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Johnny Cash Memorial

Op 12 september is het 10 jaar geleden dat Johnny Cash (1932-2003) overleed. Ter gelegenheid daarvan vindt op zondag 15 september in Papendrecht een bijzondere herdenking plaats, bestaande uit een kerkdienst en een concert. Tijdens de kerkdienst zullen leven en geloof van de legendarische zanger centraal staan. In plaats van Psalmen of gezangen klinkt de muziek van Johnny Cash. En meezingen mag!


De voorgangers in de dienst zijn Fred Omvlee en Piet van Die. Fred Omvlee is marinepredikant en bekend van Elvis-diensten. Piet van Die is predikant van De Morgenster in Papendrecht en organiseerde eerder een succesvolle Cash-dienst die veel publiciteit kreeg.Medewerking wordt verleend door Cashflow3, een coverband die songs van Cash op het repertoire heeft. Na afloop van de dienst wordt er door Cashflow3 nog een extra concert van een uur gegeven waarin ook niet-religieuze songs van Cash zullen klinken.


De memorial wordt georganiseerd door De Morgenster in samenwerking met Theater De Willem en de website


Cashflow3 is ontstaan na een eerdere Johnny Cash-kerkdienst. De musici die meewerkten aan deze dienst kregen zo de smaak te pakken dat ze besloten hun samenwerking vaste vormen te geven.


Iedereen is van harte welkom in de dienst. Je hoeft er zeker niet religieus voor te zijn. De deur staat vanaf 18.30 uur open.


Meer weten? Piet van Die (tel. 078 6150864):, of kijk op of


Gratis entree!



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Johnny Cash passed away in 2003. Exactly ten years down the line, he couldn't be more alive. On September 13 we celebrate the life of one of the most memorable artists the world has known with The Johnny Cash Memorial Show.
The night is jam packed with live music and dj's and it all takes place at Klokgebouw Concert venue right here in Eindhoven. Tickets are € 20,- and the presale has started.


The event is a great opportunity for fans to get together and celebrate the life and music of country legend Johnny Cash. Every year around the date the Man in Black passed away, we're hosting this outrageous big Memorial show. This year Johnny will be gone for a whole decade, though it seems like almost yesterday. To a lot of people, Johnny is still very much alive and we've been doing really well playing his music, so we are really looking forward to play the Klokgebouw, celebrating the life and music of the Man in Black with fans and friends", says frontman Elco Weitering.


"There are just so many different people out there that appreciate the Man in Black: country lovers, rockabilly fans, rockers and everything in between. We have teamed up with some great people and are working hard to cater our best Johnny Cash Memorial show for Johnny Cash fans and music lovers from allover. Klokgebouw is a great venue with lots of possibilities. It's big but it has got attitude and personality. And it's been around forever."


Singer Kim Wolterink: "We like the audience to step into a Cash world. It should be a total experience for visitors.". In addition to hosting the Johnny Cash Memorial show of Def Americans, we also provide in thematically support acts and a sizzling afterparty.


We're happy to announce we've added two great acts and personal favorites that will be performing at our Johnny Cash Memorial Show right here in Eindhoven! All female all female bluegrass band Dolly I Beg Your Pardon and UK/Schotland based Union Avenue are added to the bill.


Dolly I Beg Your Pardon will accompany singer Kim Carter during the Def Americans show with a great set of Carter Family inspired classics. These gals know their chops and look the part as well so make sure you catch them!

Union Avenue hails all the way from Schotland, the ancestral home of Johnny Cash -  These boys will be taking the stage right after Def Americans have finished their set. If you're like us and you can't get enough of that Boom Chicka Boom sound, stick around, this is going to be great. These guys play cult and rock classics in the style of the Man in Black and have  thrilled audiences all over the world from Las Vegas to Moscow with their big bad Memphis sound.


Keep posted, there is more to come soon!


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Keep it Cash will be doing their fabulous act on August 17th at the Openluchttheater Valkenburg. Go check them out!


Keep it CASH celebrate the music of singer, songwriter and author Johnny Cash, who died in 2003. With an inspired line up of stellar musicians, the band recreate note perfect, the musical legacy of Johnny Cash complete with his iconic baritone voice. The show has toured the UK and abroad for over ten years and is regarded by the music business, critics and press, as the best sounding Cash tribute show on the planet.

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JONESBORO — The third annual Johnny Cash Music Festival is set for next month at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. Vince Gill is headlining the event, which raises money for the restoration of Cash's boyhood home in Dyess. The show will also feature the Gatlin Brothers, Jimmy Fortune and Joanne Cash Yates. The festival also funds scholarships in Cash's name for students at ASU.


Gatlin says he's grateful that the event will raise money for students who can't afford college. He says Cash and his late wife, June Carter Cash, are "smiling down from heaven" because of it.


Tickets for the Johnny Cash Music Festival are available at ASU's Central Box Office and online at




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Het is dit jaar 10 jaar geleden dat Johnny Cash (1932-2003) overleed. Het herdenkingsjaar wordt geopend met een heuse kerkdienst rond 'the man in black'. Deze dienst vindt plaats op zondag 3 februari 2013 om 17.00 uur in de Morgensterkerk aan de Muilwijckstraat 1 in Papendrecht. In deze dienst klinken geen Psalmen of gezangen, maar de muziek van de bekende singer-songwriter Johnny Cash. En meezingen mag!

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The US Postal Service previewed a postage stamp that will honor the late Johnny Cash.


The stamp is part of the Postal Service’s Music Icons series and will be released later this year.


In a release the USPS describes the stamp as:


Resembling the appearance of a 45 rpm record sleeve, the square stamp features a photograph taken by Frank Bez during the photo session for Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash (1963). In the photo, Cash stares out at the viewer through a veil of shadow, his brooding expression fitting for an artist known to so many people simply as “the Man in Black.



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'Keep it Cash' is coming to The Netherlands. The band will be performing on October 20th in Dordrecht and on October 21st in Veenendaal.


Taking you through from the humble gospel beginnings of the Tennessee two, right to the emotional and final American Recordings, this is the Johnny Cash tribute show. Keep It CASH fully capture the energy and spirit of the music, in a professionally arranged multi-instrumental stage show with lighting and narrative.  During the show you will hear the echos of blues, black gospel and the spiritual music, that influenced Johnny Cash as a musician and ulitmatley imortalized him as a cult figure.


The band  is a genuine labour of love, seeing them live, you will witness a life time of listening,  practice and dedication. Keep It Cash,  Johnny Cash tribute band formed in 2001, starting performing for fun,  in small pubs and back rooms, the reputation of the band as performers soon grew and in the first year the band performed some seventy gigs. Since those humble beginnings, the band has developed into the most prestigious of all the current Johnny Cash tribute shows. The show has toured the UK and abroad for over ten years and is regarded by the music business, critics and press, as the best sounding Cash tribute show on the planet.


"Keep It CASH are a wonder and an anomaly not only entertaining, but a fully engaging and spirited band"   Brighton Free Press.



