Johnny Cash might be synonymous with Nashville, living just outside the country music centre with his wife, singer June Carter Cash in the infamous House of Cash, but he was actually born and raised in the state of Arkansas.
Earlier this week the iconic singer’s childhood home in the small town of Dyess was opened up to the public, as part of an attempt to boost tourism in the area. Dyess was an experiment in president Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal programme, which aimed to help the US economy bounce back from the Great Depression. The Cashes were among 500 families specially selected by the initiative to be given a small home, some farm land, money and a mule to try and rebuild their lives.
Here’s the bedroom in the home where Johnny spent most of his childhood. A five-room wooden house, visitors can see the family’s piano and other items from the period.
Cash’s siblings Tommy and Joanne have overseen the refurbishment of the home. “We’ve got everything just as it was,” Joanne Cash, now 76, told the New York Times. “It took a lot of hard work. It’s been very emotional for me. We used to gather around that piano at night and sing gospel for an hour. That was our entertainment.”
Mayor of Dyess Larry Sims is seen in front of the restored Administration Building of the Resettlement Administration’s Dyess Colony, of which the Cash family were part of.
The Depression era building also features an exhibit about Johnny Cash’s youth, and follows the opening of a museum dedicated to Cash life in Nashville, which opened in the summer of 2013.