Monday 25 September 2017

How Johnny Cash's daughter reminded me of power of place

Rosanne Cash. Photo: Getty Images
Rosanne Cash. Photo: Getty Images

Gerard O'Regan

'The American South – there's just a kind of poetry to be found in all of it.'' That's what Johnny Cash's eldest daughter, Rosanne, told us as she took us on a journey through time and place, into the very heartlands of Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi.

She also told us she had recently been on a kind of personal odyssey – rediscovering those southern roots that shaped her father from his early childhood. So she has spent time delving into dark hills and stalking canyons, ravines and deep rivers, as well as various small-world towns. She wants to feel the forces that fuelled her father's music – and indeed his life. And it is a journey through which she will better get to know herself.

Rosanne has spent the past two decades living in New York, cultivating, at least in part, the persona of an uptown Manhattan woman. But now in her middle years she finally accepts the lure of the South never really went away. In her younger days, she had fought hard to reject, and rebel against, long distant memories, buried in the soil of Tennessee and Mississippi.

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