For 30 years, guitarist Robert “Bob” Wootton was an integral part of Johnny Cash’s band, playing guitar in the Man in Black’s backing group, the Tennessee Three, and performing on the majority of Cash LPs made after 1968. Wootton, who released music with other members of the Tennessee Three, also worked as a stuntman and driver for additional musical acts, including Smashing Pumpkins. Wootton died April 9th in
Influenced by guitar great Merle Travis and Ernest Tubb’s Texas Troubadour’s band member Billy Byrd, Wootton replaced Luther Perkins in Cash’s band in 1968, shortly after Perkins perished in a house fire. One of eight children born in Red Branch,
A few weeks after Perkins’ death, Wootton, unable to reach Cash by phone, traveled to
In addition to playing with Cash on Bob Dylan’s influential Nashville Skyline album, Wootton was featured on the At San Quentin live album and was a weekly TV fixture on ABC’s Johnny Cash Show. In 1970, with the show a ratings success, Wootton and the other two members of the Tennessee Three released The Sound Behind Johnny Cash, an LP of instrumental renditions of classic Cash tunes. Wootton was also employed as a stunt double for Cash in various film and television appearances. He married singer Anita Carter, the sister of June Carter Cash, in 1974, although the couple later divorced.
After Johnny Cash passed away in 2003, Wootton and Tennessee Three drummer W.S. “Fluke”