Country stars raising funds to restore Johnny Cash boyhood home

Wed Oct 3, 2012 3:11pm EDT
 
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By Vernell Hackett

NASHVILLE, Tenn (Reuters) - Country stars Willie Nelson, Dierks Bentley, the Civil Wars and Rosanne Cash join forces this week in a fund-raising concert for the restoration of the boyhood home of late legend Johnny Cash.

Cash's humble home in the tiny town of Dyess, Arkansas, was acquired in 2011 by Arkansas State University, which is spearheading the drive to repair and furnish the 1930s era house where the "Ring of Fire" singer grew up with his six brothers and sisters.

"It's been a long process," Cash's song-writer daughter, Rosanne, told Reuters, referring to purchasing the home and getting the restoration underway. "There are a lot of Johnny Cash projects out there, but this is the one that captured my heart."

Cash, an icon of country music whose hits spanned more than 50 years, died in 2003 at age 71.

Bentley, 36, who has had eight number one hits including " "Home," and "5-1-5-0," said he wanted to take part in Friday's fundraiser out of respect for the veteran performers who have paved the way for his new generation of singers.

"I don't know anyone who doesn't love Johnny Cash," Bentley told Reuters. "It's pretty cool to be part of that show."

"To have the chance to be part of a unique festival always excites me, especially when you are raising money for a great cause and it's tied to a guy that this town (Nashville) really respects a lot," Bentley added.

Cash's family moved to rural Dyess in 1936 because they were given 20 acres of land under President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal plan to boost agriculture.   Continued...

 
The boyhood home of country music star Johnny Cash is shown in this undated publicity photo released to Reuters October 3, 2012. Cash's humble home in the tiny town of Dyess, Arkansas, was acquired in 2011 by Arkansas State University, which is spearheading the drive to repair and furnish the 1930s era house where the "Ring of Fire" singer grew up with his six brothers and sisters. REUTERS/Arkansas State University/Handout