“Klipsch lives by the ‘No Bullshit’ mantra and when you look back on the history of music, there are few artists who better possess that than Johnny Cash,” said Klipsch CEO Paul Jacobs. “Music Masters is such an intimate experience and we are honored to pay tribute to the ‘Man in Black’, another American badass.”
The 2016 Annual Music Masters tribute concert, presented by Klipsch Audio, will feature John Carter Cash as executive bandleader and keyboardist Tony Harrell as band director. Musical all-stars Sam Bush, Paul Cauthen, Ana Cristina, Ira Dean, Nikki Lane, Terry McBride, Bill Miller, The Oak Ridge Boys, Charlie Worsham, and Cash’s longtime drummer WS Holland will come together with previously announced artists Mike Ness of Social Distortion, Eilen Jewell, and L.A. punk band X, to honor the legendary “Man in Black” during the tribute concert on October 21st.
About Johnny Cash:
To millions of fans, Johnny Cash is “the Man in Black,” a country-music legend who sings in an authoritative baritone about the travails of working men and the downtrodden in this country. Lesser known is the fact that Johnny Cash was present at one of the key moments in early rock and roll history by virtue of being one of the earliest signees to Sam Phillips’ Sun Records back in 1955. Cash was part of an elite club of rock and roll pioneers at Sun that included Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis. The four were collectively referred to as “the Million Dollar Quartet” after an impromptu gathering and jam session at the Sun recording studio on December 4, 1956. What Cash and his group, the Tennessee Two, brought to the “Sun Sound” was a spartan mix of guitar, standup bass and vocals that served as an early example of rockabilly. Cash recorded a string of rockabilly hits for Sun that included “Cry, Cry, Cry,” “Folsom Prison Blues” and “I Walk the Line.” The latter was first of more than a dozen Number One country hits for Cash and also marked his first appearance on the national pop singles charts.
Straddling the country, folk and rockabilly idioms, Johnny Cash crafted more than 400 plainspoken story-songs that described and addressed the lives of coal miners, sharecroppers, Native Americans, prisoners, cowboys, renegades and family men. Cash came by his common touch honestly, having been born in Kingsland, Arkansas, during the Great Depression on February 26, 1932. At age three, he moved with his family to Dyess, Arkansas, where he worked the cotton fields. Cash’s roaming days included laboring at an auto plant in Michigan, serving in the Air Force in Germany and working as an appliance salesman in Memphis. Cash became a full-time musician after his two-sided hit—“So Doggone Lonesome"/"Folsom Prison Blues”—shot to Number Four on the Billboard country chart in 1956. From Sun, he jumped to Columbia Records in 1958, where he recorded such favorites as “Ring of Fire,” “Understand Your Man,” “Don’t Take Your Guns to Town” and “Tennessee Flat-Top Box.” But Cash never forgot his roots, nor did he leave hard times behind. A prototype for the black-clad rebel rocker, Cash cultivated a serious drug problem in the Sixties, which ended when he met his second wife, June Carter, whom he married in 1968.
Some of Cash’s best work includes live albums recorded, quite literally, for captive audiences at Folsom and San Quentin prisons. Johnny Cash at San Quentin included the 1969 hit “A Boy Named Sue,” which went to Number Two. In 1969, Cash cut a duet with Bob Dylan for the latter’s Nashville Skyline, and Dylan returned the favor by appearing on The Johnny Cash Show, a successful TV variety hour that premiered in 1969. All the while, the rugged simplicity and uncut honesty of Cash’s approach was steadily seeping into rock and roll by way of the burgeoning country-rock scene.
About the Annual Music Masters Series, Presented by Klipsch Audio:
The Annual Music Masters series, a co-production of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and the Center for Popular Music Studies at Case Western Reserve University, celebrates the lives and careers of artists who changed the shape and sound of rock and roll music. Each year, the Music Masters series explores the legacy of a pioneering rock and roll figure in a range of events that includes Museum exhibits, lectures, films, a major conference, and a tribute concert benefiting the Rock Hall’s education programs. Drawing together experts, artists, fans and friends, these events provide new perspectives on the most beloved and influential musicians of the past century.
The tribute concert brings together a diverse mix of artists and musical styles, and as a result, many magical moments have taken place over the years. In 2012, Chuck Berry took the stage and during a performance of his song “Reelin’ And Rockin’,” he surprised the audience with his signature move – “the Duck Walk.” Honoree Jerry Lee Lewis, who was not scheduled to perform at the 2007 concert, was moved to take the stage at the end of the show. Lewis tenderly played the piano and sang “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” At the first Annual Music Masters tribute concert, Bruce Springsteen set the bar high and performed in honor of Woody Guthrie. The most star-studded and unique performance by a trio was Aretha Franklin, Solomon Burke and Elvis Costello paying tribute to Sam Cooke in 2005. In 2008, a 93-year-old Les Paul took the stage with his trio and then led an epic jam with some of rock and roll’s greatest guitarists, from Jennifer Batten to Slash. Janis Joplin was honored in 2009 by Grammy winner Lucinda Williams, with a song she composed especially for the occasion, and in 2010, Dave Bartholomew brought down the house with a performance in tribute of honorees Fats Domino and Bartholomew himself. In 2011, Aretha Franklin was not planning to perform, but at the last minute she requested a piano and took the stage to perform Leon Russell’s “A Song for You,” which she recorded in 1974. During the 19th Annual Music Masters honoring the Everly Brothers, Don Everly took the stage with the rest of the cast – that included Graham Nash, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, and more – for two run-throughs of the 1957 chart topping hit “Bye Bye Love.” Last year, at the 20th Music Masters honoring Smokey Robinson, the honoree was joined on stage by fellow Hall of Fame Inductees from Motown including Mary Wilson, Dennis Edwards, Martha Reeves, and Motown founder Berry Gordy.
The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this program with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment of all Ohioans.
This release is not and should not be construed as an endorsement of any product or company by any of the artists listed in the release.
About Klipsch Audio
In 1946 Paul W. Klipsch, inventor, acoustics pioneer and maverick, founded Klipsch Audio with the sole purpose of bringing the power, detail and emotion of the live music experience into his living room. Through the use of highly efficient speaker designs, handcrafted cabinetry and a thirst for real engineering breakthroughs – Klipsch, the great American loudspeaker company, was born in Hope, AR. Today, our diverse range of quality audio products includes speakers and headphones for almost any consumer and professional application – including cinema, whole-house, wireless, home theater and portable offerings. Honoring our founder’s legacy, Klipsch continues to be the legendary high-performance brand of choice for audiophiles and aficionados around the world. We are the Keepers of the Sound®. Klipsch Group, Inc. is a VOXX International Company (NASDAQ: VOXX). For more information, visit Klipsch.com.