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Johnny Cash Music Festival organized to restore childhood home

Photo's by Ray Tharaldson
all rights reserved 2001

Johnny Cash's depression-era farm home was recently purchased by Arkansas State University. Cash lived in the home throughout his childhood and until his high school graduation in 1950. Proceeds from the festival will also be used to open a Johnny Cash Boyhood Museum in the New Deal Era Administration Building at Dyess.
The festival is scheduled for August 4, 2011 at the University in Jonesboro, Arkansas and will include performers like Cash's daughter Rosanne Cash, his son and daughter-in-law John Carter Cash and Laura Cash, his brother Tommy Cash and his granddaughter Chelsea Crowell, Rodney Crowell, George Jones, Kris Kristofferson, bluegrass duo Dailey & Vincent and Gary Morris. More artists will be announced in the future.
"The Johnny Cash Music Festival will not be just a concert, but an opportunity to preserve the legacy of an internationally recognized legend," said Dr. Ruth Hawkins, director of Arkansas Heritage Sites. "We are proud that Johnny Cash is from Arkansas and that growing up here had an impact on his music." The group, which has a close partnership with the Cash family, hopes the festival can become an annual event.
Johnny Cash lived in Dyess until he graduated from high school in 1950. His music is greatly influenced by his experiences in Dyess, including such songs as "Pickin' Time" and "Five Feet High and Rising."
"I am honored and happy to be a part of this event," said Tommy Cash, Johnny's brother. "The house is not only Johnny's home, but it was also where I lived. I'm really looking forward to seeing it again."
Cash has been called one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Knick-named "The Man in Black," Cash is best-known for his songs "I Walk the Line," "Folsom Prison Blues," "Ring of Fire," "Get Rhythm" and "Man in Black."
In 2005, Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon portrayed Johnny and June Cash in the Academy Award-winning biopic, "Walk the Line."
Cash died in 2003 of complications from diabetes. His death occurred less than four months after the death of June Carter Cash.

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