Johnny Cash, Don Gibson, Marty Robbins, Hank Williams and Ray Price were popular male country singers during the 1950s, and often sang of hard working, heavy drinking and suffering times. In the latter half of the 1950s, artists such as Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Ricky Nelson began to blend country music with rock and roll.
Frequently regarded as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, Johnny Cash became celebrated as a country music icon, yet also branched out into rock and roll, rockabilly, gospel, blues and folk. His appeal across different genres earned him an induction into the Hall of Fame for country, rock and roll, and gospel music. Known as "The Man in Black," Cash had a unique, bass-baritone voice and often sung of rebelliousness, prior to dying in 2003.
With an eclectic following, Don Gibson played honky-tonk country music with touches of highly-produced country-pop. Praised for the freshness he brought to the stage, he became known for songs such as "Blue, Blue Day," "I Can't Stop Loving You," "Oh Lonesome Me" and "Sweet Dreams," two of which he described as having written at his lowest of points in life. His music was simple, often about love, and was designed to complement the music from his guitar. Many legendary musicians, including artists as diverse as Patsy Cline and Neil Young, covered Gibson's songs.