Where and when: Dordrecht, October 20th
Time: 8 PM - door closes at 3 PM
Costs: €12,50
Buy tickets online right HERE



Where and when: Veenendaal, October 21st
Time: 2 PM - 7 PM (14:00-19:00 uur)
Costs: €11,00 presale + administration / € 14,00 at registrer
Buy tickets online right HERE





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Today, September 12th, marks a day of passing. Nine years ago the world lost a true legend, a titan of music, and, as his wife June Carter Cash once wrote him in song, “A good man.”

All of our thoughts go out today with the family and close friends of Johnny Cash, wishing them comfort and contentment.

Fans will remember Johnny Cash for his music, music that is essential, standard songs in America and around the globe, songs like “Ring of Fire,” “I Walk The Line,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “The Man in Black,” “San Quentin,” “Hurt,” “God’s Gonna Cut You Down,” and “Ain’t No Grave.”


Others will remember him as a good man. An activist. A man who cared about the environment. A man who held charity concerts for the prisoners, for the police officers, for orphans, for children with disabilities, for education and for the poor. Cash was notorious for slipping one hundred dollars to a bum on the sidewalk, or a boy in ragged clothes every now and then. Yes, he was a great man.


With no boundaries attached to his music, Johnny Cash quite possibly has the largest music library of any known artist. This man recorded country, rock n’ roll, blues, folk, rockabilly, gospel and he even touched on punk and heavy metal late in life. He was never afraid of trying something new. He was never afraid of change. This kept him timeless.


And as it would seem, a new set of unreleased material is currently in the works.


In a talk I had recently with Earl Poole Ball, Cash’s pianist for many years, we discussed a few songs Cash recorded for a comedy directed by Peter Bagdanovich and starring Rob Lowe called “Illegally Yours.” The title song of the movie, “Love Is A Gambler,” has circulated via bootleg recordings for many years. But two other songs recorded for the movie, “One Wish” and “Lady of Love” have never seen the light of day. Now all three of this songs, as well as a demo version of “Love Is A Gambler” featuring Johnny Cash with his daughter Rosanne Cash, are being prepared by Lou Robin, Cash’s manager for over thirty years.


The train that is the legacy of Johnny Cash stops all around this world, picking up new passengers everyday, of every age, from every place. This train is fueled by family, friends and fans. As Cash persists to be a growing artist today, this train shows no sign of slowing down.


So show your support today and wear black, for The Man in Black.


“I’ll try to carry off a little darkness on my back, ‘till things are brighter, I’m the man in black.”


- Jeff Emond

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On September 12, 2003 American roots legend Johnny Cash passed away.  Johnny's wife, June Carter Cash, preceded him in death by only four months.  The world has lost both Johnny and the beloved June Carter Cash.  Since their passing millions more enchanted listeners have been added to their fan base as evidenced by record setting sales of CD’s, videos and the popularity of the movie Walk the Line.


In honor of these legends of American Roots music The Story of Johnny Cash will be presented at Carpinteria Plaza Playhouse Theater; a ninety minute plus show featuring Jimmie & Black Train, with Jimmie Ray as Johnny, Cyndi Cantrell as June Carter, and their band, Black Train with Cliff Edwards, Dennis Figueroa, Joel Doswell, Jerry Kirell, and special musical guest, local to Carpinteria, Mark Brickley.


Something magical happens when the first notes of "Folsom Prison Blues" are heard and Jimmie begins, "I hear the train a comin'...." Or, Cyndi delivers a heart rending version of June singing, "Take the ribbon from my hair…”  Together, Jimmie and Cyndi kick in to the always crowd pleasing: "We got married in a fever...." This Tribute appeals to audiences of all ages. As the music and singing progresses audiences are transported back through time where they experience what they might have seen, felt or heard during an actual Johnny & June concert of the past. There is just something everyone loves about Johnny Cash - The Music, The Man, the Memories.  This show is filled with the ageless music of Johnny and June and so much more. It is a musical journey from Johnny’s days in the Arkansas cotton fields up through and including the very last song he wrote and recorded, Like the 309.  Hits such as Folsom Prison Blues, Jackson, Ring of Fire and so many more will be performed during this show. 


Jimmie Ray’s Tribute to Johnny Cash has been presented at a variety of Performing Art Centers across the country. Over 20 appearances on the world famous Fremont Experience of Las Vegas; Yuma Territorial Prison. NASCAR & NFR Events, Festivals and Fairs and much more. In many cases their shows have been sold out.


The Story of Johnny Cash will be presented at one show only, Saturday, May 19th. The Black Train prelude will be at 7:30 pm with Wildwood (all original music of Black Train members) and the main show will start at 8:00 pm sharp. The Carpinteria Plaza Playhouse Theater was built in 1928. There is limited seating so tickets, $15 general, and more information can be obtained online at or by calling 805.684.6380. Additional information at


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By Ambrose Roche, NXNE Film Programmer


Jonathan Holiff’s new documentary is more than just another addition to the bottomless pit of archival footage dedicated to legend, man, myth and flawed mortal that is Johnny Cash. This film is a universal and troubling tale of the very real walls that parents can build around themselves… walls that not only obscure but hurt, confuse, confound, damage and exclude those the parents claim to love most: their kids.


There is much great music, oodles of exclusive visuals (stills and film clips) and – think panelled dens, tiki bars and vintage 50s and 60s décor – seamless re-creations of the past. With more plot points and twists than a Syd Field screenwriting seminar, the narrative is strong, exposing more faces of the multifaceted Man In Black himself than ever before. From the film’s perspective, it seems the drugs and drink weren’t the real cause of Cash’s professional self-destruction.


Refreshingly, My Father and the Man In Black does not slip into the realm of tabloid. It’s an intense personal adventure with universal themes and appeal that just happens to feature one of 20th-century music’s great icons.





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The Winding Stream, an epic documentary film about the dynasty at the heart of American roots music is nearing completion but needs finishing funds to get there.  The film tells the story of the musical Carter and Cash Family and features interviews and performances by many Americana artists, including Johnny Cash, Rosanne Cash, George Jones, Sheryl Crow, Kris Kristofferson, John Prine, the Carolina Chocolate Drops and others.

To get to the finish line, Grammy-nominated independent filmmaker and musician Beth Harrington is announcing the beginning of a 60-day effort starting May 1 to raise the needed funds through the online crowdfunding site, Kickstarter.  The goal is $50,000. Donors to the campaign can choose from an array of rewards, including tickets to special screenings and after-parties, copies of the film’s companion book, special edition hand-made Carter Family posters, a chance to serve as an Editorial Consultant on the film, a private screening of the completed film in your own home, and a tour of the Carter Family’s hometown, as well as Carter buttons, stickers and other surprises!

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Think you've seen it all by Johnny Cash? Think you've heard it all by Johnny Cash? Think again! An innovative artist like Johnny Cash deserves an innovative package. Here, striking unpublished images from early in Cash's career are packaged with a one-sided LP of Cash on-stage in 1957 and 1959. The flipside of this limited edition LP features a portrait of Johnny Cash, engraved into the LP's audiophile-grade 180 gram vinyl. Packed in a 16-page hardcover book. A true collector's item!Unseen photos, rarely heard audio! Released to coincide with the 80th anniversary of Johnny Cash's birth!


