I’ve seen Cash many times over the years.
He was a special performer. He had a way of drawing an audience to him. This morning as I was on my way to my coffee place I slipped in a Cash cd; a live show he did in 1990 in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Cash recorded some of the best live albums in all of music. That’s my opinion. Cash was one who believed in capturing the moment.
I first saw Cash in 1955 I was thirteen years old and was sitting on one of the famous church pews in the Ryman auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee with my parents. They had come to Nashville for ‘our vacation.’ Earlier that day we had gotten in line to get our tickets, fifty cents for a show that would begin around six p.m. and run until midnight. Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry was always my parent’s idea of a vacation. It was a two-hundred and fifty mile drive from our home in Indiana, and we traveled all the way on two lane Highway 41 in a 1948 Plymouth.
Over the years I came to see Cash many, many times. I never think of Cash that I don’t remember my good friend, Mike. Mike loved Cash almost with a passion. Years later Mike shared with me that I was the one who introduced him to Cash. He and I along with our wives had gone together to see Cash’s traveling country music show in Indianapolis in the early 1970s’. That show would include the Carter Family, Carl Perkins, The Statler Brothers, June and John. Great show, saw it many times.
As Cash aged he had a way of attracting the younger generation. His music crossed age lines. I was surprised when our forty-six year old son first talked with me about Cash and told me how on more than one occasion he had visited Cash’s grave in Hendersonville, Tennessee. When you visit one’s grave, I’d say they have had an influence on you.
In his later years of performing seems Cash would often give a bit of advice. I came to think of it as stage advice. One of the last performances in which I would see Cash, just prior to his singing the Kristofferson classic, “Sunday Morning Coming Down,” I remember him saying:
it’s best you remember where you have been.”
September 12, 2016