In April of 1992, Arkansas journalist/meteorologist, Melinda Mayo was sent to Branson, Missouri to cover the explosion in new music theaters there.
Big names like Kenny Rogers, Andy Williams, and native Arkansans Johnny Cash and Glen Campbell were all building big theaters or planning long term performance deals in Branson. Melinda wanted to interview them all, but my main target was The Man In Black.
There was a planned photoshoot of all the Branson stars out at Big Cedar Lodge and Johnny was going to be there. He was building a theater complex that would be called Cash Country and his plans were for lots of the Cash-Carter family to perform there during the year.
You'll see in the video, all the "stars" are chit-chatting before the photoshoot. It's everyone from Andy Williams to Ray Stevens to many of the family performers that started Branson back in the 60s. Then, here he comes.
At 6'2", Johnny Cash is tall, but not extremely tall. However, when he arrives just his presence alone absolutely towers over everything and everyone else. The others keep talking, but every eye shifts occasionally back over to Johnny and only a handful walk over to say hi. You'll see in the video that country singers Moe Bandy and Mel Tillis visit with him the most. Basically, if you didn't have a #1 hit at some point in your career, best to stay back.
They all get into position for a picture taken from a bucket truck above with Johnny front and center holding his guitar. Then, something special happens. Everyone is waiting and still talking, when Johnny starts to play that guitar.