In 1955, at the dawn of his long career, Sun Records president Sam Phillips sent Johnny Cash to a nearby photographer, William Speer. Cash was fortunate because Speer was an innovative craftsman, influenced by vintage Hollywood photographers who used light in a dramatic new way. Speer shot photo sessions with Cash, between 1955 and 1958. A couple of images were published in the 1950s, but the rest were stored away... until now. Realizing that the photos deserved to be seen full size, Bear Family lustrously restored them and packaged them in a 16-page LP-sized hardcover book, accompanied by a one-sided LP of rare live audio from the same era. The other side of the LP features a portrait of Cash engraved into the audiophile-grade 180 gram vinyl. And so now, eighty years after Johnny Cash was born in rural Arkansas at the height of the Great Depression, we see him in a new light. 


There are many Johnny Cash collectors, and this is Cash in words, music, and... above all... striking unpublished images! 


Also available as a digipak CD with a 28-page booklet.



  1. Stay All Night, Stay A Little Longer
  2. There You Go
  3. Give My Love To Rose
  4. White Silver Sands (Carolee Cooper)
  5. Home of the Blues
  6. Cash - Stay All Night, Stay A Little Longer ), Johnny, Carolee Cooper,Charlie Applewhite)
  7. Intro
  8. I Got Stripes
  9. Pickin' Time
  10. Ten Years (Johnny Western)
  11. Swing Low Sweet Chariot
  12. Outro
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Throughout our history, myth has always been one of the driving forces of human civilisations: it is the light in the darkness which has brought us out of the cave. But what exactly is a myth? It is very often described as a story, a legend, that fertilises the arts, but it is much more than an inspiration. As an allegorical and symbolical story, it translates moral and philosophical truths that respond to some of our most primal fears. Mircea Eliade described it, for instance, as an entity whose purpose is to tell human beings what is at the origin of the world (ethno-religious myth). In other words, myth is at the heart of our societies since the dawn of time and has a special social function according to Max Weber, because it gives the human group its very soul – we thus pass from Gesellschaft to Gemeinschaft, from a formal and artificial group, to a social body. Or as Joseph Campbell put it, “Myths are clues to the spiritual potentialities of the human life[1]; they help us establish a connection with our inner-selves in order to feel the experience of life.


The reason why we need to say a few words about the whole idea of mythology is mainly because, in this day and age, we fail to recognise the importance of myths. Our societies have become increasingly corrupted and have lost their founding myths which explain its violence: its members are no longer connected to one another; they are not integrated and therefore have to produce their own social body with different laws and different rites of passage (gangs, graffiti...)[2].


But why focus on Johnny Cash? What can possibly be the relationship between a musician and mythical concepts? For decades, people around the world have felt a special link with Cash: he was no movie star, no rock star, his aura was quite different from everything that the XXth century ever produced[3], and yet his fans have a feeling that very few can explain. His friend Bob Dylan wrote a few days after his death, “I think we can have recollections of him, but we can’t define him any more than we can define a fountain of truth, light and beauty. If we want to know what it means to be mortal, we need look no further than the Man in Black[4].” In other words, he was the living personification of the mythical hero: a myth-maker, who represented a huge part of the American history, from its frontier myths to Dixie, he embodied what no longer existed: a shadow that embraced the past in order to lead his fellow men through the darkness. “Johnny was and is the North Star; you could guide your ship by him[5]” even wrote Dylan. And it is because of the darkness that always surrounded him that he is loved so much, even a decade after he passed away. For Campbell, it is precisely imperfection that produces affection, or to put it more concretely, perfection is inhuman. We do not know how to process it, and that is why people are in awe of God but love Christ on the cross[6].


The object of this paper is therefore to show why Cash has been mythologised over the years. Heroes are not only great warriors who spend their time slaying dragons and eloping with beautiful princesses – even though these activities do seem to take a huge amount of their time – they are educators. Their real mission is to complete their journey in order to lead their fellow human beings toward salvation, and that is where music has its importance. Mythology, wrote Cambpell, “is the song. It is the song of the imagination, inspired by the energies of the body[7]”. The song of the universe is perceived by heroes who must translate it for us: it has a vital importance in all great mythologies, and is a bearer of life. And as a matter of fact, Cash was often reminded by his mother that his voice was a gift given by God, “My job”, he wrote years later, “was to care for it and use it well; I was its bearer, not its owner[8]”. Besides, a Pygmy legend has a very similar moral: a man refused to feed a bird his son brought him, and killed it, but as he killed the bird, he instantly killed his song, and therefore killed himself[9]. In other words, myth is something to be heard, not seen. Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung believed that myth lives in our unconscious and for Campbell the creative process itself is influenced by the unconscious. The artist is thus guided by the inaccessible part of his mind toward something new and different, and he will have to tell its stories. But when people will eventually hear these stories, they will instantly recognise that fragments of them, if not all of them, represent things they had lived and wanted to express but without finding the proper words. That is to say, the artist sees, the people listen. The mythical dialog works that way, and nowadays only poets have the power to wield a language metaphorical enough to express myths[10].  Cash was a poet and an artist, and like Hamlet (Act II, Scene II), he held a mirror in front of Nature “to show Virtue her own feature[11]”.


Let us now have a look at the mythological journey itself, and how Cash reacted to it. The hero does not start such a journey without reasons, or only because he has decided to do something with his life. Something must take him out of his social sphere and put him in front of tremendous difficulties that might very well break him. In other words, the first stage is what Campbell designates as the call to adventure: destiny intervenes and forces the hero to explore the unknown, and that is most important, for the hero does not seek adventure, it comes to him. But whatever the call is, the young hero remains free and can choose to ignore it, which would have however catastrophic consequences. He would no longer be the saviour, but the one to be saved, hence the Latin saying, “Time Jesum transeuntem et non revertentem” – dread the passage of Jesus for he does not return[12].


Johnny Cash said on many occasions that his childhood was difficult and that it forged his character, that “a way of life produced a certain kind of music[13]”, and that was therefore at the origin of his heroic journey. He heard the call when he was very young on the radio, and he knew instantly that he had to follow it, no matter what would happen. He desired more than anything to sing on the radio, but before he could go on the road he had to suffer a period of exile. And indeed, the human hero “has to face a long period of obscurity. This is a time of extreme danger, impediment, or disgrace[14]” and requires a great strength: Hercules killed the deadly serpent sent by the goddess Hera when he was still in the cradle, but Cash did more than that. He went through one of the most difficult situations one can imagine, namely the tragic death of his brother, Jack. Jack was not only his big brother, but his first hero and he described him as “my best friend, my big buddy, my mentor, and my protector[15]”. Something usually takes us out of the comfort and the naiveté of our childhood world, and that something is suffering. It is the first formative experience one has to deal with, and Jack’s death was the great traumatic event of Cash’s journey. That day his father took him in the smokehouse and showed him Jack’s clothes, all drenched in blood, and indicated where the saw had cut him open. To be confronted with death in that manner, to lose his mentor, the first person who helped him on his quest, forced him to look in the eyes of the Whale - that would swallow him years later - for the first time. There is no other way around grief, “you can dodge all you want, but sooner or later you just have to go into it, through it, and, hopefully come out the other side.[16]” He would have to spend years in exile in Arkansas, before he found the strength to leave and start his mythical journey, but the life of a hero is made of trials. They test him continually and help him to transcend his human nature, to reveal if he has the courage to rise above his fellow human beings[17]. That is where myths are important; they help the hero to accept what happens to him, hence the fact that Gospel songs played an important role in Cash’s life. Since Jack’s death, songs like “Peace in the Valley” or “I’ll Fly Away” were powerful enough to drag him out of the darkness, even though it would take a higher power to restore him to the world on different occasions[18].


