People in the Johnny Cash video “God’s Gonna Cut You Down”

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Johnny Cash – God’s Gonna Cut You Down

Johnny Cash’s version of the traditional God’s Gonna Cut You Down, from the album “American V: A Hundred Highways”, was released as a music video on November 9 2006, just over three years after Cash died. Producer Rick Rubin opens the music video, saying, “You know, Johnny always wore black. He wore black because he identified with the poor and the downtrodden…”. What follows is a collection of black and white clips of well known pop artists wearing black, each interacting with the song in their own way. Some use religious imagery. Howard sits in his limo reading from Ezekiel 34, a Biblical passage warning about impending judgment for false shepherd. Bono leaning on a graffiti-filled wall between angel’s wings and a halo, pointing to the words, “Sinners Make The Best Saints. J.C. R.I.P.” A number of artists wear or hold crosses.

Faces in Johnny Cash God's Gonna Cut You Down music video

Artists appear in this order: Rick Rubin, Iggy Pop, Kanye West, Chris Martin, Kris Kristofferson, Patti Smith, Terence Howard, Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Q-Tip, Adam Levine (Maroon 5), Chris Rock, Justin Timberlake, Kate Moss, Sir Peter Blake (Sgt Peppers Artist), Sheryl Crow, Denis Hopper, Woody Harrelson, Amy Lee of Evanescence, Tommy Lee, Natalie Maines, Emily Robison, Martie Maguire (Dixie Chicks), Mick Jones, Sharon Stone, Bono, Shelby Lynne, Anthony Kiedis, Travis Barker, Lisa Marie Presley, Kid Rock, Jay Z, Keith Richards, Billy Gibbons, Corinne Bailey Rae, Johnny Depp, Graham Nash, Brian Wilson, Rick Rubin and Owen Wilson. The video finishes with Rick Rubin traveling to a seaside cliff with friend Owen Wilson to throw a bouquet of flowers up in the air.

Wikipedia noted:

Johnny Cash recorded a version of “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” on American V: A Hundred Highways in 2003, with an arrangement quite different from most known gospel versions of the song.

A music video, directed by Tony Kaye,[1] was made for this version in late 2006. It featured a number of celebrities, including:

In order of appearance; Iggy Pop, Kanye West, Chris Martin, Kris Kristofferson, Patti Smith, Terrence Howard, Flea, Q-Tip, Adam Levine, Chris Rock, Justin Timberlake, Kate Moss, Sir Peter Blake, Sheryl Crow, Dennis Hopper, Woody Harrelson, Amy Lee, Tommy Lee, the Dixie Chicks, Mick Jones, Sharon Stone, Bono, Shelby Lynne, Anthony Kiedis, Travis Barker, Lisa Marie Presley, Kid Rock, Jay-Z, Keith Richards, Billy Gibbons, Corinne Bailey Rae, Johnny Depp, Graham Nash (holding photos of Johnny Cash), Brian Wilson.

It also briefly features archive footage of Cash himself. The video was shot entirely in black and white. Since its release, both the song and video have seen moderate airplay.

The video won the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video.

The video was also covered by Rebel Son, Adding a little bit more upbeat sound to the song, Released on the “All my Demons” album.

  • God’s Gonna Cut You Down

  • The video also briefly features archive footage of Cash himself. Since its release, both the song and video have seen moderate airplay. The video won the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video.The Johnny Cash version can also be heard in the following:

    Other artists[edit]

    American singer and civil rights activist Odetta recorded a traditional version of the song. Musician Sean Michel covered the song during his audition on Season 6 of American Idol. Matchbox Twenty also used the song before playing “How Far We’ve Come” on their “Exile in America” tour.

  • The New Jersey rock band The Gaslight Anthem have also covered the song.[citation needed] Canadian rock band Three Days Grace has used the song in the opening of their live shows, as well as the rock band Staind . Bobbie Gentry recorded a version as “Sermon” on her album The Delta Sweete. Guitarist Bill Leverty recorded a version for his third solo project Deep South, a tribute album of traditional songs. Tom Jones recorded an up-tempo version which appears on his 2010 album Praise & BlamePow woW recorded a version with the Golden Gate Quartet for their 1992 album Regagner les Plaines and performed a live version with the quartet in 2008. A cover of the song by Blues Saraceno was used for the Season 8 trailer of the TV series DexterPedro Costarecorded a neo-blues version for the Discovery channel TV show Weed Country (2013). Virginia based folk rock band Carbon Leaf covered the song many times during their live shows.
  • Chart positions[edit]

    Moby version: “Run On”[edit]

    Chart (1999) Peak
    position
    UK Singles Chart 33

    Johnny Cash version[edit]

