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Who is the King of Country Music?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/14/2013 Category: Music
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,135 times Debate No: 42347
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)




When asked about who is the king of Rock n Roll music or who is the king of Pop music, most people would answer that with Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson. If you however asked the same people who the king of Country music is, they won't give you a defined answer. I am here to argue that Johnny Cash is the king of Country music. My opponent will be counter arguing and possibly having another person as their choice as the king of Country music. Good luck!


There are, actually, several "Kings of Country music". And none of them are Johnny Cash
George Strait:
Roy Acuff:

Personally, I tend to side with Acuff as the King of Country Music, as does the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Note that Johnny Cash has never been called the King of Country Music.
Debate Round No. 1


Just because he has never been called the King of Country Music, doesn't mean he isn't. Roy Acuff have been labeled as such by the music industry and the Country Hall of Fame and Museum ,but what I argue is what the people really think. However going that way, people would still pick George Strait as you mention over Cash due to his popularity. That is because Johnny Cash is tremendously underrated as a country artist, songwriter, and performer. The reasons for why he is usually comes down to that he didn't have a good "singing voice" or he was a criminal.

Many people think that Cash isn't a good singer because he didn't have a big vocal range and was just honky-tonk bass. We as society see better singers with a better range of singing rather than what they actually are singing. Johnny always sang from heart and songs that he would wrote were of life and hard-times. What really is important in the vocals of country music is being able to bring a story that touches the hearts of the people who are listening. Whether it be "A Boy Named Sue" which a comedic song that brings laughter and joy, or "Hurt" which brings a sense of despair and hopelessness that occurs in life, each and every song Johnny Cash wrote and sang gave these kinds of emotions that would touch the hearts of the thousands in the crowd.

Johnny wasn't a criminal, he was a rebel and there is a big difference in that. He had his own philosophy in life and he did things his way regardless of what the consequences were. Most of the time he got in trouble, it was because of his drug addiction that he suffered from but he never actually went to prison. As stated in Wikipedia, "Despite landing in jail seven times for misdemeanors, each stay lasted only a single night.". Another big thing was he was known as the Man in Black which made his character look mean and cold-hearted but his reasons for why he dressed in black so much is stated in his song "Man in Black". "I wear it for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime but is there because he's the victim of the times." (Johnny Cash in the song "Man in Black"). One of the many reasons why he wore black was because it was a representation of something that was very special to him such as the men who died in the Vietnam War.

Johnny Cash can be very notable for being known as "King of Country Music" with his accomplishments in his career of writing over a thousand inspirational songs, to being a big influence in today's country artists, to being one of the few hundred to be inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

And with that,
R.I.P. John R. "Johnny" Cash (1936-2003)



Thank you for responding. Keep in mid that I, as the contender, am attempting to debunk your claim of Johnny Cash as the King of Country Music. That is all. I will now try to counter your points, even though your only counter to my claim that Acuff was the King of Country Music is the claim that you "argue what the people think". I believe you are discrediting Acuff, simply because the music industry marks him as the King of Country. You also say that, when choosing the King of Country, "Many people would choose George Strait due to his popularity". I have no problems with that statement, but you didn't supply reasoning for the assertion that he doesn't deserve the title. He's popular for a reason.

"If you however asked the same people who the king of Country music is, they won't give you a defined answer."
Yes, they will. They will either say Acuff or Strait, because they were both promoted as "The King of Country Music". Johnny Cash is a great musician, but, as you say, he lacks Strait's popularity as a country artist. Neither of them changed the genre the way Acuff did.

The entire second and third paragraphs of your argument centered around the idea that Johnny Cash is underrated. While you seem to have put a lot of time into your reasoning, I think you need to actually see what Johnny accomplished. You could just read the Wikipedia article you linked to, but I'll save you the time. Cash was worth around 120 million at the time of his death.. That's 9 digits, folks. Not the bank account of an underrated genius. Johnny Cash had a museum, 34 gold records, and his face plastered on every magazine in the country around 2003. Seriously, look at these.
And yet, despite all this, Cash still isn't the King of Country. He's just a monotone singer and a decent songwriter. Acuff is, and will probably always continue to be, the King.
"To be one of the few hundred inducted into the country music hall of fame"
Both Acuff and Strait were inducted into the Hall of Fame, something I pointed out in my opener.
Acuff changed country forever, renovating it from simple, boring, hoedown-y twang 'n clang into modern country. He is, unlike Cash, the King of Country Music.
Debate Round No. 2


TheRealDJJones forfeited this round.


Well, he forfeited. I guess that's that. Vote Con, for conduct and debating skillz. Peace.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Nerd_in_a_Trenchcoat 3 years ago
Oh, sorry. I didn't see your comment before I posted. Besides, your argument was exclusively for Johnny Cash as King of country, while I had to refute that claim, with the option of providing a candidate myself. Bringing up other country artists only helps my case. Thanks for debating, and peace.
Posted by TheRealDJJones 3 years ago
Didn't mean to forfeit, I had till 3 am to reply and it was already midnight and was too tired. I really wasn't going to add much more except that there are some others who can be deemed worthy such as Hank Williams and Randy Travis whom were mentioned in the comments.
Posted by janetsanders733 3 years ago
Randy Travis!
Posted by janetsanders733 3 years ago
Randy Travis!
Posted by Nerd_in_a_Trenchcoat 3 years ago
Williams and Cash would be at the top of the list if it was "Who is your Favorite Country Artist", but neither of them changed Country the way Acuff did.
Posted by Stonewall 3 years ago
The lack of Hank Williams in this debate saddens me.
Posted by Subutai 3 years ago
I agree. Cash ftw!
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 2-D 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: FF, dropped arguments.