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Johnny Cash Diagnosed With Parkinson's

October 29, 1997 12:00 AM ET

Johnny Cash announced Tuesday that he has developed Parkinson's disease, according to Heidi Robinson, Cash's spokeswoman at American Recordings.

The disease attacks the nervous system and is extremely difficult to contain. Though Cash was able to perform recent concert dates in support of his latest release, Unchained, he will opt out of his upcoming book signing tour for Cash: The Autobiography to deal with the illness. Cash's upcoming tour dates have been indefinitely postponed.

Cash's manager Lou Robin states, "Johnny feels confident that once the Parkinson's is medically stabilized, he can resume his normal work schedule." Parkinson's is the same disease that has plagued Muhammad Ali and Katherine Hepburn.

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Song Stories

“Vicious”

Lou Reed | 1972

Opening Lou Reed's 1972 solo album, the hard-riffing "Vicious" actually traces its origin back to Reed's days with the Velvet Underground. Picking up bits and pieces of songs from the people and places around him, and filing his notes for later use, Reed said it was Andy Warhol who provided fuel for the song. "He said, 'Why don't you write a song called 'Vicious,'" Reed told Rolling Stone in 1989. "And I said, 'What kind of vicious?' 'Oh, you know, vicious like I hit you with a flower.' And I wrote it down literally."

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