    Chart (2006) Peak
    position
    UK Singles Chart 77

  • American Idol contestant ministers in Chile

  • SANTIAGO, Chile (BP)–Sean Michel smiled through his distinctive, foot-long beard as he slid the guitar strap over his shoulder and greeted the crowd at El Huevo nightclub with what little Spanish he knows. The former American Idol contestant and his band then erupted into the sounds of Mississippi Delta blues-rock.But unlike other musicians who played that night, the Sean Michel band sang about every person’s need for God and the salvation that comes only through faith in Jesus Christ.”We came down [to Chile] to open doors that other ministries couldn’t,” said Jay Newman, Michel’s manager. “To get in places that only a rock band could — to create a vision for new church-planting movements among the underground, disenfranchised subcultures of Chile.”The Sean Michel band recently traveled through central Chile playing more than 15 shows in bars, churches, schools and parks. The group consists of Southern Baptists Sean Michel, lead singer; Alvin Rapien, lead guitarist; Seth Atchley, bass guitarist; and Tyler Groves, drummer.”Although we’re a blues rock ‘n’ roll band, we’re an extension of the church,” Michel said. “We’re kind of like ‘musicianaries,’ if you will.”MISSIONS-MINDED MUSICIANSThe band formed after Michel and Newman met as students at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark. While there, the two began recording and selling Michel’s music as a way to raise money for mission trips to Africa and Asia.

    “We were just trying to raise money for a mission trip, but we’d also seen God speaking to people through the music,” Michel said. “So we were like, ‘Well, maybe we need to do something with this,’ and we became a music ministry. But it’s always been rooted in missions and … in the Great Commission.”

    Michel graduated from Ouachita in 2001, Newman in 2004. In 2007, Newman talked Michel into auditioning for American Idol. The exposure Michel received through the television show gained a wider audience for their ministry.

    “The whole American Idol thing was so weird,” Michel said. “We just kind of went on a whim. But the Lord used it in a big way.”

    During his tryout, Michel belted out a soulful rendition of Johnny Cash’s “God’s Gonna Cut You Down.” The video of the audition went viral on the Internet.

    Soon he was doing radio interviews in which he identified himself as a Christian and directed listeners to the band’s Gospel-laden MySpace page. On their next mission trip to Asia, Michel and Newman found that being recognizable gave them access to venues they couldn’t have entered before.

    The band is now an official extension of First Southern Baptist Church of Bryant, Ark., where the musicians have long been active members serving in the music and youth ministries. Every mission trip they have taken has involved working with International Mission Board (IMB) missionaries.

    “We’re Southern Baptist,” Michel said. “That’s who we roll with.”

    TOUR DE FAITH

    “With short-term mission trips, you can plan, but you just got to be willing for your plans to change,” said Michel. When the band arrived in Chile, they were surprised to find that their schedule wasn’t nearly as full as expected. Almost no public venues had booked shows, and many rock-wary churches had declined to host the band.

    “The biggest barrier we had was the pastors,” said Cliff Case, an IMB missionary in Santiago, Chile, and a 1984 graduate of Ouachita Baptist. “The older pastors on two or three different occasions gave excuses for not doing it. It was a real frustration in that sense.”

    Disappointed by the lack of interest, the band prayed for God’s help. They met Jose Campos — or Pépe, as the band came to know him. Campos works with music and youth for the Ministry of the Down and Out, an independent Christian ministry that seeks to reach the often-overlooked demographics of Santiago.

    Campos was able to use his connections to book shows for the band in venues they wouldn’t have known about otherwise.

    “Had we met Pépe (Campos) two or three weeks before the group came, there’s no telling how many shows we might have done,” said Case, who met Newman at Ouachita when Case and his wife, Cinthy, were missionaries-in-residence there.

    Campos booked the show at El Huevo, possibly Chile’s most popular club. Playing there has given the band musical credibility among Chilean rockers. And, one Chilean church reported that a youth accepted Christ after hearing Newman talk before a show. The band already is contemplating a return tour next year.

    OPENING NEW DOORS

    Sharing the Gospel through their songs is only the beginning for the Sean Michel band. Their vision is to be a catalyst to help churches — and missionaries — connect with the lost people of their communities.

    “God is not saving the world through rock bands,” Michel said. “He’s saving the world through the church. And it will always be through the local body.”

    The band wants to see churches take ministry beyond the church doors.

    “If you’re going to want to legitimately reach lost people, you’re going to have to get out,” Michel said. “Go out into the dark places. Those are the places we need to be to reach out.”

    The band’s ministry in Chile opened new doors for IMB missionaries to reach the young, musical subculture of Chilean society.

    “They laid the groundwork for more opportunities,” Case said. “Now we have a network of who to talk to and how to get organized. We can focus on how to use the work they’re doing so we can win people to the Lord and plant some churches.”


    Tristan Taylor is an International Mission Board writer living in the Americas.

  • TIMBERLAKE’S BRAINSTORM: JOHNNY CASH VIDEO WITH KANYE, JIGGA, DEPP, OTHERS

    CLIP ALSO STARS BONO, CHRIS MARTIN, TERRENCE HOWARD, CHRIS ROCK, ADAM LEVINE, AMY LEE, TOMMY LEE.

