One of the coolest things I ever got to do was hang out with Johnny Cash. I had a chance to meet Johnny at The Scottish Rite Cathedral in New Castle, Pa. when me and Gary Z were there to host the show for WNIO-AM.
We were sitting back stage and all of a sudden the door opens and in walks Johnny and June. There he was, big, tall and dressed in black. He walked over to us, stuck out his hand and said "Hello I'm Johnny Cash and this is my lovely wife June". We were like, "Johnny you don't have to introduce yourself to us."
No entourage or anything.. just Johnny and June. He than invited us to join him for a chicken dinner and we sat around shooting the breeze. He was as cool and as down to earth as you would expect him to be.
I remember asking him about his the reason for his longevity and he said it was because he always tried to give the fans their money's worth. "People work hard to buy a $12 ticket and I want to make sure I'm worth $6 an hour," he said.
I laugh when some of these bands today make you jump through hoops just to get a quick interview or a picture. In the back of my mind I'm always thinkin', "That's not the way Johnny Cash did it."
The Man in Black," who began his career at Sun Records in Memphis, was part of the Million Dollar Quartet with Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins. He is best known for "I Walk the Line," "Ring of Fire" and "A Boy Named Sue." Cash hosted a prime-time music-variety series on ABC. He's the only artist in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Country Music Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.