POV 2008 Preview: ‘Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music

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On August 5th, POV will air Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music by Robert Elfstrom. Here’s a sneak peek.

In this classic 1969 documentary, the Man in Black is captured at his peak, the first of many in a looming roller-coaster career. Fresh on the heels of his Folsom Prison album, Cash reveals the dark intensity and raw talent that made him a country music star and cultural icon. Director Robert Elfstrom got closer than any other filmmaker to Cash, who is seen performing with his new bride June Carter Cash, in a rare duet with Bob Dylan, and behind the scenes with friends, family and aspiring young musicians. Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music paints an unforgettable portrait that endures beyond the singer’s 2003 death.

Watch the trailer:

For more previews of 2008 POV films, check out our TV Schedule.

Ruiyan Xu
Ruiyan Xu
Former POVer Ruiyan Xu worked on developing and producing materials for POV's website. Before coming to POV, she worked in the Interactive and Broadband department at Channel Thirteen/WNET. Ruiyan was born in Shanghai and graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Modern Culture and Media.
  • Peggy

    FOREIGNID: 15624
    I would like to purchase this program. Is it available?

  • Gene Hamann

    FOREIGNID: 15625
    I would like to purchase a DVD of this program. How and where do I order it?


    FOREIGNID: 15626
    Who was the young man singing (with harmonica) back stage that Cash was going to set up an audition for. I originally thought it ws Dylan, but upon seeing him later in the show realized that I was wrong

  • K.B.

    FOREIGNID: 15627
    My brother and I think it might have been Denver in his younger years?

  • dan zilverberg

    FOREIGNID: 15628
    i also would like to know who the kid was and also the name of that first song and if it was ever published

  • ann k

    FOREIGNID: 15629
    Someone in another PBS discussion said the young man backstage is Don Freed.

  • Fisher

    FOREIGNID: 15630
    Moving. Magnificent. It all comes back.


    FOREIGNID: 15631
    It would have been nice if there had been identification “tags” for the various people interviewed, such as the young singers.

  • Margaret Corsaro

    FOREIGNID: 18960
    I thoroughly enjoyed this documentary about Johnny Cash with a little of the Carter family in there. I am not a big country music fan but some of that appalachian music stirs me some how.
    Johnny Cash was amazing. He wasn’t fancy. He just said it like it is and you feel a kinship with him when he sings his soul felt songs.
    I watched it last night and again today. He was one rare individual and so was June. Passion spilling out everywhere.
    If it weren’t for PBS there would be no TV for me. Keep on keepin’ on and I’ll try to send as many dollars as I can afford.
    You rock! Sincerely, Maggie

  • Pete eoriatti

    FOREIGNID: 19905
    kid in the back with hamonica was Bob Dylan. I would also like to buy a DVD of this show. Can any one tell me how?

  • Holly

    FOREIGNID: 20369
    would love to buy the documentary and would was the young man back stage??

  • Theresa Riley

    FOREIGNID: 20517
    Thanks so much for your interest in Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music. You can indeed buy the DVD at the POV Amazon Store at http://astore.amazon.com/adi00-20/detail/B00004TBTJ. POV also sees a small donation from Amazon for every purchase made in the store.
    Another viewer identified the young man backstage as Canadian Don Freed. You can find him on Wikipedia under Don Freed. Not to be mistaken with the American Playwright Donald Freed. (I’m pretty sure that’s correct, but we can doublecheck for you.)
    Theresa @ POV

  • samuel miller

    FOREIGNID: 20935
    i met Johny Cash in austin texas when he had just been released from incarceration,we both were at that moment without money and he invited me to accompany him to drinking places where he played a guitar and i collected money -we soon had a good amount but he abandoned me with my share of the money,someone later told me he had left me money in a will,does anyone know anything about this?