Your Guns to Town” became one of his biggest hits and his second album was a collection of gospel songs. However, Cash left behind a sufficient backlog of recordings with Sun that Phillips continued to release new singles and even albums featuring previously unreleased material until as late as 1964, placing Cash in the unusual position of having new releases out on two labels concurrently, with one 1960 release, a cover of “Oh Lonesome Me”.

Early in his career, he was given the nickname The Undertaker by fellow artists because of his habit of wearing black clothes – though he did so only because they were easier to keep looking clean on long tours. In the early 1960s, Cash toured with the Carter Family, which by this time regularly included Mother Maybelle’s daughters, Anita, June, and Helen. In the 1960s, he appeared on Pete Seeger’s short-lived television series Rainbow Quest. He also acted in and wrote and sang the opening theme for a 1961 film entitled Five Minutes to Live, later re-released as Door-to-door Maniac. In 1965, Cash and June Carter appeared on Pete Seeger’s TV show, Rainbow Quest, on which Cash explained his start as an activist for Native Americans. In 1964, he recorded the album Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian. Featuring stories of a multitude of native peoples, mostly of their violent oppression by white settlers: The Pima (“The Ballad of Ira Hayes”), Navajo (“Navajo”), Apache (“Apache Tears”), Lakota (“Big Foot”), Seneca (“As Long as the Grass Shall Grow”), and Cherokee (“Talking Leaves”). Cash wrote three of the songs himself and one with the help of Johnny Horton, but the majority of the protest songs were written by folk artist Peter La Farge (son of activist and Pulitzer prizewinner Oliver La Farge), whom Cash met in New York in the 1960s and admired for his activism.

Although primarily remembered as a country music icon, his genre-spanning songs and sound embraced rock and roll, rockabilly, blues, folk, and gospel. This crossover appeal made him one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century and one of the best-selling music artists of all time, selling more than 90 million records worldwide and won Cash the rare honor of multiple inductions in the Country Music, Rock and Roll, and Gospel Music Halls of Fame.bCash was known for his deep, calm bass-baritone voice, the distinctive sound of his Tennessee Three backing band, a rebelliousness coupled with an increasingly somber and humble demeanor, free prison concerts, and a trademark look, which earned him the nickname “The Man in Black.” He traditionally began his concerts with the simple “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash,” followed by his signature “Folsom Prison Blues”.

Much of Cash’s music contained themes of sorrow, moral dilemmas and redemption especially in the later stages of his career. His signature songs include “I Walk the Line”, “Folsom Prison Blues”, “Ring of Fire”, “Get Rhythm”, and “Man in Black”. He also recorded humorous numbers like “One Piece at a Time” and “A Boy Named Sue”; a duet with his future wife, June Carter, called “Jackson” and railroad songs including “Hey, Porter”, “Orange Blossom Special” and “Rock Island Line”.

Cash also covered songs by several late 20th-century rock artists, including “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails and “Personal Jesus” by Depeche Mode. Cash continued to record until shortly before his death. His final recordings were made on August 21, 2003, and consisted of “Like the 309,” which would appear on American V: A Hundred Highways in 2006, and the final song he completed, “Engine 143,”. In 1997, Cash was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease Shy–Drager syndrome, a form of multiple system atrophy; the disease was originally misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s disease. The illness forced Cash to curtail his touring. He was hospitalized in 1998 with severe pneumonia, which damaged his lungs. Later, he released the albums American III: Solitary Man (2000) and American IV: The Man Comes Around (2002). The video for “Hurt,” a cover of the song by Nine Inch Nails, from American IV, received particular critical and popular acclaim.

Johnny Cash tragically died of complications from diabetes at approximately 2:00 a.m. CT on September 12, 2003, aged 71 While hospitalized at Baptist Hospital in Nashville, less than four months after his wife. It was suggested that Johnny’s health worsened due to a broken heart over June’s death. He was buried next to his wife in Hendersonville Memory Gardens near his home in Hendersonville, Tennessee.One of Cash’s final collaborations with producer Rick Rubin, American V: A Hundred Highways, was released posthumously on July 4, 2006. On February 23, 2010, three days before what would have been Cash’s 78th birthday, the Cash Family, Rick Rubin, and Lost Highway Records released his second posthumous record, titled American VI: Ain’t No Grave.