There are, however, an infinite number of calls to adventure, even though one is usually enough. In the case of Johnny Cash, the situation is more complex, since he embodied throughout his life various stages of the heroic cycle, living them again and again on different occasions. But as a child, the music call was seconded by something that is psychologically primordial, the father quest. That quest is one call among others, but it is a major hero adventure for a young man. Athena told Odysseus’s son Telemachus, “Go find your father”, and so he went; it is the adventure of finding what your career is going to be, what your nature is, what is at the origin of your existence[19]. Cash wanted to sing; his mother understood that and encouraged him as much as she could (she paid for singing lessons and called his voice, the gift), but his father had a very different opinion. He kept telling his son that what he heard on the radio was fake, that he was wasting his time (“That’s going to keep you from making a living. You’ll never do any good as long as you’ve got that music on the mind[20]”), because all he really needed was an additional pair of hands in the cotton fields, not a boy whose mind was filled with higher dreams. But even if his father was sometimes hard with him, Cash never gave up and confessed years later, “I hated hearing that, but maybe it served a purpose. I badly wanted to prove him wrong[21]”. In other words, that father quest (which can be real or metaphorical in the case where the hero looks for the father inside himself) may be considered as the real motivation behind music.


Six years after the death of his brother, Cash finally left home and joined the Air Force. However, what happened at the beginning of the 1950s cannot really be considered as a traditional stage of the heroic journey; it was merely a rite of passage from childhood to manhood. He learned with other men of his age, “how to cuss, how to look for women, how to drink and fight[22]” which eventually led to his marriage with Vivan Liberto with whom he would have four daughters. The real journey started again when he moved with his wife to Memphis and decided to do everything possible to become a musician. At that stage of the heroic cycle, the young hero encounters a protective figure, an old man – or a virgin in many Christian myths – who gives him the weapon or the protection necessary to kill the dragon and cross the first threshold. In his life, Cash met many similar figures, but the first important one is behind any doubt George Bates. Cash said about him in his second autobiography,


I’ve come to think of George Bates as one of those angels who appear in your life just when you need them, holding out a hand to you in the right place at the right time. He took me on a salesman, sponsored a weekly fifteen-minute radio show for me (‘Hi. This is John Cash for Home Equipment Company’), and loaned me money when I proved to be a total failure as a salesman[23].


That he would describe Bates in that way is particularly interesting, for the hero, if he has answered the call courageously, finds himself helped by what Campbell used to call an invisible hand. That is to say, all the forces of the world seem to be helping the hero accomplish his task, “in so far as the hero’s act coincides with that for which his society itself is ready, he seems to ride on the great rhythm of the historical process[24]”. Bates gave him what he needed to start playing, and after he met Luther Perkins and Marshall Grant there was absolutely nothing that could have stopped him. Sam Phillips was just waiting further up on the road, and helped him record his first Sun songs, “Hey Porter” and “Cry! Cry! Cry!”.


The first threshold was thus crossed with the help of Bates and Phillips. Once this stage is accomplished, the hero leaves definitely behind him security and has no other way but to complete his journey through the darkness and danger. But here comes his first real challenge, for he must now face the keeper of the threshold, a dragon or an ogre that for Cash took the familiar and haunting shape of little pills. Once in the music business, he was proposed amphetamines and various other drugs and just like a mythological hero he had different solutions. In face of the monster, he can either destroy the threat, be killed in the fight (which is then followed by the usual crucifixion/resurrection myth) or negotiate with it. Sadly enough, Cash negotiated with the monster and started what he described as “an ongoing struggle[25]”. Crossing the threshold is a form of self-annihilation, and he literally started destroying himself, those close to him, his voice, and therefore his dream. His negotiation with the monster had started to drag him deeper and deeper in the darkness until he eventually became a shadow, “a walking vision of death[26]”.


But like all heroes, the transition from the crossing of the threshold to the rebirth is symbolised by the belly of the Whale. He is swallowed by the unknown and disappears in a state close to death. Red Ridinghood had the wolf, Joseph the well, Jesus his tomb, Jonas the whale and Cash had the Nickajack Cave. He suffered so much from his conciliation with the monster that he decided to end it all, and abandon himself to God:


I crawled, and crawled and crawled until, after two or three hours, the batteries in my flashlight wore out and I lay down to die in total darkness. The absolute lack of light was appropriate, for at that moment I was as far from God as I have ever been. My separation from Him, the deepest and most ravaging of the kinds of loneliness I’d felt over the years, seemed finally complete[27]


However, the hero cannot abandon, and if he does, the world will bring him back from his supernatural adventures. In the Japanese mythology, for instance, the sun goddess Amaterasu, terrified by the terrible deeds of her brother Susanowo, gave up on the world and chose solitude. She went in a cave to hide herself and thus deprived the world from her light. The other gods consequently tried to bring her back, and organised a feast under a great tree where the goddess Uzume started singing. And there, the legend says, they laughed so much that Amaterasu got out of the cave to see why the world she dreaded so much was so jolly. A mighty god then grasped her hand and attached her at the entrance of the cave with a mighty rope, the shimenawa. Amaterasu was thus free to retire to her cave every night, but could not abandon the world any more[28].


 That is also what happened to Cash. There, in the utter darkness, he experienced suddenly a deep change. When he thought himself as far from God as it was humanly possible, he felt at peace. He writes that he felt God’s presence: He did not talk to him, but he felt His hand giving him courage and comfort and understood that the decision to die was not his to make. Even though he had lost his way, he started crawling back, blind and exhausted until he saw the sunlight. And as he got out of the cave, “June was there with a basket of food and drink, and my mother. I was confused. I thought she was in California. I was right; she had been. ‘I knew there was something wrong’, she said. ‘I had to come and find you.’[29]


Once the first threshold crossed, the hero cannot defeat what threatens him alone: he must fight by himself, but he can walk with someone. Usually, that someone is personified by a woman, by a meeting with a goddess that will give him the support he needs. “As he progresses in the slow initiation which is life”, explains Campbell, “the form of the goddess undergoes for him a series of transfigurations: she can never be greater than himself, though she can always promise more that he is yet capable of comprehending.[30]” For Cash, that ‘goddess’ was June Carter who did everything she could to help him. Many people believe she saved him from the drugs, but that is not true: she did help him, but only by giving him the support he needed. One cannot be saved from self-destruction by anybody but oneself. In the heroic cycle, this goddess is “mother, sister, mistress, bride[31]”, and that is precisely what became June: “she said we were soul mates, she and I, and that she would fight for me with all her might, however she could. She did that by being my companion, friend, and lover, and by praying for me[32]”.


