Second Johnny Cash Music Festival set Oct. 5

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

JONESBORO -- Rector native Bill Carter, executive producer of the Johnny Cash Music Festival, announced Tuesday during the Arkansas Governor's Conference on Tourism that the second annual music festival will be held Friday, Oct. 5, at Arkansas State University.

Johnny Cash's daughter, Rosanne Cash, will host the 2012 festival. Talent for the concert will be announced at a later date.

The long anticipated announcement was made during the final day of the tourism conference in West Memphis. Members of the Arkansas tourism industry met for the 38th Governor's Conference, bringing participants from hotels, restaurants, communities and events together to present attractions happening in 2012. The theme is "Arkansas Tourism: Building Bridges for Today's Travelers."

"We are excited to bring back the Johnny Cash Music Festival for a second year," said Christy Valentine, executive director for communications at ASU. "Last year's festival was a great success, and support of the event went a long way in helping to finance the restoration of Johnny Cash's boyhood home. This home is truly a part of Arkansas history and should be preserved to mark the humble Arkansas beginnings of a great talent."

Valentine went on to say that everyone associated with the Cash project hopes the 2012 festival will draw even more support than the 2011 concert, which was a sellout with over 7,000 tickets.

Ticket and souvenir sales yielded more than $310,000 for the restoration of Johnny Cash's boyhood home. Cash fans from all over the United States, as well as several countries, were in attendance. The concert featured music legends Rosanne Cash, her brother John Carter Cash and his wife Laura, Johnny's sister Joanne Cash Yates and brother Tommy Cash, Kris Kristofferson, George Jones, Bill Miller, bluegrass duo Dailey and Vincent, Gary Morris and son Matt Morris, Denny Strickland and Rodney Crowell.

Hundreds of Johnny Cash fans traveled Feb. 26 to Dyess to join the Cash family in the celebration of Johnny's 80th birthday. The tribute launched a national fundraising campaign for the Dyess project. The total cost of the project, which includes restoration and construction needs and endowment needs, totals $7.4 million.

A national advisory council has been formed and includes singers/actors Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson as honorary co-chairmen. Cash family members are represented with Rosanne Cash and her husband John Leventhal, and John Carter Cash and wife Laura serving as co-chairs.

In addition, an Arkansas Steering Committee has been formed and includes co-chairs Mike and Marsha Gibson, A.J. Henson and J.E. Huff.

For more information about the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home Project and the Johnny Cash Music Festival, log onto or contact the Arkansas Heritage Sites Office at Arkansas State University at 1-888-225-8343 or 1-870-972-2803.

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