Me and Johnny Cash Part II: My Trip to Kingsland, Arkansas

august-28-045Dr. Colin Woodward’s blog, Southern Historian, includes this post about his trip to visit the birthplace of Johnny Cash in Cleveland County, Arkansas, as well as his trip to nearby Rison, where Johnny’s father, Ray Cash, was born. Click here to read the blog entry.


51o6eYO5XaL 2The life and career of Joanne Cash are the focus of a new documentary film, “Joanne Cash – I Do Believe,” that will be premiered at Arkansas State University on Wednesday, Oct. 2. “Joanne’s life is a remarkable story of faith and redemption,” said Dr. Ruth Hawkins, director of Arkansas Heritage Sites at A-State. “Everyone who sees it will take away some powerful messages.” The film features interviews with her brother Tommy Cash, as well as country superstar Larry Gatlin and Christian music artist Kevin Max. The documentary also includes a rare music video of “When He Comes,” written by and recorded with her brother Johnny. For the complete article, click here.

When a Shelter Becomes a Home

The Wall Street Journal has an article about the Americana Music Awards in Nashville that includes an interview with Rosanne Cash talking about her dad and his boyhood home in Dyess, as well as an interview with Americana Music Association Director Jed Hilly talking about his trip to Dyess with Rosanne after the second Johnny Cash Music Festival. Click here for the complete article.

Help sought refurnishing Cash home in Dyess


This Blytheville Courier News article talks about efforts to furnish the interior of the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home as authentically as possible.  Working with members of the Cash family, Arkansas State University has identified appropriate furnishings and set up a  a Johnny Cash Household Registry listing the items that are needed. This list provides the public with the opportunity to assist in finding or providing the needed items, and contributing to A-State’s project. The Cash Household Registry is available to view here. To view the article, click here.

One piece at a time: Dyess project progessing

1907684-L The progress of the restoration of the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home is discussed in this Blytheville Courier News article, which includes photos of the restoration. To view the article, click here.


Joanne Cash Yates 2Jack Hill discusses the third annual Johnny Cash Music Festival featuring Cash’s two surviving siblings, Joanne Cash Yates and Tommy Cash, as well as work on the family’s old home in Dyess. The article also includes a conversation with Joanne Yates about the restoration of the family home. “I’m elated about how the construction on our old house has been coming along,” says Joanne Cash Yates. “I spent my first 17 years in that house, and I remember every table and bed that was there. It’s been like a job for me to act as sort of a consultant to Ruth Hawkins of Arkansas State University, who’s in charge of the Heritage Sites project, to replicate some of the furnishings from that era. “One of the most exciting things we found was the original linoleum in the kitchen, which had been covered up, under layers and layers of other floors. Ruth has been searching antique stores and so on and if she finds something that looks right, she sends photos to my phone, and I’ll answer ‘yes’ or no’ to her.” Yates also talks about memories of her brother, saying “I was 10 years old and I made him and his girlfriend take me with them to the movies,” she says, laughing. “But he had to bring me home, so I messed up that date, I remember.” The lineup for the third annual Johnny Cash Music Festival is also discussed. For the full article, click here.

Walking the Line in Arkansas

OB-YC381_0707ca_J_20130707183242Josh Anderson of The Wall Street Journal provides a series of photographs taken in Dyess. Click here to view.


J. R. Cash, Joanne and Tommy 2New York music writer Jim Bessman discusses the third annual Johnny Cash Music Festival, starring Vince Gill, Tommy Cash, Joanne Cash Yates, Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers, and the Statler Brothers’ Jimmy Fortune. The article includes an interview with Tommy Cash about the Dyess house and restoration efforts, as well as some thoughts about his brother, Johnny Cash. “He was J.R. to all of us,” says Cash. “That was his real name—J.R. Cash. He was just Big Brother to me. He let me ride on his cotton sack when I was four and five-years-old, and made chocolate fudge on Wednesday nights. It wasn’t until 1955 when Sam Phillips at Sun Records said, ‘You got to have a name other than ‘J.R.’ and used the name ‘Johnny’ on his first record that he became ‘Johnny Cash’—and the rest is history.” In the image, Joanne is pictured to the left with J.R. in the middle and Tommy to the right. For the full article, click here.

Johnny Cash’s hometown plans to become ‘socially responsible Graceland’

dyess johnny cashThe projected expansion of tourism in Dyess, Arkansas as a result of the restoration of Johnny’s Cash’s boyhood home is discussed in this article in The Guardian. As Dyess prepares for the projected 50,000 annual visitors that the Cash home will bring, it is facing growing pains. Dyess Mayor, Larry Sims, says, “This is going to wake the whole place up.” To view the article, click here.

Johnny Cash’s Boyhood Home Tells the Story of a Town


This National Public Radio story provides an overview of the origins of Dyess and the Cash home, while presenting the viewpoints of Johnny Cash’s brother, Tommy Cash, and sister, Joanne Cash Yates. The Mayor of Dyess, Larry Sims, who grew up in Dyess just down the street from the Cash house, is also interviewed. To listen to the story or read the transcript, click here.