Johnny Cash: new Fife exhibition celebrates Man In Black’s historic Fife links
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The iconic ‘Man In Black’ was proud of his ancestral roots in the Howe of Fife, and made several visits to the Kingdom. The “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash” exhibition takes its title from the star’s trademark introduction to all his concerts, and in show at the Stables Gallery on Falkland Estate until October 23.
It tells his life story, and how a chance meeting with the laird of Falkland Estate brought to light his Fife ancestry - William Cash was born in Strathmiglo in 1653, and emigrated to America on board his own uncle’s ship.
The singer was inspired by his historic roots - the connection was traced back to when the niece of Malcolm IV, named Cash or Cashel, married the Earl of Fife - and recorded a Christmas TV special with singing star Andy Williams on a visit to Falkland.
The exhibition, which highlights all the local Cash place names between Falkland and Strathmiglo, was the idea of its designer, Freuchie-based James Fretwell, whose background is in countryside access.
“I get a real buzz from exploring and telling the story of real-life countryside locations that feature in our history or culture” explained James. “The same thrill you get when you visit a location that has appeared in your favourite film or TV show.”
The exhibition is music-themed, with displays of vinyl records and record sleeves designed by local artists and pupils from Falkland and Freuchie Primary Schools. Visitors can also scan QR codes to see and hear Cash perform some of his best-loved songs.
House of Falkland school pupils have used their technical skills and interests to create a short video filmed in the local countryside, and Rebus author and music fan, Sir Ian Rankin, has contributed a quote - the best-selling author was one of the guests at the ‘Cash Back In Fife’ festival staged just before lockdown at the Woodside Hotel in Aberdour which also celebrated Cash’s Kingdom roots.
Visitors to the exhibition can also enter a Cash quiz competition to win vouchers to speed at the Strathmiglo shop of Fife Country which has sponsored the exhibition.