The halls of the John E. Miller Auditorium in Melbourne were overflowing with enthusiastic Johnny Cash fans Dec. 10 as the crowd gathered to hear Branson tribute artist Jackson Cash perform his rendition of many Johnny Cash hits.
Ozarka staff members Chaney Coleman, who works as a computer support technician for the college and Tracy Cone, a Career Pathways counselor, opened the show for Cash as Johnny Cash and June Carter-Cash.
It was like stepping back in time 50 years as Jackson Cash took the stage, with his uncanny resemblance to Johnny Cash in both appearance and mannerisms. Cash, has a Branson tribute show to the late great country superstar that plays at the Caravelle Theater. Jackson has admittedly loved Cash since his childhood and relived memories of his adoptive family taking him on vacations in their camper with Cash's tunes booming through loudspeakers in the cab-over camper.
His appeal with the crowd was unmistakable as people from age 2 to 92 tapped their toes to the popular music as well as many tunes written by Jackson himself. This shows the appeal of Johnny Cash's style of music is timeless with audiences of all ages.
Jackson, played tunes from "Folsom Prison Blues" to "Get Rhythm" which brought the crowd to their feet. In closing, Jackson told the crowd the story of how he came to own two of Johnny Cash's harmonicas.
He said he received a letter from a woman telling him how Cash had thrown both harmonicas to her at a Las Vegas show many years ago. She detailed how she had kept them in her drawer for years and decided to give them to him to use for the purpose they were intended. Cash said he didn't think he could be a very effective Johnny Cash tribute artist, without learning to play the "Orange Blossom Special" in the famous Johnny Cash fashion with two harmonicas in hand.
He told the crowd he learned how to play it with a series of written charts, detailing when to blow and when to suck on the instrument. He laughingly told of the 6-foot tall chart being responsible for his eventually learning the song and performing it for an ecstatic audience.
He told of nearly giving up on his music career before coming to Branson and was so happy he didn't because his show has had such amazing support from Johnny Cash fans from all over the world as they attend the show.