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Travel tips, Johnny Cash's story, and a littele Marty Stuart!

Updated: Sep 18, 2022

If you follow my route around the southern states, where music is part of the content, we are now moving north from New Orleans between several states, namely Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkanas, and Tennessee. In this article, we will concentrate on Johnny Cash, where he was born, his youth, and the museum in Nashville.

There is no doubt that Johnny Cash is a legend, and for all "country music fans" he is a clear icon. The further north I got from New Orleans the clearer it became. But first a little digression! I took a short trip to Jackson (ms), and at one of the museums, the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, I found a surprise that I really liked. When I was in Orlando at the IPW tourism fair, one of the most popular country singers in the US performed there. I didn't show that he was that big first-class,or that The World of Arkansas exhibit existed and that it was in Jackson.

This exhibition explores Stuart's life and his legacy of collecting the stories of country music, of which Johnny Cash is a central figure.

The exhibit includes hundreds of items never before seen in Mississippi, including Marty's first guitar, original handwritten Hank Williams manuscripts, guitars from Merle Haggard and Pops Staples, costumes from Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton, personal items from Johnny Cash, including his first black performance suit, and much more. There is no doubt that he has taken the inheritance because he is the new "Man in Black". About Marty Stuart is a five-time GRAMMY Award winner who has spent his life steeped in the music of his rural Southern upbringing. He began performing with the bluegrass group, the Sullivans. At 13, he was on tour with Lester Flatt, followed by years in Johnny Cash's band. He himself witnessed how great artists communicated and connected with an audience. He found his way to a successful solo career in Nashville, releasing the albums Hillbilly Rock and Tempted, both spawning hit singles that saw him forge a path as an artist in his own right.

But he longed to get back to the true sound of country music. The sound went on from the Maddox Brothers and Rose to Flatt, Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, and Johnny Cash. In 1999, he released The Pilgrim, a concept album rooted in tradition, yet distinctly progressive in its approach. He formed the Fabulous Superlatives (Harry Stinson, Kenny Vaughan, Paul Martin, replaced by Chris Scruggs in 2016) and together Stuart and the band have taken the best of the tradition – first class musicianship, stunning vocal harmonies, matching western wear, energy and passion – and created a hillbilly band with a sound that always looks ahead and impresses audiences around the country. Stuart has served as president of the Country Music Foundation (1994-2001) and is currently planning to build the Marty Stuart Center for Country Music in his hometown of Philadelphia, Mississippi.

This was a small digression but puts the man in black in an even greater perspective. Johnny Cash So Fast Facts Johnny Cash February 26, 1932, September 12, 2003,the, Johnny Cash stated that he never performed without wearing black as he believed that wearing black brought him good luck because he wore a black T-shirt and jeans for his first gig ever. While in the Air Force, Johnny Cash learned to translate Russian Morse code. Johnny Cash bought Johnny Carson's house in Encino after Carson moved to New York and began hosting The Tonight Show. Kingsland, Arkansas, Nashville, Tennessee "The Man in Black" John R. Cash

The story! (from he biography) As mentioned, Cash was born on February 26, 1932 in Kingsland, Arkansas. The son of poor Southern Baptists, Cash, one of seven children born to Ray and Carrie Rivers Cash, moved with his family at the age of 3 to Dyess, Arkansas, so that his father could benefit from the New Deal farming programs instituted by President Franklin Roosevelt. There, the Cash clan lived in a five-room house and cultivated 20 acres of cotton and other seasonal crops. Johnny Cash grew up in a poor farming community where he spent much of the next 15 years out in the fields, working with his parents and siblings to pay off their debts. It wasn't an easy life, and music was one of the ways the Cash family found escape from some of the hardships. Songs surrounded the young Cash, be it his mother's folk and hymn ballads, or the work music folk singing out in the fields. From an early age, Cash, who began writing songs at the age of 12, showed a love for the music that enveloped his life. Sensing the boy's gift for singing, Carrie scraped together enough money for him to take singing lessons. But after just three lessons, his teacher, captivated by Cash's already unique singing style, told him to stop taking lessons and never deviate from his natural voice. Religion also had a strong impact on Cash's childhood. His mother was a devout member of the Pentecostal Church of God, and his older brother Jack seemed committed to joining the priesthood until his tragic death in 1944 in an electric saw accident. The experiences of his early farming life and religion became recurring themes in Cash's career. Dyess Colony, Johnny Cash Then the road continued to Dyess Colony, Johnny Cash's home where he grew up, but as I said he was born in Kingsland, Arkansas. Dyess Colony is located just under an hour from Memphis, far out in the countryside. (see map below) Under a web page that shows how JC's popularity has actually saved this "crossroads" far out in the country in Dyess Colony. Without state funding and support from Arkansas State University, there would not have been much left, - if anything.


A web-thatpage that shows a bit of before and now in the center of Dyess


I had a bit too high expectations about this place because when I arrive there is little that tells me that this is actually the home of one of America's biggest country artists a youth. But inside one of the main houses, there is a picture presentation of the story. I have probably said this several times on this trip, but the Americans are good at establishing museums about their battles, wars, and famous people. Some with a strong focus on getting as many visitors as possible and others are just proud that they actually have a small museum, such as here.

Here are the proud employees who look after Johnny Cash's memory here in Dyess Colony. Should you visit, ask to see the small exhibition inside the main building in the "center"!

Then we were going to the "house", which was the most important thing to see where he lived with his family in his youth. To get there you have to drive around 10 minutes on a very dusty country road, drive carefully and stop if you meet cars.

Once there is the well-fenced and nicely renovated small house, which is also completely identical inside with furniture and equipment from that time.

Even Johnny Cash's bed is made.


It's fun to have been here, but when I ask why they haven't made more of this opportunity, they say there's a big museum in Nashville and there's no money to compete with them.


Watch video from the house: (sorry but there was a mistake on the film so I have replaced it with pictures, but the speech is original)


I thank you for the tour and I´m going to, Memphis and not least Nashville and the Johnny Cash museum. A little more history: He joined the Air Force in 1950. He helped found a band after he was discharged, and within a few years Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two had scored hits with songs like "Walk the Line." Cash's career was almost derailed in the 1960s by a serious drug problem, but his marriage to June Carter and the acclaimed album Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison (1968) put him back on track. In later years, Cash joined the country supergroup the Highwaymen and released a series of recordings with producer Rick Rubin. If you want to read the entire biography look here


Let's head to Nashville and start in the Johnny Cash museum because today we're going to learn more about the history of this incredibly highly acclaimed American musician.

On your trip through this complete museum about Johnny Cash's career, you should set aside some extra time and perhaps take advantage of the guided tour. Some of his artist colleagues also appear throughout the exhibition.


"I think he will be remembered for the way he grew as a person and artist," wrote Kris Kristofferson in 2010, following Cash's selection by Rolling Stone magazine as the 31st greatest artist of all time. "He went from being this guy who was as wild as Hank Williams to being almost as respected as one of the fathers of our country. He was friends with presidents and with Billy Graham. "He should have had his face on Mount Rushmore." After my round in this museum, I went to the Johnny Cash bar right outside, to hear some "live" music and quench my thirst!

Good trip if you choose to take the trip on these roads. Read a little more about Nashville,


Map to Dyess Colony fra Kingsland, Hot Springs and Memphis.



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