Happy Birthday, Johnny.

When I was a little kid, my mother played two records more than any others. One was the Jordanaires' This Land, an album of American folk songs sung in beautiful, smooth 4-part harmony. Their version of "All My Trails" still lives deep in my soul and floats on the surface of my dreams.

The other was Johnny Cash's Greatest Hits Vol. 1. Those songs indicated to me at a very young age that adults must have a world of exotic and dangerous concerns: erotic obsession, social injustice, marginal people, the tenuousness of sexual fidelity. Those songs may have been my first encounter with the idea that people often say things they don't exactly mean, to be funny or to make a point.

Anyway, I revere Johnny Cash, so does J, and this was always one of our favorite songs to sing.