415 Elmwood Ave, Rochester, NY 14642

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Johnny Cash (1932-2003) was among the century’s most-loved performers, spanning the musical genres of country, gospel, folk, blues, and rockabilly. This presentation will use the techniques of biography, illustrated by images, audio, and video, to describe Cash’s professional and personal arc toward the artistic triumphs of his last decade of life. After early success, his career faltered in the wake of drug addictions and relationship troubles. Bravely tackling his personal difficulties, and with the support of second wife June Carter, he enjoyed an even more impressive second wave of popularity in the late 1960s, burnishing his public image as a staunch champion of prisoners, Native Americans, and other oppressed or marginalized people. Slowly, however, he watched his career slide into commercial irrelevance by the 1980s, and he faced recurrent struggles with addictions. Yet he staged a remarkable third-act comeback in the mid-1990s thanks to his unlikely pairing with hip hop producer Rick Rubin, tapping a rejuvenated wellspring of inspiration in a series of recordings that combined the musical forms of his past with contemporary topics and songwriters. Despite mounting health problems and physical limitations, he recorded some of his best work up until just a few months before his death. Cash’s story illuminates the potential for creativity in aging, and is testimony to the importance of personal and professional relationships as enablers of resilience in the face of adversity.

At the conclusion of the seminar, the participant will be able to:

  • Describe the general professional arc of Johnny Cash’s life.
  • Describe Johnny Cash’s relationship with Rick Rubin, and its influence on rekindling Cash’s creativity.
  • Appreciate the effects of Cash’s addictions, and his declining physical health in later years, on his professional and personal relationships.

Presented by
Jeffrey M. Lyness, MD, FACPsych
Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology

4:30 pm – 5:00 pm: Reception
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm: Presentation

To register for this seminar, please email Faculty_Development@urmc.rochester.edu

Faculty, Staff, Residents and Students are invited to attend this seminar.

The Medical Faculty and Clinician Wellness Series is a qualifying activity for the 2019 URMC Malpractice Premium Differential Program.

ACCREDITATION The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

CERTIFICATION The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits(s)TM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


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