Johnny Cash's family give seal of approval to New Wimbledon Theatre tribute act
Country singing legend Johnny Cash will be brought back to the stage next year when the only tribute act endorsed by the Cash family themselves will take to the stage in Wimbledon.
The Johnny Cash Road show will see Clive John and the Spirit Band take audiences down memory lane bringing out all the star's hits from Ring of Fire, Walk the Line as well as Johnny and June duets Jackson and If I Were a Carpenter.
Lauren May caught up with him.
Lauren May: When did you start touring as a tribute artist and how did you first get into singing and performing?
Clive John: I started doing Johnny Cash songs a long time ago, but I created the Johnny Cash Roadshow which was first called Man in Black in 2005. I started in music at age five when I severely burned my hands and the surgeon suggested taking up piano to my parents.
LM: What made you want to take on the persona of Cash?
CJ: My deep passion for the Cash songs. No other material gives me so much satisfaction performing it.
LM: How does it feel to be the only tribute act endorsed by the Cash family? What does that mean to you?
CJ: It means the world to me - you can’t pass an exam to get that can you?
LM: You perform on stage alongside Jill Schoonjans who performs as Cash’s wife June Carter in the show. How easy was it to create the chemistry on stage and mimic the stars’ mannerisms? What did you do to achieve it?
CJ: Johnny and June spent a lot of time having fun on stage and just being themselves. Jill and I have a lot of fun also and this comes across in a similar way I think. Anyway I always insist that my show is a tribute - not an impersonation. I try to capture the essence of Johnny Cash but also keep to being myself.
LM: The story of Johnny Cash has captivated people for decades having been turned into a film and with his music covered by many artists. Why do you think his story and music has continued to be so popular?
CJ: I think it’s more popular now than ever. Johnny has now become an icon and is seen as being ‘cool’ unlike so many other artists from years gone by. His songs/career stood the test of time and that in itself is enough proof. Also everyone likes a rebel.
LM: What is your favourite Cash song?
CJ: I genuinely like all of them. However Thing Called Love and Walk The Line probably rate as my favourites.
LM: Who are your stage idols (besides Cash)?
CJ: Jo Dolan, Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton, Mark Knofler LM: What can audiences expect from your show: CJ: A rollercoaster of emotions and most of all fun.
The Johnny Cash Roadshow; The New Wimbledon Theatre, The Broadway, Wimbledon; Saturday, February 8; 7.30pm' £18.90 to 22.90; atgtickets.com/venues/new-wimbledon-theatre; 0844 871 7646
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