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Walnut Ridge in Lawrence County, Arkansas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Johnny Cash

— Rock 'n Roll Highway 67 —

 
 
Johnny Cash Marker at Guitar Walk image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, April 3, 2021
1. Johnny Cash Marker at Guitar Walk
Inscription.  Northeast Arkansas native Johnny Cash brought his own style to Rock 'n' Roll Highway 67. His music was more country than rock, but he produced an innovative sound that enthralled fans for over five decades.

Most of Johnny's shows along Rock 'n' Roll Highway 67 were at venues such as the high schools in Swifton and Bono, because his religious upbringing led him to avoid nightclub performances.

He did make an exception in Jackson County, however. He was convinced to take the stage before Elvis Presley on one occasion at Bob King's Capri Club, earning $20 for the gig.

Johnny grew up in a government farming colony near Dyess, Ark., where he worked the cotton fields with his family and listened to the country music of his day.

His fascination with the music, coupled with his distinctive voice, proved to be his ticket out of the fields.

After a stint in the Air Force, he was living in Memphis and persisted upon Sam Phillips to give him an audition at Sun Records. Phillips signed him, and Johnny soon hit the charts with songs like "Cry! Cry! Cry!" "Folsom Prison Blues," and "I Walk the Line."

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He also delved into rockabilly with tunes like “Ballad of a Teenage Queen," but his big hits continued to be country songs.

After leaving Sun in 1958, Johnny continued to record legendary hits, including “Ring of Fire," "Tennessee Flat Top Box," and “Sunday Morning Coming Down." He also scored a huge hit, Jackson,” with June Carter, who would later become his wife.

He enjoyed a popular resurgence late in life with a series of albums called American Recordings, ending his career where it started, on an independent label. Songs such as “Dehlia's Gone," "Hurt," and "God's Gonna Cut You Down" introduced Johnny Cash to a whole new generation of fans.

Photo caption at top: Johnny performed in few nightclubs due to his religious convictions, but he was convinced to play four songs for $20 one evening at King's Capri Club, north of Swifton.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, MusicEntertainment. A significant historical year for this entry is 1958.
 
Location. 36° 4.029′ N, 90° 57.447′ W. Marker is in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, in Lawrence County. Marker is on SW Front Street south of West Elm Street, on the right when traveling south. Located at Guitar Walk near the Walnut Ridge Train Station. Touch for map.

Johnny Cash Marker is located in the far back right corner. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, April 3, 2021
2. Johnny Cash Marker is located in the far back right corner.
The markers are arrayed around an epiphone casino shaped guitar.
Marker is at or near this postal address: 109 SW Front St, Walnut Ridge AR 72476, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Billy Lee Riley (here, next to this marker); Carl Perkins (here, next to this marker); Jerry Lee Lewis (a few steps from this marker); Roy Orbison (a few steps from this marker); Conway Twitty (a few steps from this marker); Wanda Jackson (a few steps from this marker); Sonny Burgess (a few steps from this marker); When The Beatles Came to Town (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Walnut Ridge.
 
Guitar Walk at Cavenaugh Park image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, April 3, 2021
3. Guitar Walk at Cavenaugh Park
The Guitar Walk is a 115 foot long concrete guitar, complete with frets, and strings. Along the edges are interpretive markers that pay tribute to the early legends that gave birth to Rock n’ Roll, at venues along Rock n’ Roll Highway 67 that runs through the area. The free walk includes audio narration by none other than legendary Sun Studio recording artist, Sonny Burgess.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 13, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 6, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 217 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on April 6, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.

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Apr. 14, 2024