The Johnny Cash estate teased back to a time four decades ago when the country icon was touring Down Under with one of his daughter and one of his best friends.
The official Twitter account posted:
“Cindy Cash, Johnny, and Marty Stuart all smiles backstage at the Hordern Pavilion (Sydney, Australia) on June 19, 1981. See more images or even submit your own on the Tour History section of the official Johnny Cash website.”
Let’s set up where Johnny Cash was in his career in 1981. The year before, he became the youngest living inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He wasn’t producing as many hits, but he still was touring. In the summer of 1981, he did a swing through Australia. Within four years, Johnny Cash had reinvented his music with a country merger. He joined Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson to form the supergroup The Highwaymen. The group had three hit albums.
Here’s How Johnny Cash and Marty Stuart Became Family
Meanwhile, Cash’s daughter, Cindy, also was singing with him. She was the third child and third daughter for Johnny and his first wife, Vivian. Like her big sister Roseanne, Cindy inherited a lot of her dad’s singing talent.
Cindy joined Johnny Cash on stage for the first time when she was 16. She also was part of a group called The Next Generation. The group oozed in high-quality country DNA — that was their calling card. The daughters of Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette and George Jones also were in the group.
Marty Stuart joined Johnny Cash on the road in 1979 as a member of his backing band. Stuart was only 21. By then, he’d already been a part of Lester Flatt’s backing band. And when Flatt retired, Stuart joined Johnny Cash. He was the same age as Cindy Cash. And the two fell in love. They were married in 1983 and divorced by 1988. Nine years later, Stuart married Connie Smith, a member of the Grand Ole Opry. She’s 17 years older than Stuart.
Stuart left Johnny Cash, one of his mentors, in 1985 to go solo. He combined with Travis Tritt for his top-performing song, “The Whiskey Ain’t Workin.” That song hit No. 2 on the Hot Country Chart in early 1992.
In January, Stuart paid tribute to Johnny Cash with the song and video for I’ve Been Around. It was part of the deluxe edition of Forever Words. The project was coordinated by John Carter Cash, who asked his dad’s friends and contemporaries to turn his poetry into music. The original collection came out in 2018. The deluxe edition adds 18 more songs.
Stuart filmed the video outside of the Cash Cabin Studio in Hendersonville, Tennessee. The video features footage of Stuart and Johnny Cash together as friends and performers.