Ten of Johnny Cash’s most iconic songs help tell the story of the Man in Black in a new CMT documentary, slated to premiere this September on the anniversary of the Country Music Hall of Famer’s death.
Johnny Cash: American Rebel is a two-hour exploration of Cash’s creative output, highlighted by interviews with son John Carter Cash, daughter Rosanne Cash and famous fans and friends like Merle Haggard, Eric Church and Sheryl Crow. Airing September 12th, the film features archival footage of the singer-songwriter onstage, family photographs and an emotionally charged soundtrack of Cash’s songs spanning four decades. The selections chosen each reflect not only the entertainer’s mindset at the time, but the social issues the country was experiencing.
The documentary is just the latest in Cash news. Earlier this spring, his acclaimed American Recordings albums were repackaged into a vinyl box set, and John Carter Cash shared stories of his childhood in the paperback release of his memoir House of Cash: The Legacies of My Father, Johnny Cash. The legendary country singer’s impact on Nashville is also the focus of the exhibit Nashville Cats: Dylan, Cash and the Nashville Cats at the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Along with Johnny Cash: American Rebel, CMT announced a diverse slate of upcoming documentaries. On June 13th, Urban Cowboy: The Rise and Fall of Gilley’s digs into the musical and cultural impact of the 1980 cult film, which premiered 35 years ago today. Starring John Travolta, Urban Cowboy featured jukebox staples from Johnny Lee, Charlie Daniels Band and Mickey Gilley, whose club was the setting for the film.
Other upcoming CMT documentaries include Morgan Spurlock Presents Freedom the Movie, premiering in July, and American Bandit: The Birth of Southern Cool, about the Burt Reynolds truck-driving classic Smokey and the Bandit, in 2016.