August 19, 2008 / 11:50 PM / 10 years ago

Cash: Political use of father's name "appalling"

NASHVILLE (Billboard) - Rosanne Cash is tired of people using her late father’s name to further their own political agendas.

Singer Rosanne Cash performs at the annual Newport Folk Festival in Newport, Rhode Island August 5, 2006. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

The singer-songwriter released a statement on her Web site after country star John Rich invoked the name of Johnny Cash at a recent Florida rally for presidential candidate John McCain.

“It is appalling to me that people still want to invoke my father’s name, five years after his death, to ascribe beliefs, ideals, values and loyalties to him that cannot possibly be determined, and to try to further their own agendas by doing so,” Cash said on her Web site.

According to media reports, Rich told the crowd: “Somebody’s got to walk the line in the country. They’ve got to walk it unapologetically. And I’m sure Johnny Cash would have been a John McCain supporter if he was still around.”

Rich then sang Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line.”

“I knew my father pretty well, at least better than some of those who entitle themselves to his legacy and his supposed ideals,” Rosanne Cash said on her site, “and even I would not presume to say publicly what I ‘know’ he thought or felt. This is especially dangerous in the case of political affiliation.

“It is unfair and presumptuous to use him to bolster any platform,” she continued. “I would ask that my father not be co-opted in this election for either side, since he is clearly not here to defend or state his own allegiance.”


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