Country Stars Band Together to Save Johnny Cash's Boyhood Home

Johnny Cash Childhood Home - H 2012
Reuters/Arkansas State University/Handout

Johnny Cash Childhood Home - H 2012

Willie Nelson, Dierks Bentley, the Civil Wars and Rosanne Cash will participate in Friday's Johnny Cash Music Festival at Arkansas State University. The goal: raising money to restore the Cash family home.

Some of country music's biggest names are banding together to help preserve the memory of the great late Johnny Cash.

Willie Nelson, Dierks Bentley, the Civil Wars and Rosanne Cash will participate in the Johnny Cash Music Festival, a special benefit concert aimed at raising funds for the restoration of the Man in Black's boyhood home in the tiny town of Dyess, Arkansas.

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Purchased by Arkansas State University in 2011, the school is "spearheading the drive to repair and furnish the 1930s era house," says a report in Reuters. Cash lived in the home with his six brothers and sisters.

Cash's daughter Rosanne, a songwriter herself, said the project captured her heart, telling Reuters, "It's been a long process." So far, some $300,000 has been raised with the hope of bringing in another $200,000 from Friday's event. The renovations, in addition to building a new visitor center and walking trails, are expected to cost somewhere around $1.9 million.

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The family moved to the rural Arkansas outpost in 1936 to take part in then President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "New Deal" initiative. In the effort to boost agricultural output, the Cash clan, like many struggling families, were given 20 acres of land. Today, Dyess' total population hovers around 410.

John Carter Cash, the son of June Carter and Johnny Cash, said the concert, which will be held at Arkansas State University's Convocation Center in Jonesboro on October 5, would benefit an area "that really needs help.

Proceeds from the show will also help support a scholarship fund established in the late singer's name. Cash died in 2003 at age 71.

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