Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dan Barry, Mamas and Johnny Cash

My personal country music consultant pointed out that the lead for Dan Barry’s “This Land” column is written in lyrics from Johnny Cash songs.

Having read Dan’s memoir, Pull Me Up, I know that he used to watch his late mother dance with the vacum cleaner as she sang along with the man in black. That joyful image stuck with me.

This column, about a quirky Cash tribute, is well worth the trip to Starkville. As always -- cleanly written and clever. Dan's column runs every Monday in The New York Times.

He had said hey to the porter, he had made her cry, cry, cry, he had walked the line. Now, with another worshipful crowd sated and with the rest of the band already on the road back to Memphis, a troubled and restless Johnny Cash stayed to explore the magnolia-scented darkness of a place whose name he could not have made up: Starkville.

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