The Johnny Cash Shrine | News Feature | Indy Week
Pin It

The Johnny Cash Shrine 

The Triangle music scene says goodbye to the Man in Black

It's been almost two months since John Ray Cash died at 71 of complications from diabetes and a hard-lived life.

Tears and tributes have flowed since then from all corners of the music world. Cash was more than country, more than rockabilly, more than a balladeer and more than the icon the VH1 crowd now makes of him.

We try to keep a local focus on music here at The Independent and wouldn't ordinarily devote an issue to a musician from outside the area. But Cash is different. Different because he's had such a big impact on the lives and songs of people who make music around here.

National publications--music and otherwise--have devoted a lot of space to who he was and how he lived, and no doubt there will be plenty more copy dedicated to remembrances.

Instead of presenting our extended obituary, we asked local musicians John Howie, Dexter Romweber, Caitlin Cary and Thad Cockrell to help us understand Cash's influence as a musician and a man. They were free to write what they wanted, and some of the similarities of the things they came up with are telling. Each, in a way, wrote about family, about faith, about love and hardship, and about Cash's ability to speak beyond the song and directly to the listener. In addition to the essays, veteran music writer Rick Cornell spreads out a road map of Cash's amazing life and travels.

Since no shrine is complete without images, artists Phil Blank and Casey Burns, both lifelong fans of Cash, spent the last month working on portraits for this issue. Their works, suitable for framing, underline the mythic qualities that were there in life and will surely grow in death.

This is our shrine, offered up with respect, sadness, and deep appreciation. His voice is silent now, but you can still hear the echoes. The circle remains unbroken.

Missing him already by Caitlin Cary
'He chose to rise above it' by Dexter Romweber
Johnny, Dad and me by John Howie Jr.
Amazing Grace by Thad Cockrell
'A true American giant' by Rick Cornell


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News Feature

Twitter Activity


Most Recent Comments

How do I get an absentee ballot?

by Carol Apperson on Vote, Dammit! The INDY’s 2017 Endorsements for the Raleigh, Durham, and Cary Municipal Elections (News Feature)

The Trump phenomenon is catastrophic. Obviously, Trump is far smarter than Hitler; but he has Hitler's ability to make the …

by Oscar Martinez on Welcome to the Resistance: Trump Is President, But Trumpism Can Never Prevail (News Feature)

Has anything been done to address the problems? When something is reported like this it's more important to check on …

by Christine Dale on The truth about the Goathouse Refuge (News Feature)

As one of the founders of Raleigh Cohousing I would like to set the record straight: The article is inaccurate …

by Kayelily Middleton on How the Triangle Became Ground Zero in the Cohousing Movement (News Feature)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation