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Coming off his crossover hit “Ring of Fire,” and against strong resistance from his record label, Johnny Cash recorded “Bitter Tears,” an album in support of Native American rights. It was not a popular cause at the time. “It’s the earliest and most significant statement on behalf of Native people and our issues,” Dennis Banks, co-founder of the American Indian Movement, said of the album. And protesting was not something that country stars like Cash did back then. One editor of a country music magazine demanded that Cash resign from the Country Music Association.
“It’s unbelievable the way it looks today,” marveled Rosanne Cash at the August 16 grand opening of The Boyhood Home of Johnny Cash at Historic Dyess Colony in Dyess, Ark.
Cash was speaking to reporters on the second floor of the colony’s restored Administration Building, which stands in the heart of Dyess, right next to the façade of the movie theatre attended by the young Johnny Cash and where his younger brother and fellow future country star Tommy Cash ran the projector.