With June on his side, Cash was thus able to come back from the belly of the Whale and return to the world of the living. Indeed, in order to survive the hero must realise that both worlds, the one he knows and the one of the gods, are the same. They are only two dimensions of a unique world. That is the secret of his journey, the lesson he must now teach to his fellow human beings[33]. But the hero’s journey does not end so easily, all his trials will have been for nothing if he cannot face the return threshold. Just like Dante who faced God and then did not know how to transcribe with mortal words what he saw and felt, the hero must instruct in a simple way other mortals. He must fight them, persuade them, for they will not believe him easily. Of course, he will be tempted to give up. After all, why should he reintegrate such a world after all he experienced? But the shimenawa will stop him from deserting.


Cash did not desert the world after his return from the cave. On the contrary, his come back was so powerful that he changed the face of the music business for ever with one live album, Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison (1968). But he did not stop there, for he became conscious of his role, and embraced his destiny[34]. As I have mentioned, he was not only a mythical hero, but also a myth-maker. He embodied all the American legends from the frontier myths with its outlaws to Dixieland, from the Native Americans to his Christian faith. He was all these things at the same time[35]. Indeed, he cultivated his outlaw image all his life to the point where people actually believed he had served time in prison. However, that was just a part of himself, a glimpse of the darkness surrounded him and that is why he was close to convicted criminals, made concerts in major penitentiaries, and sung songs like “Folsom Prison Blues”, “San Quentin”, “Cocaine Blues”, “Delia’s Gone”, “Banks of the Ohio”, “25 Minutes to Go” and many, many others.


Besides, in 1962 he met Peter LaFarge – the Hopi composer of the song “The Ballad of Ira Hayes” - who inspired him the album Bitter Tears (1964) in which he strongly defended the rights of the Native Americans. This album did not make him popular, and was even banned from various radios, but he did not care, because he had to pass a message. In a similar way, when he started working on Johnny Cash Sings the Ballad of the True West (1965), he immersed himself in the frontier tradition and started living like a cowboy, “I’d put on my cowboy clothes – real ones, antiques – and go out to the desert or an abandoned ranch somewhere, trying to feel how they felt back then, be how they were[36]”. On The Johnny Cash Show, which ABC broadcast between 1969 and 1971, he navigated through all those myths and even created a special section called “Ride this Train”, where he visited various stages of the American history, but also of the society he lived in, thus giving a right to be heard to the “Little Man”. It was again on the Johnny Cash Show that he definitely anchored his legend in our minds with the song “Man in Black”, where he proclaimed,


Ah, I’d love to wear a rainbow everyday,

And tell the world that everything’s okay,

But I’ll try to carry off a little darkness on my back,

Till things are brighter, I’m the Man in Black[37].


Nearly thirty years later, he was still wearing black as a symbol of rebellion “against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of God, against people whose minds are closed to others’ ideas[38]”.


He also took advantage of his time on the television to announce publicly that he believed in Jesus Christ, which did not please the production of the show. However, he never did it because he wanted to convert people; using his fame to spread his faith among his fans was not his intention (“I’m not a prophet, and I’m not a priest./I’m not a wise man who’s come from the East[39]”). He thought a lot about it, and wanted to be honest with the people who kept asking him if he was religious. His friend and spiritual advisor Billy Graham told him clearly that he was no evangelist and that he should be faithful to his music. And for Johnny Cash, to be faithful to his music, meant being faithful to Gospel music.


For years, Cash kept true to his heroic mission, but he eventually managed to break the shimenawa that prevented him from loosing himself again in the cave. Had he destroy the keeper of the first threshold instead of negotiating with it, the situation might have been different, but darkness took him again. “As dreams that were momentous by night”, writes Campbell, “and may seem simply silly in the light of day, so the poet and the prophet can discover themselves playing the idiot before a jury of sober eyes[40]”. In the 1980s, the message Cash was delivering started to be ignored, not so much by the people, for his concerts never stopped to be popular, but by the music industry. In that decade, Columbia Records made little effort to promote his music properly, and he consequently became invisible which strangely coincides with the return of the monster. Drugs and alcohol started haunting him again after he was administered painkillers for an injury caused by the attack of an ostrich. He metaphorically returned to his cave where he sought death again: “Mine wasn’t soft-core, pop-psychology self-hatred; it was a profound, violent, daily holocaust of revulsion and shame, and one way or another it had to stop[41]”. But once more, the hero is not allowed to give up. And just like the gods that called back Amaterasu, his family and friends made an intervention and convinced him to go to the Betty Ford Clinic.


However, change is at the heart of mythology, and therefore of the hero: while the monster is the champion of fact and ponderosity, the hero embraces movement and creativity[42]. When the world does not know how to process the message, the hero meets a sort of secondary hero who will revitalise the tradition, he “reinterprets the tradition and makes it valid as a living experience today instead of a lot of outdated clichés[43]”. Rick Rubin consequently gave Cash the chance to adapt his message to a new world with his American Recordings albums.


Before we take a look at the last part of the heroic cycle, let us see if the call to adventure gave Cash some answers. I have suggested that the father quest was an essential factor in his journey, and Cash himself wrote that he wanted to prove that his father was wrong. In most mythologies, the quest can have various endings. Usually, if the father grants his benediction to the hero, he will return to the world either as an emissary (Moses), or with the certitude that the father and he are the same person (Jesus). Those heroes fall into the category of “World Redeemers”. However, if the father image is corrupted, if the quest fails, then the hero himself will be transformed and become a tyrant – such was the case of Nimrod and Herod, for instance[44].


When Cash came to write about his life, he thought about his father quest and its eventual success or failure and said,


I don’t know. I don’t think about him anymore. I pass the cemetery almost every day when I’m home at Old Hickory Lake, but I don’t visit his grave. I’m not haunted by him. On the other hand, he is the most interesting specter in my memories, looming around in there saying, ‘Figure me out, son’[45].


He understood that his destructive nature came from his father, even though he never denied that he was entirely responsible for his actions. In other words, whether he wanted it or not, his whole life had been shaped by his father quest, by his desire to show him what he was capable of. But, as his life and journey came to an end, he started to think about his redemption. His father became religious after Jack’s death and he wondered if he was sincere, if God had forgiven him. But if that was true about his father, what about himself?


And how many times has God picked me up, forgiven me, set me back upon the path, and made me know that is was all right? Did all that happen to Daddy, too? And if so, where was the justification? Was he justified in his own mind? Was he ever justified in his own mind? I can never really know, but I don’t think he was[46].


Cash figured out at the end of his journey that, in a certain way, he was his father. Just like Eric Clapton who sung that he had never been so close to his father than when he was looking into his son’s eyes, Cash concluded his father quest with an answer that he had refused to accept for a long time.


