Dr. Richard Beck, department chair and professor of the Department of Psychology, is having a book launch for his sixth book, “Trains, Jesus and Murder: The Gospel According to Johnny Cash,” at Maslow’s Nov. 14.
The event will consist of Beck reading from selections of the book, reflecting on what they mean with acoustic sets played in between each reading from various musicians. The event will take place from 7:30-9:30 p.m.
There will be four performers performing their own six-song sets, covering Johnny Cash tunes personally selected by them. The performers are Jay Stephens, Bethany Brooks, Michael Stanford and David McAnulty.
Beck said he wanted to find a relaxing, coffee shop venue and have live acoustic renditions of Johnny Cash songs for the event.
The event is open to the public, but the first 50 Honor College students to show up will receive a discount on the book.
Unlike his past published works, this book is distinguishable because it is a biography.
“The object of my past books have been my thoughts, my story weaving theological reflection and psychological reflections through my life,” Beck said. “This is obviously very different because now I’m trying to narrow gospel and theological themes in someone else’s life.”
Beck said that this book took a lot of time to prepare for. He said he believed he had to dive into everything Johnny Cash, from his other biographies to listening to his entire 40 plus year catalog of songs, if he was going to write a book die-hard Johnny Cash fans would pick up.
“With somebody of his stature in country music history, the amount of literature you’d have to consume to write an in-depth, textured memoir is what made this a difficult process,” Beck said
The theme of this book talks about the life of Johnny Cash regarding his dark and light themes of his music.
“It’s about how he handled those themes within himself,” said Brenden Beck, senior kinesiology major from Abilene and Dr. Beck’s son. “It’s about navigating around the dark things in life, dealing with your own angels and demons and pursuing the lighter aspects of life.”
“Trains, Jesus and Murder” was officially released on Tuesday and can be purchased on amazon.com.