Johnny Cash

"Sad day in Tennessee, but a great day in Heaven"



A MUSICAL tribute to the late Johnny Cash is slated to take place November 10 2003 at the historic Ryman Auditorium with some of the biggest names in the industry singing his songs.

Cash's manager, Lou Robin, who spent 34 years travelling all over the world with the country music icon, said he and the family wanted to do something for the fans who were unable to either watch or attend the September 15 funeral service, which was held at the First Baptist Church in Hendersonville.

Cash, who was awarded 12 Grammy awards during his 42-year music career, died September 12 from complications related to diabetes. He was 71.

"[The family] just wanted to give the public closure to their feelings about John's death," Robin said. "They thought maybe this would be an opportunity for a lot of different entertainers to come and voice their feelings and perform and entertain."

Expected to perform at the Cash Memorial Concert are his daughter, Rosanne, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Sheryl Crow, Hank Williams Jr, Jack Clement, Steve Earle and Larry Gatlin. Musicians not yet confirmed are Bob Dylan, Bono and Bruce Springsteen.

Robin said while the event could have been held in a number of other venues, the Ryman seemed like the perfect fit. "It has a lot of ambiance and a lot of memories for everyone," Robin said, adding plans to televise the event, possibly worldwide, are still in the works.

"I get calls from all over the world," Robin said. "Everybody is just shocked and saddened by what transpired." Robin said the uniqueness of the artist who became known as "The Man in Black" was that he related to people and people related to him.

"He was an incredible human being, a very bright person and very intuitive - not only in his personal life - but in his musical life," Robin said. "He really knew how to transmit his thoughts on many subjects to people who shared those thoughts."

Cash, who was born in Kingsland, Arkansas, in 1932, learned to play guitar while serving in the Air Force. He began his career in Memphis with Hey Porter, recorded for Sun Records. In 1956, he recorded Folsom Prison Blues.

Cash often attributed the turnaround in his life to his second wife, June Carter Cash, a sibling of country music's famous Carter family. She preceded her husband in death and was memorialised at the same Hendersonville church in May.

Cash recorded more than 1,500 songs that can be found on about 500 albums, counting only American and European releases.

He was the youngest person ever inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the only performer ever selected for both the Country and Rock Music Hall of Fame, until 1998, when Elvis Presley was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.


Johnny Cash has died at age 71 in a Nashville, Tennessee hospital.

Merle Kilgore, best-man to Johnny Cash at his wedding to June Carter Cash
and co-writer of "Ring of Fire", is deeply saddened with the news of Johnny
Cash's passing.

"It's a sad day in Tennessee, but a great day in Heaven. The 'Man in Black'
is now wearing white as he joins his wife June in the angel band," says

Music legend Johnny Cash

Music legend Johnny Cash, passed away Friday, September 12, 2003,
in Nashville, Tennessee.

The following statement was issued today by manager of Johnny Cash, Lou

"In honor of the Cash families privacy during these times, the decision has
been made to hold private - both the visitation and the funeral services.
They wish to thank everyone for their prayers at this difficult time."

The following statement was issued today by the family of Johnny Cash:

"The family of Johnny Cash, in this sad hour, is greatly comforted by the
outpouring of love and respect for his remarkable life. We also take solace
in the knowledge that he is again reunited with his dearest companion, June.
Our lives, and indeed the entire planet, will forever feel the emptiness of
his loss, but his music and the greatness of his spirit will endure."

A public memorial is being planned and the date is yet to be announced.

Flowers may be sent to:
Hendersonville Funeral Home
353 Johnny Cash Parkway
Hendersonville, TN 37075
Donations may be sent to:
SOS Children Villages USA
1317 F Street NW #550
Washington, DC 20004

What a sad day in our world, and especially in the entertainment industry. Johnny Cash has been passed away. I know in my heart that he is with  June, but we have lost a great man. MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE.

And another John has left us also, John Ritter, son of Tex Ritter, has passed away also. MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE.

There is not really much that a person such as me can say, because I am not a educated writer when it comes to writing about such a legend as Johnny Cash, and then John Ritter. The Good Lord must have felt that he needed them both to come home and be with him.

Keep both of their families in your payers. We have lost 2 great people, but we have been given so much happiness over the years from their talents. I cannot believe this day for me is starting with so much sadness in my heart. I count my many blessings in my life, and 2 of them are Johnny Cash and John Ritter, but more than anything I have been blessed with my family and my friends. We just do not know when the Lord will bring us home.

Sent: Friday, September 12, 2003 5:52 AM
Subject: 'The Man in Black' Johnny Cash dead at 71

Country Singer Johnny Cash Dies at 71

Country Singer Johnny Cash Dies of Complications From Diabetes, Hospital Officials Say

The Associated Press
NEW YORK Sept. 12 Johnny Cash, a towering figure in American music spanning country, rock and folk and known worldwide as "The Man in Black," has died, according to hospital officials in Nashville, Tenn. He was 71."Johnny died due to complications from diabetes, which resulted in respiratory failure," said Cash's manager, Lou Robin, in a press release issued by Baptist Hospital in Nashville.

