DYESS – Award-winning performer Kris Kristofferson will highlight the musical entertainment at the inaugural Johnny Cash Heritage Festival, scheduled for Oct. 19-21 in Dyess. The concert will be held in the former cotton field adjacent to the restored Johnny Cash Boyhood Home, and will take place Oct. 21, beginning at 12:15 p.m.
The Johnny Cash Heritage Festival was created following a successful run of concerts that began in 2011 at Arkansas State University, benefitting the restoration of the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home. The inaugural festival will feature Saturday afternoon music from Kristofferson, Rosanne Cash, Joanne and Tommy Cash, and Buddy Jewell. Additionally, the three-day festival will include a symposium from Thursday afternoon through Saturday morning in the Dyess Colony Circle, regional music in the Colony Circle on Thursday and Friday nights, a Memories of a Lifetime oral history project, food vendors, arts and crafts booths, and demonstrations.
A longtime supporter of the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home restoration project, Kristofferson performed at the A-State Convocation Center in 2011, taking the stage at the benefit concert to help jump start the restoration efforts.
Known worldwide as one of the great songwriters in American history, Kristofferson is the recipient of countless awards, including multiple Grammys. His remarkable success as a songwriter began in the 1970s when his songs Me and Bobby McGee, Help Me Make it Through the Night, Sunday Morning Coming Down and For the Good Times all topped the charts and helped redefine country music songwriting. In 2004, Kristofferson was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Kristofferson’s renown as a songwriter helped launch a successful Hollywood career as well. While it has been estimated that over 450 artists have recorded songs that Kristofferson penned, he has also acted in more than 70 films, including his role opposite Barbra Streisand in A Star is Born, for which he was awarded the 1977 Golden Globe for Best Actor.
While most are familiar with his extraordinary performing and writing talents, Kristofferson’s accomplishments out of the spotlight are equally as impressive. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate who earned a Rhodes scholarship to study literature at Oxford, he also studied creative writing at Pomona College, was a Golden Gloves boxer, and achieved the rank of Captain in the United States Army while serving as an Airborne Ranger helicopter pilot. In 1965, he turned down an assignment to teach at West Point and moved to Nashville to pursue his musical career.
By the early 70s, Kristofferson’s career had taken off, and to date he has recorded 29 albums, including three with Cash, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings as part of the Highwaymen. His most recent CD, The Cedar Creek Sessions, was released in time for his 80th birthday in 2016.
All of the Saturday performances are included in the price of the inaugural concert ticket. Ticket holders will also have access throughout the afternoon to food vendors, arts and crafts booths, and artists’ merchandise. Tickets are on sale now and available online, http://www.AState.edu/tickets, or at the Central Box Office on the A-State campus (lower red entrance), or by calling 870-972-2781 or 800-745-3000.
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