If the hero accepts to face so many dangers throughout his life, it is because he has no fear of death. When one reaches a certain age, when the body starts to fail, it is necessary to realise that it is merely a vehicle for the light that inhabits our heart, and myths are especially important in that respect[47]. Indeed, the earliest myths known to mankind appeared with the apparition of the grave, when people started to pay homage to the dead, thinking that there could very well be something after life. And so, when you understand that life is a cycle, that death is not the end, but just the prefiguration of a rebirth, then you can accept your own demise. The true hero knows this because he has faced death throughout his journey, and is prepared to meet her again. Cash mentioned many times, despite his declining health, that he was in perfect harmony with Nature, that winter is followed by spring: “I can feel the rhythms of the earth, the growing and the blooming and the fading and the dying, in my bones[48]”. After 1997, Cash knew that his life would end very soon and consequently orchestrated his own passing. In his last albums, he sings again and again about death, and redemption, sometimes laughing about it (“I’m Leavin’ Now”, “Like the 309”...), refusing to give up (“I Won’t Back Down”), with optimism (“Further On Up the Road”, “We’ll Meet Again”...), but also very often in a heartbreaking mood (“Solitary Man”, “The Man Comes Around”, “Hurt”, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”...). But for the life-eager hero, death is nothing, and can be postponed as long as necessary. For many of his close friends, if June had not so suddenly passed away, he would have stayed alive to take care of his wife, but four months after her death he decided to follow her to the land of the dead, thus completing his journey[49].


Johnny Cash left this world the 12 September, 2003. A Friday. Interestingly enough, Friday has always been the day heroes die: Richard II was deadly wounded by an arrow on Friday, 26 March 1199; Christ was crucified a Friday; and from the Chanson de Guillaume (XIIth century) to Thomas Malory’s Morte d’Arthur (1469-1470), great knights have always passed away that particular day (Sir Bors, Sir Hector...). In the same way, Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy were also assassinated a Friday[50].


Yet what is death to the mythological hero? According to the legend, Charlemagne did not die, he is merely sleeping and will awake in his country’s hour of need. Cash has joined his wife in the other world, but he did not die and he reminded us of that with his last album, seven years after he passed away, where he sings with an otherworldly voice, “There ain’t no grave can hold my body down[51]”. The Man in Black’s presence remains hauntingly present, even nearly a decade after his death, and so is his message. He transcended his role as a musician and conquered and embraced all the aspects of the experience of the human life. Johnny Cash was, and is the representation of the hero figure who has “died a modern man; but as eternal man – perfected, unspecific, universal man – he has been reborn. His solemn task and deed therefore [...] is to return to us, transfigured, and teach the lesson he has learned of life renewed[52]”. He did all that, not as a prophet, not as a priest or as a teacher, but as a singer of songs.


Jonathan Fruoco


February 2012


Campbell, J. (1949/1993). The Hero With a Thousand Faces. London: Fontana Press.

Campbell, J., & Moyers, B. (1988/1991). The Power of Myth. (B. S. Flowers, Éd.) New-York:

   Anchor Books.

Cash, J. R. (Composer, Performer). (1971). Man in Black. In Cash, J.R. (Prod.), Man in

   Black. Columbia.

Cash, J. R., & Carr, P. (1997/2006). Cash, The Autobiography. London:


Cash, J.R. (2003). Singer of Songs [T. O'Connell, Composer]. In Rick Rubin (Prod.),

   Unearthed. American Recordings.

Cash, J.R. (Performer). (2010). Ain't No Grave. [C. Ely, Composer] In Rick Rubin (Prod.),

   American VI: Ain't No Grave. American Recordings.

Chaucer, G. (trad. 2010). Les Contes de Canterbury et autres oeuvres. (A. Crépin, J.-J.

   Blanchot, F. Bourgne, G. Bourquin, D. S. Brewer, H. Dauby, et al., Trads.) Paris: Robert


Curtius, E. R. (trad. 1953/1990). European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages. (W. R.

   Trask, Trad.) Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Dylan, B. (2004). Cash is King. In Fine, J. (Ed.), Cash (p.205). New-York: Crown Archetype.

Rodley, C. (2004). Johnny Cash: The Last Great American. Manchester: BBC.

Shakespeare, W. (2001). Hamlet. London: Penguin Books.

[1] Campbell, 1988/1991: 5.

[2] Ibid. : 9.

[3] Fame is dangerous if it has no other purpose than self-glorification. Most of the celebrities of the past century worked for themselves and had no desire to give something back to the society that generated them. Cash was different, which explains why he is so interesting. In the same way, John Lennon was another sort of hero, a “working class hero”, as he would have put it. With or without the Beatles, he was an innovator who turned out to be in perfect harmony with his time (see Campbell, 1988/1991: 163-164).

[4] Dylan, 2004: 205.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Campbell, 1988/1991: 4.

[7] Ibid.: 27.

[8] Cash, 1997/2006: 55.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Campbell, 1988/1991: 70-72.

[11] Shakespeare, 2001: 86.

[12] Campbell, 1949/1993: 59.

[13] Cash, 1997/2006: 14.

[14] Campbell, 1949/1993: 326.

[15] Cash, 1997/2006: 25

[16] Cash, 1997/2006: 29.

[17] Campbell, 1949/1993: 154.

[18] Cash 1997/2006: 32.

[19] Campbell, 1949/1993: 158.

[20] Cash, 1997/2006: 55.

[21] Cash, 1997/2006: 55.

[22] Ibid.: 63.

[23] Ibid.: 75.

[24] Campbell, 1949/1993: 72.

[25] Cash, 1997/2006: 199.

[26] Ibid.: 183.

[27] Ibid. : 184

[28] To know more about this myth, or similar ones (Inanna, Ishtar, Aphrodite, Venus or Sirius) see Campbell, 1949/1993: 207-213.

[29] Cash, 1997/2006: 185.

[30] Campbell, 1949/1993: 116.

[31] Campbell, 1949/1993: 111.

[32] Cash 1997/2006: 181.

[33] Campbell, 1949/1993: 217-218.

[34] He complains in his second autobiography that all the business meetings that were expected of him enslaved him. He very much hated having to hide in hotels and limousines because it kept him away, not from his loved ones, but from strangers, from the people (Cash 1997/2006: 59).

[35] Kris Kristofferson famously described Cash as “a walking contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction.”(quoted in Cash, 1997/2006: 8)

[36] Cash 1997/2006: 213.

[37] Cash, 1971.

[38] Cash, 1997/2006: 69.

[39] Cash, 2003.

[40] Campbell, 1949/1993: 226.

[41] Cash 1997/2006: 196.

[42] Campbell, 1949/1993: 340.

[43] Campbell 1988/1991: 173.

[44] Campbell, 1949/1993: 345-349.

[45] Cash, 1997/2006: 259.

[46] Ibid.: 260.

[47] Campbell, 1988/1991: 88.

[48] Ibid.: 12.

[49] Rodley, 2004.

[50] See Chaucer, 2010.

[51] Cash, 2010.

[52] Campbell, 1949/1993: 20.

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After much planning, work is finally set to begin later this month to restore Johnny Cash’s boyhood home in the eastern Arkansas town of Dyess.

A ceremony is planned for Sunday, Feb. 26, which would have been Cash’s 80th birthday.  The music legend died in 2003.


