2017 Artist Bios
The benefit concert with Cash and Kristofferson will be the culmination of Saturday afternoon events in the field that will include a “Cash Homecoming” show by Joanne Cash and Tommy Cash, the two youngest siblings of Johnny Cash, and a performance by country music singer Buddy Jewell.
Grammy Award Winner
One of the country’s pre-eminent singer/songwriters, Rosanne Cash has released 15 albums that have earned four Grammy Awards and nominations for 11 more, as well as 21 top-40 hits, including 11 No. 1 singles. She also is an author whose four books include the best-selling memoir Composed, and her essays have appeared in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Oxford American, The Nation and many more print and online publications. In addition to continual touring, Cash has partnered in programming collaborations with Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, San Francisco Jazz, Minnesota Orchestra and The Library of Congress.
She was awarded the SAG/AFTRA Lifetime Achievement award for Sound Recordings in 2012 and received the 2014 Smithsonian Ingenuity Award in the Performing Arts. She was chosen as a Perspective Series artist at Carnegie Hall and hosted four concerts (including a major show of her own during its 2015/16 season). She continues her association with Carnegie Hall as a Creative Partner. She also served as 2015 Artist-in-Residence at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, and during that same year she was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Cash’s landmark 2009 album, The List, won the Americana Music Album of the Year award. Her latest release, The River and the Thread, received three Grammy Awards in 2015. A collaboration with husband/co-writer/producer and arranger John Leventhal, the album evokes a kaleidoscopic examination of the geographic, emotional, musical and historic landscape of the American South. It has received worldwide acclaim and attained the highest debut in the Billboard charts of any of her previous albums.
Kris Kristofferson, heralded as an artist’s artist, is a three-time Grammy winner who has recorded 29 albums, including three with Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings as part of the Highwaymen. His current double album, The Cedar Creek Sessions, was released in 2016.
Born in Texas, Kristofferson was a Golden Gloves boxer who studied creative writing at Pomona College in California. The Phi Beta Kappa graduate earned a Rhodes scholarship to study literature at Oxford, where he boxed, played rugby and continued to write songs. After graduating from Oxford, Kristofferson served in the Army as an Airborne Ranger helicopter pilot, achieving the rank of captain. In 1965, Kristofferson turned down an assignment to teach at West Point and, inspired by songwriters such as Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash, moved to Nashville to pursue his music.
Kristofferson achieved success as a country songwriter during the 1970s, and by 1987, it was estimated that more than 450 artists had recorded Kristofferson’s compositions. His renown as a songwriter triggered Kristofferson’s successful career as a performer and that, in turn, led to his flourishing career as a film actor. Kristofferson has acted in more than 70 films, and in 1977 he won a Golden Globe for Best Actor in “A Star Is Born.”
His numerous awards include membership in the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Johnny Cash Visionary Award from Country Music Television, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and the PEN Song Lyrics of Literary Excellence Award.
Joanne Cash, youngest sister of Johnny Cash, lives in Nashville, where she has a gospel music ministry. She has 26 recordings, an autobiography titled My Fears Are Gone, and makes frequent concert appearances. The singer/songwriter released a documentary video in 2013, I Do Believe, which follows her life and career and her journey of faith.
While working in the 1970s at House of Cash, her brother’s famed recording studio, office space and museum, Joanne became involved with singing at church and began singing at the Grand Ole Opry on Fridays from 1972-1976 with Jimmy Rodgers Snow’s ‘Grand Ole Gospel Time.’”
During that era, she met and married Dr. Harry Yates, and the couple dedicated themselves to full time music ministry. After 15 years of full time preaching and singing the gospel, they headed back to Nashville in 1990 and founded the Nashville Cowboy Church, where Joanne continues to sing every Sunday.
Joanne also hosts frequent concert engagements, including a Tuesday night residency at the Wyndham Vacation Resort, where she shares her music and tidbits of the Cash family testimony.
Tommy Cash, youngest sibling of Johnny Cash, formed his first band in high school and enlisted in the Army after graduation, where he was a disc jockey for the American Forces Radio Network. After his Army service, he played with Hank Williams Jr., and later gained a record deal from Musicor in 1965.
He released his first major album in 1968 through United Artists, followed by six albums on the Epic Label, including his biggest hit, “Six White Horses.” The song is dedicated to John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King. In 1970, he had two Top Ten singles: “One Song Away” and “Rise and Shine,” and the Top 20 hit, “I Recall a Gypsy Woman.”
Tommy has a background in broadcasting, and his voice has been heard commercially for major brand name clients. Most recently, he played a major role in the film The River Thief, released in 2016. Tommy has been a guest on NBC, ABC, CBS, TNN (The Nashville Network) and his videos have played on CMT (Country Music Television) and TNN.
He tours the globe, performing in nearly every continent, and he performs regularly throughout the United States.
First "Nashville Star"
Country music artist Buddy Jewell was the winner of the inaugural season of the USA Network’s hit television series Nashville Star. After his win, Columbia Records released his self-titled album Buddy Jewell which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Album charts as well as No. 13 on the Top 100 Pop Album Charts. His first two singles landed in the top 5 on the singles chart. Jewell has since followed up with five more albums.
Born in Lepanto, he grew up in Osceola, but lived for a time in the Dyess Colony Administration Building, which was turned into apartments during the 1960s. He attended Arkansas State University, where he played college football and began to perform in clubs and talent contests.
After his 2003 television win, Jewell earned award nominations from the ACM for Best New Artist, the CMA for the Horizon Award, and a Grammy nomination for his participation in Amazing Grace III, a special gospel project. He was named “New Artist of the Year” by the ABC Radio Networks.
In December 2010, Jewell traveled to Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait on an extensive USO tour. In 2011, Jewell was named “Entertainer of the Year” and “Crossover Artist of the Year” by the International Country Gospel Music Association. Most recently, in September 2015, he was inducted into the Arkansas Entertainer’s Hall of Fame.