Los Angeles, CA – September 25, 2008 – Bio Channel shares the unique story of one man, his music and the country that embraced him with the two-hour documentary special “Johnny Cash’s America,” premiering on Thursday, October 23 at 9 PM EST.
At the time of his death in 2003, no other entertainer in history had brought together people of such diverse creeds, politics, and persuasions as Johnny Cash. With hits spanning six decades from the 1950s into the 21st century, Cash sought to advocate his beliefs and unify people through his music. Wading in the controversies of his time, Cash was a man who believed in God but was a friend to the Devil, a patriot and a drug addict, a friend to Presidents and an ally to prisoners. His America was not red, white or blue; it was black.
A first time partnership between the Cash Estate, Sony Music, Executive Producer John Carter Cash and Award-winning filmmaking team Morgan Neville (Hank Williams: Honky Tonk Blues) and Robert Gordon (Muddy Waters Can’t Be Satisfied, with Morgan Neville), the special sheds new light on the life and legacy of the “Man in Black.” Narrated by Oscar-winning actor Chris Cooper (Adaptation), viewers will have unprecedented access to a wealth of rare materials, including never-before-seen footage and photos, intimate interviews with Cash’s family, children, and several life-long friends, and 27 of Johnny Cash’s recordings, many used here for the first time.
The documentary explores the prominent themes of Cash’s life including love of the land, freedom, justice, family, faith and redemption through exclusive interviews, photos and unreleased music and footage. Interviews include Cash’s sister Joanne, son John Carter Cash and daughters Cindy Cash and Rosanne Cash, childhood friends and fellow band mates as well as Bob Dylan, John Mellencamp, Sheryl Crow, Al Gore, Tim Robbins, Loretta Lynn, Snoop Dogg, Vince Gill, Ozzy Ozborne, Steve Earle, Merle Haggard and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn) all of whom are connected to Cash in surprising ways.
The special features 27 of Cash’s songs as well as unreleased and never-before seen footage including the 1965 “Johnny Cash Show” featuring solo performance of “Five Feet High and Rising,” outtakes from the recording studio with Cash and Bob Dylan from his elusive Eat the Document documentary and rehearsal footage for a Highwaymen recording session. The Cash family – Johnny’s sister, son, and other relatives – take viewers to rural Dyess, Arkansas to Cash’s childhood home and visit brother Jack’s grave which elicits a moving, impromptu singing of “Will The Circle Be Unbroken.”
“Johnny Cash’s America” will premiere at the Woodstock Film Festival on Saturday, October 4 and screen at the Country Music Hall of Fame on October 11, the American Cinematheque in Hollywood, CA on October 13, the Memphis Indie Film Festival on October 15 and the Paley Center in New York, NY on October 17. Sony BMG’s Legacy Recordings will release the CD/DVD on October 28.
“Johnny Cash’s America” is produced and directed by Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon from Tremelo Productions for Bio Channel. Executive Producers for Bio Channel are Robert Sharenow and Andy Berg.