“We are using the occasion not only to pay tribute to Johnny Cash, but also to officially launch the restoration activities on his boyhood home,” said Dr. Ruth Hawkins, director of Arkansas Heritage Sites at Arkansas State University, which is overseeing the restoration.  You can listen to FM 89’s interview with Hawkins above.


The small, dilapidated house at 4791 West County Road 924 was the home of Ray and Carrie Cash and their children between 1935 and 1954.


The ceremonial first step in its restoration, Hawkins says, will be resetting a cornerstone in the foundation.


“What we will be doing is picking up the house and moving it off of its foundation in order to compact the soil and establish a new foundation,” Hawkins said.  “The soil in Dyess is gumbo soil.  It shifts and moves and as a result the house is very unlevel and unstable.  So we will be going in and doing some work on the foundation and then setting the house back on the foundation.”


The work is expected to take about six months, then, with the help of Cash’s brother Tommy and sister Joanne, furnishings will be added, similar to what the family had in the home.


“They have pretty much described all of the furnishings that were in the house and told us colors and patterns and who sat where at the dinner table and all those kinds of things,” said Hawkins.


It’s hoped the house can be opened to the public by June of 2013, but that may be contingent upon raising more money for the project.


Last August a fundraising concert at the ASU Convocation Center, which featured Cash’s daughter Rosanne and friends Kris Kristofferson and George Jones, raised more than $310,000.


Hawkins says this month’s event will officially launch a national fundraising campaign to raise the rest of the money needed.  She hopes a total of $3.8 million can be raised, which would also go toward renovating the Dyess Administration Building, a theater, which will serve as an orientation center for visitors, and other amenities.


Johnny Cash is considered by many to be the most influential musician to come from Arkansas, and Hawkins says notes are often found on the fence or doors at the home from people around the world.


Cash was only a few years old when the family moved in, and in his 1997 autobiography with Patrick Carr, described the home as “the Promised Land: a brand new house with two big bedrooms, a living room, a dining room, a kitchen, a front porch and a back porch, an outside toilet, a barn, a chicken house and a smokehouse.  To me, luxuries untold.”


The Dyess Colony was an agricultural community founded in 1934 as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s new deal.  The Cash family was one of 500 that moved there to operate farms.


The house was lived in by many people until being purchased recently by Arkansas State University.  Some alterations were made to it over the years, but Hawkins says when they began tearing away the additions, the original materials were still underneath.


“We’re very fortunate that the owner that we acquired the property from had not torn out anything, he had just covered over them,” Hawkins said.  “So the original walls, the original floors, the original floor covering, all that’s still there, which makes it very exciting.”


The events on Feb. 26 are open to the public and will begin with a restoration launch at the Cash home at 2 PM.  Because it’s located on a small rural road, those wanting to attend are asked to take shuttle buses from the Dyess Community Center parking lot, on State Highway 297 at East 4th Street.


At 3 PM the event moves to the community center, with daughter Rosanne Cash and other family members marking what would have been Johnny Cash's 80th birthday.


"We expect it will be primarily a family tribute where they will be performing some songs.  They will be reminiscing about their father and brother, telling stories,” Hawkins said.



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NEW YORK, Feb. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -International superstar Johnny Cash would have turned 80 years old on February 26, 2012. Legacy Recordings is set to celebrate this landmark year with a full slate of projects to be announced in the coming weeks.


First up is BOOTLEG VOL. IV: THE SOUL OF TRUTH, a 2-CD, 51-track collection which compiles gospel and spiritual recordings (both released and previously unreleased) made by Cash in the 1970s and '80s. The tracks are traditional hymns and folk songs, as well as original composi­tions by Cash and many other songwriters. These recordings date from a period when his life was finally on an even keel, evidenced by "His excitement for his faith," as the liner notes written by his son, John Carter Cash, bear witness.


BOOTLEG VOL. IV: THE SOUL OF TRUTH will be available at all physical and digital retail outlets starting April 3rd through Columbia/Legacy, a division of SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.


The bountiful album catalog of Johnny Cash on Columbia Records, for whom he recorded from 1958 to '83, is blessed with many albums of faith, from 1959's classic Hymns By Johnny Cash and 1962's Hymns From the Heart, to his much-lauded concept album projects of 1968 (The Holy Land) and 1973 (The Gospel Road), and more. The chronology moves ahead a few years for BOOTLEG VOL. IV, which features tracks that were cut both at Columbia Studios in Nashville, as well as his own House Of Cash in Hendersonville, Tennessee.


The recordings were made during his Columbia tenure, though not necessarily released on Columbia at the time. For example, as compilation producer Gregg Geller explains, "The centerpiece of BOOTLEG VOL. IV is the first 20 songs on Disc One, which comprised the album A Believer Sings The Truth, originally recorded for the small Cachet Records label in 1979, half of which were reissued in 1982 on CBS's boutique gospel label, Priority Records – neither the original nor the reissue were widely distributed. Of the remaining five 1979 recordings on Disc One, four appeared briefly on the album I Believe..., released by Arrival Records in 1984; the fifth is the aforementioned 'Truth'."


The latter is a reference (Geller explains) to a previously unreleased song based on a poem that was believed to have been written by Muhammad Ali and presented to Cash, who recorded but never released the track. The poem turned out to be written by the Sufi leader Hazrat Inayat Khan, and one of its lines gives this collection its title: "The soul of truth is God."


The seemingly convoluted release history of the tracks on BOOTLEG VOL. IV is part of the allure of the series to Cash-philes around the world. Disc two begins with 12 tracks recorded in 1975, intended for an LP that never received a title and was never released. (Although two of its tracks have shown up on compilations issued over the past five years.) Disc two then proceeds to 10 tracks that comprised a rare LP prized by Cash collectors, Johnny Cash—Gospel Singer, recorded in 1983 for the CBS gospel label, Priority Records. The final four tracks are previously unreleased outtakes from those same sessions.


Once the track genealogy is sorted out, the music is revealed for what it is – the gospel and spiritual foundation of Johnny Cash's life. As John Carter's evocative 1,500-word liner notes essay points out, gospel music was an integral part of his father's life from earliest childhood. Whether the family was out working the fields of their Dyess, Arkansas farm, or listening to the Sears-Roebuck Silvertone radio late on a Friday or Saturday night, or singing together on Sunday morning at the Dyess Central Baptist Church, gospel music was the be-all and end-all.


"The music set a foundation for J. R. Cash," John Carter writes, "and upon it he established the motivation for his existence. With the songs of the gospel came faith, and along with faith, a fortitude and persistence that would not be denied. If you were convinced of my Dad's honesty, it is because he was confident of his purpose, and that purpose was defined by gospel music. Though he would sing many kinds of music in his life, he was never truer than when he sang songs of faith."


Through the highs and lows of his career on records, both at Sun and Columbia, Johnny Cash kept his gospel roots up front in the spotlight. Friends and family would join in the testimony, demonstrated throughout BOOTLEG VOL. IV, as he is joined by June Carter Cash ("He's Alive," Sister Rosetta Tharpe's "This Train Is Bound For Glory," "Far Side Banks Of Jordan"), Rosanne Cash ("When He Comes"), Cindy Cash ("Lay Me Down In Dixie"), Anita Carter ("Over The Next Hill (We'll Be Home)"), Helen Carter (on the Carter Family's "Way Worn Traveler"), Rodney Crowell ("You'll Get Yours And I'll Get Mine," the Gaither Family's "He Touched Me"), Jessi Colter ("The Old Rugged Cross"), and many others on this collection.