    If Justin Timberlake adds any more titles to his résumé, we’re not going to be able to fit them all onto a single line. The singer/actor/dancer/producer/clothing designer has tacked video-treatment writer onto his long list of recent endeavors, courtesy of the moody new clip for the Johnny Cash song “God’s Gonna Cut You Down.”The concept for the all-star video came to Timberlake while he was taking a break from recording with producer Rick Rubin, who helmed Cash’s award-winning Americanalbum series and Timberlake’s “(Another Song) All Over Again.”

    “We were in the studio and we took a break to listen to the new Johnny Cash album [American V: A Hundred Highways], which was not yet released at that point,” Rubin said. “And when we got to that song, [Justin] said, ‘Stop!’ ”

    Timberlake then laid out a plan for a video to accompany the spare, moody song, which would feature a series of stars dressed in Cash’s signature black. “And he said, ‘I’m signing up to be the first one,’ ” Rubin said.

    Timberlake tops a list of 36 stars who appear in the clip, including Iggy Pop, Kanye West, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, actor Terrence Howard, Anthony Kiedis and Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chris Rock, Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, Kate Moss, Sheryl Crow, Woody Harrelson, Amy Lee of Evanescence, Tommy Lee, the Dixie Chicks, Keith Richards, Bono, (+44)’s Travis Barker, Kid Rock, Jay-Z and Johnny Depp.

    “I had no idea yet how to market the album, which I’d just finished, since Johnny [Cash, who passed away in 2003] was not there and I wasn’t thinking about doing a video,” Rubin said (see “Johnny Cash Dead At 71”).

    Inspired by Timberlake’s brainstorm, Rubin called up acclaimed video director Mark Romanek, who helmed the award-winning clip for Cash’s cover of Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt” (see “Johnny Cash Says Unlike Most Videos, ‘Hurt’ Wasn’t Too Painful”). Though Romanek loved the concept and added some ideas to it, he couldn’t sign on due to scheduling conflicts, so he suggested controversial director Tony Kaye (“American History X”). Kaye, who directed the time-tripping clip for the Chili Peppers’ “Dani California” (which is from an album also produced by Rubin), hasn’t directed many rock videos, but like many of the celebs in the shoot, he’s among the luminaries in Rubin’s thick address book of friends and professional acquaintances.

    “I got together with Tony — he loved Johnny and he’s really interested in the idea of music driving images,” Rubin said. Once they agreed on the concept, Rubin asked a few friends to make a list of the 10 coolest people on the planet. “At least five of the people in the video were on everyone’s list,” he said, “and Iggy was on a lot of lists, so it just felt right to open with him. I don’t know what that message is, but it just feels right.”

    Like the other stars, punk icon Pop is filmed wearing all black. The film’s lightning-fast, blink-and-you-might-miss-it series of quick-edit shots (many of which are close-ups of the stars’ faces) contrast with the slow tempo of the song.

    The video progresses through a series of quick mini-dramas, most of which were improvised, including Howard in a limo reading a Bible, Rock singing along with the lyrics, Timberlake staring at the camera, Depp standing on a balcony playing guitar, and Bono leaning on a graffiti-filled wall between angel’s wings and a halo while wearing a paper hat. The segments were filmed in Los Angeles, New York, London and (in Richards’ case) Amsterdam.

    Rubin said that for many of the artists in the clip — who also include Kris Kristofferson, Patti Smith, Q-Tip, Dennis Hopper, the Clash’s Mick Jones, Sharon Stone, Shelby Lynne, Lisa Marie Presley, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Corinne Bailey Rae, Graham Nash and the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson — their reactions capture reflective moments spurred by hearing the song for the first time. Lynne sheds tears in an intense closeup, and a serious-looking Kid Rock stomps and claps his hands along to the funereal beat. “Each person got to design their own moment,” Rubin said. “But Tony was looking more for the instant emotional impact than a pre-planned skit. Nobody was asked to lip-sync, so pretty much everything was spontaneous.”

    After a slide-show-like recap of all the famous faces, the clip ends with Rubin and actor Owen Wilson sitting somberly in the back of a limousine.

    We get Iggy and Bono, but what’s Wilson’s connection to the whole thing? “It just made sense that if I was honoring Johnny, I’d have a friend there with me,” Rubin said.

    He also said Kaye has directed a clip for the Cash tune “Help Me” that is not celebrity-driven, but is equally gripping and slated for release in the coming months.

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  • People in the Johnny Cash video “God’s Gonna Cut You Down”

    Wikipedia noted: Johnny Cash recorded a version of “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” on American V: A Hundred Highways in 2003, with an arrangement quite different from most known gospel versions of the song. A music video, directed by Tony Kaye,[1] was made for this version in late 2006. It featured a number of celebrities, […]

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Comments

  • Charles Dobson  On April 24, 2018 at 1:21 am

    Whoever wrote this article is a moron. There was no Jay-Z no Tommy Lee I don’t know where you get the shit. Do your research dumbass!

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