The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


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Johnny Cash accepts induction

"Thank you very much.  And, hello, Phil, I'm Johnny Cash. I would like to thank Sam Phillips, and I'd like to thank Jack Clement, who steered the career and directed recording activities of myself for sound, as well as the recording activities of a lot of other people, including Elvis, and Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and my dearest buddy Roy Orbison.  By the way, I'd like to make one correction, if you don't mind: the store on Beale Street was Lansky Brothers, not Lasky Brothers, it was Lansky Brothers.  That's where we hung out and bought those shining LeMay [?] clothes, back in the mid-'50s.  Just down the street was the home of the blues record shop where I spent all my money, and realized some of my first dreams, and that was actually owning the recordings of some of my heroes - people that had influenced me and made an impression on my life.  Of course, there was the Hanks - Hank Williams and Hank Snow, and the Carter Family, the country folk in the hill country, they called them back then.  But there were also other stations that I listened to in Memphis - lived near Memphis in Northeast Arkansas.  I listened to WHBQ, and they had a program on there called Red Hot and Blue, where they played back then what they called race music, and there I heard some of my earliest heroes - and it was at the Home of the Blues Record Shop where I bought my first recording of Sister Rosetta Tharpe singing those great gospel songs.  And I can still see Sister Rosetta playing that Stella Guitar (sorry Mr. Fender, but it was a Stella that Sister Rosetta was playing.)  And I bought some of the recordings by Alan Lomax, who did some feel recordings back in the '30s and '40s - he took his wire recorder into the alleys and honky-tonks in Mississippi and South Carolina and Louisiana, and I listened to those by the hour and by the day, and the week, and the month, and they influenced a lot of my writing songs like "Big River" and "Get Rhythm." Some of the earlier songs that I wrote were influenced by people like Sister Rosetta Tharpe and by Pink Anderson and Blind Lemon Jefferson, and some of the Carolina Street Singers.  So I don't know, maybe was trying to make sure that I belonged here tonight, and make you see that I might actually possibly belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  I'm extremely proud of it, and whether I belong here or not, I'm going to take it off and show it off at home with June, who's here with me tonight, my wife June.  I've always had a big family that I've been proud of, and while we're at it, my daughter Roseanne Cash is here.  My daughter Carline Carter, and my son, who is ready, Phil, John Carter Cash, is here tonight.  I've taken too much time.  I want to thank you very much, and as Little Richard said at the beginning of this program - he and I were talking - he said, "God is watching over things tonight," and I feel that, Richard.  I thank you for reminding me of that.  And I asked June, "What should I say when I get up there," and she said, "Just as God to guide you and it'll be all right."  I find that works - not only tonight, but every day of my life.  Thank you very much and God bless you all."