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article imageFestival founder Bill Carter talks Johnny Cash Music Festival Special

By Markos Papadatos     Jun 14, 2014 in Music
Jonesboro - Bill Carter is the founder of the Johnny Cash Music Festival, which will take place on August 15 at Arkansas State University's Convocation Center in Jonesboro, Arkansas.
It will include an all-star line-up with such Country Music Hall of Famers as Loretta Lynn, Bobby Bare and Reba McEntire. "The festival has been very successful as a legacy for Johnny. Artists love doing it. They generally don't like doing benefits, but for Johnny it is not so difficult," he said.
Carter continued, "I am an alumnus of Arkansas State University and they contacted me and they said that they hadn't yet acquired his childhood house, but they wanted to do so. They didn't really know the Cash family, and they asked me to do a benefit to raise money to restore the home. I contacted John Carter Cash and Rosanne and they were 100 percent supportive, so we did our first show, which was a major success. I talked to Reba about it this year and we actually hadn't had that big of a star on any of the shows. She agreed to it right away. We started awarding the scholarships to needy children and that is the first thing that Reba said, since she loved Johnny and the fact that the money is going towards scholarships for children. Loretta was an old friend of his and Bobby Bare was a buddy, where they would fish and hang out together."
He shared that it is a "fun event" that has subsequently become a "statewide" event for Arkansas. "The whole state has become a community on behalf of Johnny Cash. Radio stations and newspapers from all over Arkansas get behind this concert. Everybody comes and has a good time and it is for a wonderful cause. Anything that has to do with Johnny Cash, people wholeheartedly support," he explained.
Although Carter may have not been close friends with Cash, he admitted that he was an acquaintance of the country legend. "One of the things that surprised me when I started doing this concert was that we had people come from Scotland, Soviet Union and Australia and I was stunned by that. They told me that they came 'out of respect' for Johnny Cash and I thought about that since he defied all of the rules in the music business," he said.
Aside from being the founder of the festival, he is also an attorney, secret service agent during the John F. Kennedy administration, lobbyist, security consultant for rockers, artist manager (who managed award-winning country songstress Reba McEntire for six years in her early career), television producer, among other talents. "Reba and I are good friends. I love her and I have a huge respect for her intelligence and her creativity. She is a great person from a small town in Oklahoma. She is one of the smartest artists that I have met," he said.
To learn more about the career of Bill Cater, visit his homepage.
For more information on the Johnny Cash Music Festival, visit its official website.
More about Bill Carter, Johnny Cash Music Festival, Bobby Bare, loretta lynn, reba mcentire
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