Stars Unite to Preserve Johnny Cash’s Childhood Home
George Jones, Kris Kristofferson, Daily & Vincent, Gary Morris, Rodney Crowell, Chelsea Crowell, Rosanne Cash, John Carter and Laura Cash and Tommy Cash will perform at the first Johnny Cash Music Festival Concert at Arkansas State University August 4. Additionally, Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe has proclaimed August 4 Johnny Cash Day.
The Cash family is working with the institution to make the festival an annual event in order to fund the restoration of Johnny Cash's boyhood home in Dyess, Ark., which the school recently acquired. In addition, funds will also go toward the establishment of the Johnny Cash Boyhood Museum in the New Deal Era Administration Building at Dyess.
The event's performers are donating their time, charging only expenses for the inaugural festival. More performers are expected to be announced in coming months.
Johnny Cash (known then as J.R.) moved to Dyess at the age of three, with his parents Ray and Carrie Cash. The family was among the first five colonist recruited from Cleveland County, Ark. Johnny remained in Dyess until his high school graduation in 1950. His childhood home is one of the only former agricultural resettlement colony homes still in existence.
"The Johnny Cash Music Festival will not be just a concert, but an opportunity to preserve the legacy of an internationally recognized legend," Arkansas Heritage Sites and Arkansas Delta Byways director Dr. Ruth Hawkins said. "We are proud that Johnny Cash is from Arkansas and that growing up here had an impact on his music. It is time that we pay permanent tribute to his memory, and we are especially grateful to the Cash family for their involvement and support in this endeavor."