I grew up listening to Johnny Cash, and although at the time I didn’t really get what was behind the music, as I have gotten older I realize how much his music is part of the soundtrack of my life. So I was very excited when I learned there was a museum in downtown Nashville and I made visiting it a priority. We gave the museum our prime 9am Sunday morning slot (less crowds) and drove down to visit.
Unfortunately even at that time it was crowded, and since the museum itself is small and tight, I can’t even imagine what it would have been like later in the day. It was also $25 per person which I felt was really steep for what they had, and unfortunately unless you are a big fan I can’t really recommend it. That being said, since Lee and I are huge fans I am glad we went.
The layout was tight with memorabilia spread throughout. My favorite parts were these small alcoves where you could sit and watch videos about his life. I had no idea for example he was in so many movies.
They did have some nice memorabilia from his home including his family piano. Since he grew up poor the fact that they had a piano was amazing and this was part of how he developed his love of music.
One of my favorite sections was what we wore when he won the National Medal of Arts. The award was there as well and I was happy that he was given it. It was revolutionary that he sang songs in prisons and his advocacy for convicts was life long. He also was a person who didn’t seem to care about color and many of his songs are about the disenfranchised.
There also was a small section on the movie Walk the Line. Lee and I re-watched it when we came home from the museum and it was even better than I remembered. Both Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon won Oscars for their portrayals of John and June Cash and if you have never seen the movie I highly recommend it.
They also had a nice section of Johnny’s art. Later in life he experimented with many art forms and for an amateur I thought they were really good.
My absolute favorite part though was was one of the small alcoves where they were playing a clip of Johnny Cash’s “Ragged Old Flag”. If you have never heard this in its entirety I have included a You Tube link. It’s a beautiful poem and one that still gives me chills. Despite this country’s problems I consider myself a patriot, and it is moments like this that formed that within me as a child.
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