'The Man in Black' Johnny Cash dead at 71

By Mary Jo DiLonardo
Special to CNN
Friday, September 12, 2003 Posted: 6:44 AM EDT (1044 GMT)

Johnny Cash performs with is wife, June Carter, recently.

(CNN) -- The "Man in Black" died Friday. Johnny Cash was 71.

Perhaps the most widely recognized voice in country music, Cash recorded more than 1,500 songs, which appeared on nearly 500 albums. His career spanned more than four decades with trademark hits like "A Boy Named Sue," "Folsom Prison Blues, "Ring of Fire" and "I Walk the Line."

While Cash has long had one of the premiere voices in country music, his success crossed well over onto the pop scene. He had 48 singles on Billboard's pop charts, rivaling both The Rolling Stones and The Beach Boys.

His 10 Grammys include a lifetime achievement award and the 1998 Grammy for country album of the year ("Unchained"). It's said that more than 100 other recording artists and groups have recorded "I Walk the Line."

Triumphant comeback

A child of the Depression, J.R. Cash was born February 26, 1932, in Kingsland, Arkansas. Cash's parents took advantage of a New Deal farm program, moving their large family to Dyess Colony in northeast Arkansas. There they farmed cotton during the day and sang hymns on the porch at night.

At age 12, Cash was writing poems and songs and setting his sights on a musical career. After high school, he enlisted in the Air Force. The military wouldn't accept initials, so Cash chose John as his new first name. While stationed in Germany, Cash bought his first guitar and started a band.

When his hitch was over, Cash moved to Memphis where he sold appliances door-to-door while trying to break into the music business. In 1954, he auditioned for Sam Phillips at Sun Records, hoping to record some simple gospel songs. Instead, Phillips -- who had discovered Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis -- pushed Cash toward a more commercial sound.

Cash's first single, "Hey Porter," had a disappointing debut. But his follow-up, the 1955 "Cry, Cry, Cry," drew national attention. "Folsom Prison Blues" went into the Top Five in country singles in 1956, and "I Walk the Line" became Cash's first No. 1 hit. In 1957, he made his first appearance at the Grand Ole Opry. And by 1958, he'd published 50 songs, sold more than six million records and moved to the Columbia label.

Through the late 1950s and into the 1960s, Cash continued to have huge hits. "Don't Take Your Guns to Town," "I Got Stripes," "Ring of Fire," "Understand Your Man" and "The Ballad of Ira Hayes" were major hits of the period. He toured worldwide and played free shows at prisons in the United States -- he first played San Quentin in 1958 when a young Merle Haggard was in the audience.

Living and working at a hectic pace, Cash became dependent on drugs. They took a toll on his career and ended his first marriage. But by 1967, Cash had overcome his addiction with the help of his singing partner, June Carter. The next year he married Carter and made a triumphant comeback. Carter and Cash had five children.

'Man in Black'

By the end of the decade, Cash owned the voice of country music. In the fall of 1969, he was considered by many to be the hottest act in the world, even outselling The Beatles. That year, his work accounted for 5 percent of all record sales in the U.S.

"The Johnny Cash Show" aired on ABC TV from 1969 to 1971 and featured guests as diverse as Bob Dylan, Merle Haggard and Louis Armstrong.

In the 1970s, Cash continued to record, although his work became more progressive and less commercial. Having never given up his fondness for gospel music, Cash co-wrote (with Larry Murray) and produced a film based on the life of Jesus. "The Gospel Road" was released in 1973, with Cash providing narration and Carter in the role of Mary Magdelene.

Cash's 1975 autobiography, "Man in Black," sold 1.3 million copies.

In 1980, at 48, Cash became the Country Music Hall of Fame's youngest living inductee. He was part of the highly successful Highwaymen quartet with Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson. When drug problems returned with the use of pain killers, Cash entered the Betty Ford Clinic.

Late in the decade, Cash's radio popularity was fading -- a more contemporary sound was moving into country -- and he broke with Columbia. A new contract with Mercury Nashville didn't reflect his earlier success, but concert performances remained big sellers.

Hall of Fame inductee
In 1992, Cash was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. In 1994, he became hot again with the release of the acoustic "American Recordings," featuring just Cash and his guitar on yet another label, American Records. The album landed him on the pages of Rolling Stone, People and Time.

The singer was given a Kennedy Center Honors award in 1996 and was reported to have been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1997. In recent bulletins, he's been said to have Shy-Drager syndrome, a degenerative nerve disease that attacks the nervous system in much the same way as Parkinson's disease.

Whether singing about outlaws of the Old West, murder and prison ballads or mountain laments, Cash sang in an unadorned, frank baritone about the plight of the common citizen.

"My roots are in the working man," Cash told the Music City News in 1987. "I can remember very well how it is to pick cotton 10 hours a day, or to plow, or how to cut wood. I remember it so well because I don't intend to ever try to do it again."
Print out and have the memories

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