Songwriters including Billy Joe Shaver ("I'm Just An Old Chunk Of Coal"), Sister Rosetta Tharpe ("Strange Things Happening Every Day"), Bill Monroe ("You're Drifting Away"), Dorothy Love Coates ("That's Enough"), Marijohn Wilkin ("Back In The Fold"), Mark Germino ("God Ain't No Stained Glass Window"), and Rodney Crowell ("Wildwood In The Pines") share the stage with Cash, whose compositions account for 19 of the 51 tracks.


"At the very heart of this faith was gospel music," John Carter's notes conclude. "I invite you to join me, and get to know the man John R. Cash as I remember him. You will hear him in these treasured recordings. Listen carefully: Spirit, Faith, Gospel. The very source of his vision."


The Johnny Cash Bootleg Series


The Johnny Cash Bootleg Series has been developed by Grammy Award®-nominated producer Gregg Geller, and Grammy® and W.C. Handy multi-award winning musician/producer Steve Berkowitz. The House Of Cash archive in Hendersonville, Tennessee bore first fruit on Columbia/Legacy in May 2006, with the release of Personal File aka Bootleg Vol. 1, a fascinating double-CD collection of 49 privately recorded, intimate solo performances dating from 1973 to 1982.


Four years later in May 2010, Bootleg Vol. 2: From Memphis To Hollywood continued the series. This time the focus was on the dawning of Cash's recording career at Sun Records in Memphis from late 1954 to late '57 (on CD One), into his first decade at Columbia Records in Nashville, from 1958 to 1969 (on CD Two), when he began to find work in the world of film and television.


In 2011, Bootleg Vol. 3: Live Around The World picked up the thread over the course of ten live performance settings. Highlights included the 1964 Newport Folk Festival, a 1969 USO tour appearance in Vietnam, a 1970 White House performance at President Nixon's invitation, a 1972 show at Osteraker Prison in Sweden, the 1973 CBS Records Convention in Nashville, and more.


The release of Bootleg Vol. 3 coincided with the publication of an important new book, House Of Cash: The Life, Legacy and Archives of The Man In Black (Insight Editions) written by John Carter Cash. An affectionate and affecting look into the Johnny Cash legend, House Of Cash is a memoir, biography and deeply personal remembrance of the man beneath the black. The lavishly illustrated book features many color and black and white photos, as well as numerous keepsake facsimile documents from the Cash family archive.


BOOTLEG VOL. IV: THE SOUL OF TRUTH by JOHNNY CASH (Columbia/Legacy 88697985382) Disc One – Selections: 1. Wings In The Morning • 2. Gospel Boogie (A Wonderful Time Up There) • 3. Over The Next Hill (We'll Be Home) (with Anita Carter) • 4. He's Alive (with June Carter Cash) • 5. I've Got Jesus In My Soul • 6. When He Comes (with Rosanne Cash) • 7. I Was There When It Happened (with Marshall Grant) • 8. I'm A New Born Man • 9. Strange Things Happening Every Day • 10. Children Go Where I Send Thee • 11. I'm Just An Old Chunk Of Coal • 12. Lay Me Down In Dixie (with Cindy Cash) • 13. Don't Take Everybody To Be Your Friend • 14. You'll Get Yours And I'll Get Mine (with Rodney Crowell) • 15. Oh Come, Angel Band • 16. This Train Is Bound For Glory (with June Carter Cash) • 17. I'm Gonna Try To Be That Way (with Jan Howard) • 18. What On Earth Will You Do (For Heaven's Sake) • 19. That's Enough • 20. The Greatest Cowboy Of Them All (with Jack Routh) • 21. Didn't It Rain • 22. He Touched Me (with Rodney Crowell) • 23. Way Worn Traveler (with Helen Carter) • 24. I'll Have A New Life (with June Carter Cash) • 25. Truth (previously unreleased). (All tracks recorded January 1979, in Nashville; except tracks 7,11,18 recorded May 1979, in Hendersonville, TN.)



Disc One produced by Jack Clement and Jack Routh.

Tracks 1-20 released as A Believer Sings The Truth (Cachet CL3-9001), 1979.

Tracks 1-4, 6, 10, 11, 15, 18, 20 also released as A Believer Sings The Truth (Priority 38074), 1982.

Tracks 21-24 released on I Believe... (Arrival 3870), 1984.

Disc Two – Selections: 1. Back In The Fold • 2. Look Unto The East • 3. I Was There When It Happened • 4. Sanctified • 5. Would You Recognize Jesus • 6. That's Just Like Jesus • 7. What On Earth Will You Do (For Heaven's Sake) • 8. Keep Me From Blowing Away • 9. Don't Give Up On Me • 10. Over The Next Hill (We'll Be Home) • 11. Far Side Banks Of Jordan (duet with June Carter Cash) • 12. Our Little Old Home Town • 13. Belshazzar • 14. My Children Walk In Truth • 15. The Old Rugged Cross (duet with Jessi Colter) • 16. One Of These Days I'm Gonna Sit Down And Talk To Paul • 17. God Ain't No Stained Glass Window • 18. Half A Mile A Day • 19. Another Wide River To Cross • 20. You're Drifting Away • 21. Believe In Him • 22. Over There • 23. Gospel Road • 24. What Is Man • 25. Wildwood In The Pines • 26. Never Grow Old (Tracks 1-12 recorded October, December 1975, in Hendersonville, TN; tracks 13-26 recorded May, August, September, October, December 1982, in Nashville.)


Disc Two produced by Charlie Bragg (tracks 1-12 ) and Marty Stuart (tracks 13-26).

Tracks 1-12, previously unreleased unnamed album (except track 4, previously released as a bonus track on the album Ultimate Gospel (Columbia/Legacy 88697 05838 2) 2007; and track 8, previously released on the album The Great Seventies Recordings (Reader's Digest A764438), 2010.

Tracks 13-22, from the withdrawn-from-release album Johnny Cash—Gospel Singer (Priority 38503) 1983, subsequently released as Believe In Him (Word 47828), 1986, in a different sequence.

Tracks 23-26, previously unreleased outtakes from sessions for the album Johnny Cash—Gospel Singer.





So Sony did it again. Another "bootleg" album full of previously officially released songs. Many of which have already been released on CD (even if these are now out of print). But at least the new Bootleg volume will include an unreleased album from the mid-seventies, as well as a handful of outtakes. It also makes available for the first time on a modern format the "Believe in Him" album.


Based on Sanctified from the Walmart exclusive edition of "Ultimate Gospel" and Keep Me From Blowing Away from "The Great Seventies Recordings" the unreleased 70's album could be a very good one (certainly it can't sound any worse than "Precious Memories"), and both "A Believer Sings the Truth" and "Believe In Him" were more than decent albums, so despite the many tracks we'll be buying yet again, it does look to be an interesting album.

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