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  • The Man in Black is back: Johnny Cash memorabilia auctions at Julien's
  • Post author
    Will Davison
  • BlackinManThe

The Man in Black is back: Johnny Cash memorabilia auctions at Julien's

Following immediately after its Lennon sale, Julien's Auctions has announced a major auction of property from the life and career of the legendary Johnny Cash. The auction includes items from Cash's military career, through his life and partnership with June Carter Cash, into his time as a Highwayman with his friends through the end of his career. A portion of the proceeds from the auction will benefit MusiCares.

Highlights in the sale are lyrics personally penned by Cash. The lyrics include Cash's takes on traditional songs, an alternate version of "Don't Take Your Guns To Town," (Estimated at $2,000/4,000) and many songs that have never been recorded.

Given the worldwide fame of the man in black, this seems like a somewhat modest estimate, and an excellent opportunity for an investment if the lyrics don't go much higher.

Three guitars from different points in Cash's career are included in this auction — a vintage 1951 Martin guitar used by Cash in studio that later became the designated tour bus guitar (Estimated at $20,000/30,000).

The second guitar is a Grammer Johnny Cash model used extensively by Cash on The Johnny Cash Show and later inscribed by Cash, "To Richard,/ Play It Pretty/Johnny Cash." ($30,000/40,000).

Johnny Cash guitar

The third guitar offered for sale is also a Martin used by Cash in the 1980s and gifted to his friend Bill Miller. This guitar can be seen on the cover of the live album The Survivors. It has been inscribed by Cash with the first four lines of "I Walk the Line." (Estimated at $20,000/30,000)

Cash's personal style can be seen among the stage worn clothing offered for sale: A pair of early stage worn pants made by Cash's mother (Estimated at $1,000/3,000), the jumpsuit (Estimated at $3,000/5,000) worn by Cash while rehearsing at San Quentin prison that was immortalized in the photograph now known simply as "The Finger".

 Cash's bicentennial parade worn shirt (Lot 756) and other patriotic clothing pieces from the mid-1970s, knee-high boots with an elaborate eagle design on alligator leather (Estimated at $1,500/2,000), an iconic Man in Black cape (Estimated at $2,000/3,000) and accompanied by clothing lots from the love of Cash's life, June Carter Cash (Estimated at $800/1,200 and $2,000/4,000).

Johnny Cash is known as a songwriter and performer, but this sale also sheds light on other, lesser known facets of his life as an actor, student, employer and writer.

Cash's creativity shines through in his artwork, his bible study course work (Estimated at $800/1,200), scripts, Cash's screen worn costume from A Gunfight (Estimated at $2,000/3,000), working notes for songs, commercials and record endeavors, notes to and supporting his employees, letters from Presidents and his celebrity friends: Kris Kristofferson, Bruce Springsteen, Kirk Douglas and others.

This is a rare offering of a lifetime of memorabilia from a true American legend, the Man in Black, and it goes under the hammer on Sunday, December 5 in California. A range of other music memorabilia is available outside the sale, including this LP signed by Otis Redding.


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  • Post author
    Will Davison
  • BlackinManThe