Arkansas Music

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Fans have long traveled from around the world to see the small farm house in northeast Arkansas that Johnny Cash often talked or sang about.  After years of restoration work, it is now officially open as a musuem. A grand opening ceremony was held Saturday, drawing a large crowd to the town circle in Dyess.

Johnny Cash House
Michael Hibblen / KUAR

After years of fundraising and restoration work, Johnny Cash’s boyhood home in northeast Arkansas will officially open to the public Saturday as a museum.

The country music icon – who died 11 years ago – moved to the house in 1935 when he was three years old.  His family was one of about 500 selected to live in the town of Dyess, which was created during the Great Depression as part of President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal. They were sold a piece of farm land at a low price in return for making contributions to the community.

Johnny Cash boyhoood home
Michael Hibblen / KUAR

Tickets are available for opening day tours of the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home next month. The opening for Arkansas State University's newest Heritage Site is set for Aug. 16.

The event begins with a dedication ceremony at 10 a.m. at the Dyess Colony Administration Building. The ceremony itself is free and open to the public and features remarks by the Cash family.

Timed tours of Cash's boyhood home will be offered on the hour, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., for $10 per person.

A soon-to-be-released documentary film looking at music legend Glen Campbell will get an advance screening Thursday in Little Rock. It’s called “Glen Campbell… I’ll Be Me” and will be shown at the Central Arkansas Library System’s Ron Robinson Theater.

“Of course Glen Campbell is one of our most famous native sons and to get the opportunity to see this film ahead of audiences across America and the world is a real honor,” said Courtney Pledger, artistic director for the Arkansas Motion Picture Institute.

Country music legend Loretta Lynn is scheduled to perform during the 2014 Johnny Cash Music Festival at Arkansas State University.

ASU said Monday that Lynn will be joined by fellow Country Music Hall of Famers Reba McEntire and Bobby Bare at the event on Aug. 15. Singer and comedian Mark Lowry is to host the event at the Convocation Center on the ASU campus in Jonesboro.

Lynn - considered by many the "Queen of Country Music" - has hits dating back more than 50 years, including the biographical "Coal Miner's Daughter."

Johnny Cash House
Michael Hibblen / KUAR

Organizers rehabilitating the Johnny Cash home in Dyess are looking for furnishings that will reflect the time the Cash family lived in the dwelling in the 1930s and '40s.

The first phase of the project is to open in April.

Ruth Hawkins is directing the project through Arkansas Heritage Sites and Arkansas State University at Jonesboro.

The Jonesboro Sun reports Cash's siblings, Joanne and Tommy, described everything they recall from the home and drew pictures from memory.

Rosanne Cash Johnny Cash
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

As final work is being completed to open Johnny Cash’s boyhood home in Dyess, Arkansas as a museum, his daughter Rosanne Cash came to Little Rock over the weekend for a sold out show and to be honored for her work in helping to restore the small house.

Michael Hibblen / KUAR

Little Rock city leaders kicked off a campaign Tuesday to get citizens excited about helping to fund a $68 million renovation and expansion project at Robinson Center Music Hall.

The event was held on the steps of the auditorium, with Mayor Mark Stodola and other city leaders promoting a December 10 special election to vote on whether to use an existing two percent advertising and promotion tax to finance the additions.

Former Mayor Jim Dailey reminded those in attendance of the building’s historical significance.

A new book now on sale looks at the history of music in Arkansas.

Encyclopedia of Arkansas Music was put together by the same folks responsible for the online Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture.

It features profiles of well known Arkansas natives like Johnny Cash, Al Green, Levon Helm and Glen Campbell, as well as lessor known, but significant musicians like southern gothic artist Tav Falco and the sombrero-wearing couple Elton and Betty White, who were known for their graphic sexual lyrics.

Concert To Raise Money For Johnny Cash's Boyhood Home

Aug 16, 2013
Johnny Cash boyhoood home
Michael Hibblen / KUAR

On Saturday, Vince Gill will headline the 3rd annual Johnny Cash Music Festival in Jonesboro, Arkansas.  Cash's siblings Tommy and Joanne Cash, the Gatlin Brothers and others will also be performing.

Proceeds will go toward the restoration of Cash’s boyhood home in the east Arkansas town of Dyess. The town's administration building and an old movie theater will also be restored to tell the history of the Dyess Colony, which was created during the Great Depression as part of President Franklin Roosevelt's new deal.

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