Johnny Cash performed a great deal in his career, touring with other major country artists like his second wife, June Carter. He is a true American artist in every sense of the word, so much so that some may not think he made it to the USA. Other contemporaries of him, such as Elvis Presley, never made it to the UK – but is Johnny similar?
Did Johnny Cash perform in the UK?
Johnny Cash did perform in the UK a number of times, however his most regularly seen performance stages were in the USA.
His daughter, Rosanne Cash, told a Channel 5 documentary about his time in Britain: “He was so at home in the UK.
“It was like he settled into – it was like a comfortable, little office for him.
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“He loved being in the UK.”
Despite most of his time being spent in the country he was born in, one concert Johnny performed went down in history with many – his 1994 Glastonbury set.
Speaking of this performance, festival organiser Michael Eavis said: “It was my idea to invite Johnny Cash.
“We started as a Legends thing he was a very famous name. I couldn’t go wrong with Johnny Cash really?
“The audience were so appreciative of it, it was something different really that we were doing then, you see.
“Every single fan of his in England was there in that field, it was an incredible moment.”
Michael even said a bishop in the area invited Johnny and his band to stay at his home, showing how well loved he was.
The real drama of this event came before Johnny even stepped on stage, as a couple of weeks before the festival, the famous Pyramid Stage burnt down.
A local company who had provided other stages stepped in, providing a replacement before the revellers arrived.
After this, Johnny hit the stage, but he was not even one of the headliners.
The headliner for the Friday night was The Levellers, while Elvis Costello & The Attractions fronted the Pyramid Stage on the Saturday night.
As for Johnny, he was one of the performers on the Sunday night, where Genesis legend Peter Gabriel was headlining.
Peter spoke of meeting him at the event in a recent documentary, which spoke about the times The Man in Black performed in the UK, and at Glastonbury.
He tweeted, recalling the time they met backstage: “My first reaction was, why the hell would Johnny Cash want to say hi to me?”
In the documentary, he added: “He seemed nervous.. And then settled in and you could see it meant an enormous amount at the end and it was very touching for everybody.
“Seeing so many young people validate his life’s work I think was a powerful thing and wonderful to see.”
As well as this, Johnny famously visited Scotland a great deal, telling Edinburgh how his ancestors were from County Fife, “or the kingdom of Fife.”
According to The Guardian, Johnny traced his ancestry to when the niece of Malcolm IV (1153-1165) – who had the name Cash or Cashel – married the Earl of Fife.
The first American Cash then came in the 1600s when a mariner, William Cash, sailed from Scotland to Salem, Massachusetts.
So, while Johnny is an American hero to many, he also had a soft spot for the UK.