Marty Stuart to headline Starkville’s Cash festival

Published 4:45 pm Friday, September 7, 2007

Mississippi native Marty Stuart will headline the Johnny Cash Flower Pickin’ Festival Nov. 2-4.

Stuart, who was born in east central Mississippi’s Philadelphia, will be the featured act for the festival, which is meant to honor Cash, the country music legend whom Stuart called boss and father-in-law. Festival officials announced the musical guests for the event Wednesday.

“We were looking for someone with a direct connection to Johnny Cash and someone with Mississippi roots,” said the festival’s executive director, Robbie Ward.

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Stuart was a member of Cash’s band and was once married to one of Cash’s daughters, Cindy. They divorced after eight years of marriage.

Stuart has received four Grammy Awards and has had six Top 10 hits, five gold albums and one platinum album.

Besides music, the festival will feature a public viewing of the Johnny Cash biopic “Walk the Line,” a charity auction and social at the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house, and a redemption service.

If all goes well, members of Cash’s family will be on hand to accept a pardon from the city, county and state, Ward said.

On May 11, 1965, Cash was arrested in Starkville for public drunkenness. He wrote the song “Starkville City Jail” about his experience.

Other entertainers to appear in concert during the festival include a Johnny Cash tribute band known as Ring of Fire and the group Kingbilly.