When you’re one of the biggest music and pop culture icons in the world, you often run into some pretty famous faces.
It just comes with the territory.
and Johnny Cash was no exception.
He’s performed before President Nixon at the White House, elbowed with Elvis Presley, and even met the King of England while on tour in Canada. Well, he wasn’t the king then, but a member of the royal family nonetheless.
With the recent death of Queen Elizabeth II and the subsequent coronation of her son, King Charles III, Rosanne Cash took the opportunity to share an old photo of her father and the new King of England.
She didn’t offer any context or insight into the photo other than the fact that they were photographed together, but admitted she was somewhat hesitant to share it.
“I’ve been debating whether or not to post this photo all day, but it’s just too good to keep under wraps.
I’m expecting lots of captions, but none that I haven’t already thought of. But go ahead.”
dr Mark provided a little more background on the photo:
Johnny Cash performed at the White House in 1970
Richard Nixon was known for some things…
As the 37th President of the United States, who got the US out of the Vietnam War and stabilized relations with China and the USSR, he was president when the United States landed on the moon (or faked it according to conspiracy theorists), and perhaps most as we know it … the only president to resign after the infamous Watergate scandal.
However, he was also known for bringing a number of musical performances to the White House.
As the first President to attend the Grand Ole Opry, Nixon invited Merle Haggard to play at the White House, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Duke Ellington and more…even the big ones Johnny Cash.
Although Cash’s performance wasn’t without controversy.
1969, at the height of the anti-war movement, was a time of political turmoil, political division, and people took to the streets in anti-war protests and demonstrations.
Nixon saw this development and gave a speech announcing that he wanted to end the war.
And Cash, agreeing that the war should end, passed on an announcement The Johnny Cash Show that he supported the President’s position on ending the war.
Shortly thereafter, in 1970, Nixon invited Johnny and June Carter Cash to play at the White House, and of course Johnny and June loved it.
However, there was a catch…
Nixon, somewhat wanting to use Johnny to support his own political positions, asked Johnny to perform “A Boy Named Sue” as well as Merle Haggard’s “Okie from Muskogee” and Guy Drake’s “Welfare Cadillac”.
Of course, whether sarcastic or not, Merle Haggard’s “Okie From Muskogee” was seen as an anti-hippie, anti-marijuana song condemning the counterculture, and “Welfare Cadillac” was seen as a joke about anyone in need of welfare, the poor , and minorities.
The songs were politically charged and undoubtedly chosen to reconcile Nixon with the people of the South and “Central America”.
However, Cash denied the request, saying he didn’t have enough time to learn the songs since they weren’t his and, according to the Richard Nixon Foundation, the real reason may have been that he didn’t necessarily support the messages of the both songs.
While Cash supported Nixon and his position on the war, he was also staunchly pro-Native American and pro-prison reform.
However, when Johnny and June Carter showed up, they made the best of it.
Although Nixon’s application was denied, he had a sense of humor when introducing Johnny:
“It’s quite difficult to describe Johnny Cash in terms that might be appropriate, except for those who know his music. I’m not an expert on his music; I found that out, by the way, when I started telling him what to sing.
But I know he was born in Arkansas and lives in Tennessee now, but he belongs to the whole country. The music he represents tonight is called country music and western music.
But I think it’s truly American music because in stories it speaks about Americans in a way that touches the hearts of all Americans: North, East, West and South.”
President Nixon’s introduction:
Aside from performing “A Boy Named Sue” and a number of gospel songs, Cash performed “What Is Truth,” a song that was pro-youth and anti-war.
At the end of Cash’s performance of the song, he sent a loud and clear message to Nixon:
“We pray, Mr. President, that you can end this war in Vietnam sooner than you hope or believe it is possible, and we hope and pray that our boys return home and that there will soon be peace in our mountains and valleys.” becomes .”
American troops were withdrawn from Vietnam three years later.
“What is Truth” live from the White House 1970:
The story was also told in an episode of Netflix ReMastered Collection titled, Tricky Dick & The Man in Black.
https://www.whiskeyriff.com/2022/09/20/rosanne-cash-shares-old-photo-of-johnny-cash-with-king-charles/ Rosanne Cash Shares Old Photo Of Johnny Cash With King Charles