Carrie Cash was washing dishes in her kitchen when she heard something she’d never heard. Outside, near a tree, her teenage son, Johnny was singing a gospel song. He’d sang his entire life, but his voice had changed. His mother knew his newfound sound was unique. Little did she know her boy would go on to become one of the iconic singers of all-time.
Fans will migrate to Dyess this week to attend the three-day 2019 Johnny Cash Heritage Festival, Thursday through Saturday, (Oct. 17-19). The event, which starts with symposium speakers and concludes with the cotton field concert, is the third festival to be held at the Dyess Colony and the Cash boyhood home.
Rosanne Cash will host the “Titans of Filmmaking” special presentations Friday afternoon. This presentation requires a ticket to be admitted. Titans of Filmmaking begins at 1:30 p.m. in the Dyess Community Center and showcases a trio of presenters, including author/editor/Grammy winner William Ferris, Grammy and Emmy Award winner Thom Zimny and documentary producer Pam Tubridy Baucom.
Other activities, including public presentations during the day, will start at 9 a.m. each day and KASU Music Nights beginning at 5 p.m. each night, will take place at the Dyess Colony Circle. Admittance to all of these events is free. The symposium involves speakers and presentations addressing the theme, “Our Musical Genealogy: Country Music and the American Experience.” KASU Music Nights features eight local and area bands who will provide music each hour.
Additional activities on Thursday and Friday are tours of the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home, Dyess Colony Circle exhibits, Dyess Colony Visitors Center gift shop and Memories of a Lifetime Project. The memories project invites former Dyess colonists and others who have memories of the Great Depression and the New Deal to have their stories videotaped, as well as share photos and documents that can be digitized and returned. Materials gained through this project will be incorporated into interpretive formats that will deepen the level of understanding of this historic site and the New Deal era.
The Saturday afternoon concert event, featuring artists Rosanne Cash, Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives, Cory Jackson, Joanne Cash, and Cash family representatives, is at the former cotton field adjacent to the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home, with gates opening at 11 a.m. Jackson will open the performances at noon, followed by Cash family members. Headline performers Rosanne and Stuart will conclude the concert around 5 p.m.