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Ryman Exhibit Honors Johnny And June Carter Cash

October 9, 2009

This should be fun to see.


While a few onlookers viewed the items in the new Johnny and June at the Ryman exhibit as rare, fragile and untouchable totems of Nashville royalty, John Carter Cash chose to reach right in.

“I don’t remember seeing this one,” said Cash, the son of Johnny and June Carter Cash, grabbing a Fender acoustic guitar gifted to his father by Carl Perkins, with “Johnny Cash” inlaid up the guitar neck. “That’s really cool.”

For his entire life, Cash has had ready access to such things. Reaching inside an exhibit case is his birthright. But that doesn’t mean his appreciation for his parents’ careers or for the Ryman building where they met and where they performed has been dimmed.

“My parents saw the Ryman as the church of country music,” he said. “The Ryman is very important to my family and to me. The people at the Ryman contacted me about doing an exhibit to pay historical tribute to my parents’ association with the Ryman, and I’m really excited to see that happening.”

Brenda Colladay, the curator at the Grand Ole Opry Museum, was instrumental in putting together the exhibit, which includes an autoharp played by June, outfits and footage from ABC’s Johnny Cash Show (which was taped at the Ryman), handwritten lyrics of “What Is Truth?” with two verses of “extra” lyrics that Cash did not record, the gold record from Cash’s Live at Folsom Prison album, footage from Grand Ole Opry appearances and other items of interest.

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