Cash is king at three-day heritage festival in Dyess


Roseanne Cash photo by Michael Lavine

Long before he was known for picking a guitar, the late, legendary Johnny Cash grew up on his family’s Dyess farm picking cotton.

And it’s in a cotton field adjacent to the restored Johnny Cash Boyhood Home where he’ll be celebrated in a concert closing the annual Johnny Cash Heritage Festival, held Oct. 17-19.

The concert will be headlined by his daughter Rosanne Cash, who will be joined by fellow Grammy winner and special guest Marty Stuart.

“We want to really emphasize the family component this year,” says festival chair Dr. Adam Long, interim director of Arkansas State University Heritage Sites. “We have more Cash family members coming back than we’ve ever had before.”

While country singer Marty Stuart isn’t technically kin to Cash, Long says, “He was a member of

Marty Stuart photo by Alysse Gafkjen

Johnny Cash’s band and knew Johnny well, and has been connected to the family since then.”

This will be the third Johnny Cash Festival in Dyess.

For several years prior, the Johnny Cash Music Festival took place on the Arkansas State University campus in Jonesboro to benefit restoration of the Cash home, which opened to the public in 2014.

A highlight this year is the Oct. 18 “Titans of Filmmaking” event hosted by Rosanne Cash. Tickets for the 1:30-4:30 p.m. event at the Dyess Community Center are $15.

Earlier symposium events, which will be held in the Dyess Colony Visitors Center, are free. So are evenings of local music Oct. 17-18 in the Colony Circle (bring chairs).

Tickets for the Oct. 19 concert are $35 for general admission (bring chairs) and $100 for reserved seating.

The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas are proud to continue support of this festival.

Says Vice President-Governmental Affairs Kirkley Thomas, “We are pleased to once again sponsor the Johnny Cash Heritage Festival. This event has raised funds for the restoration of the Cash family home and other structures in the Dyess Colony that has drawn visitors from all 50 states and over 30 countries. This was our vision from the beginning of this project — to stimulate community development through tourism. We are extremely grateful to the Cash family for their continued support, as well as Arkansas State University for its dedication and commitment. Without them this would not have been possible.”

For more information visit, or call 870-764-CASH (2274) or 870-972-2803.