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Johnny Cash's Burning House of Fire

11 Apr 07 - 01:48 AM (#2021922)
Subject: Johnny Cash's Burning House of Fire
From: Amos

HENDERSONVILLE, Tennessee (AP) -- Johnny Cash's longtime lakeside home, a showcase where he wrote much of his famous music and entertained U.S. presidents, music royalty and visiting fans, was destroyed by fire on Tuesday.

Cash and his wife, June Carter Cash, lived in the 13,880-square-foot (1,289-square-meter) home from the late 1960s until their deaths in 2003.

"So many prominent things and prominent people in American history took place in that house -- everyone from Billy Graham to Bob Dylan went into that house," said singer Marty Stuart, who lives next door and was married to Cash's daughter, Cindy, in the 1980s.

Stuart said the man who designed the house, Nashville builder Braxton Dixon, was "the closest thing this part of the country had to Frank Lloyd Wright."

When Cash moved there, the road was a quiet country lane that skirts Old Hickory Lake. Kris Kristofferson, then an aspiring songwriter, once landed a helicopter on Cash's lawn to pitch him a song. Roy Orbison was his next-door neighbor for a while.

The landmark video for Cash's song "Hurt" was shot inside the house.

"It was a sanctuary and a fortress for him," Stuart said. "There was a lot of writing that took place there."

Richard Sterban of the Oak Ridge Boys lives on the same road as Cash. "Maybe it's the good Lord's way to make sure that it was only Johnny's house," Sterban said.

The property was purchased by Barry Gibb, a former member of the Bee Gees, in January 2006. Gibb and his wife, Linda, had said they planned to restore the home on Old Hickory Lake and hoped to write songs there. They had not yet moved in to the home, which they bought for a reported $2.3 million (euro1.71 million).

Dixon built the three-story house in 1967 for his own family, but Cash fell in love with it. Dixon was reluctant to sell, but Cash kept after him.

"It was a very, very unusual contemporary structure," said Cash's brother, Tommy Cash. "It was built with stone and wood and all kinds of unusual materials, from marble to old barn wood. I don't think there was a major blueprint. I think the builder was building it the way he wanted it to look."

The younger Cash said many holidays and family get-togethers were spent at the house. And while Johnny and June also owned a house in Jamaica and a second house in Tennessee, they considered this one to be their home.

"Johnny and June lived there the entire time they were married," Tommy Cash said. "It was the only house they lived in together until they both passed on."

The fire, in this suburb about 20 miles (30 kilometers) northeast of downtown Nashville, started around 1:40 p.m. Fire trucks arrived within five minutes, but the house was already engulfed in flames, Hendersonville Fire Chief Jamie Steele said.

11 Apr 07 - 07:22 AM (#2022032)
Subject: RE: Johnny Cash's Burning House of Fire
From: catspaw49

Alan and Katy and I lived 6 houses down the road but obviously never knew Cash....LOL....Waylon Jennings had just built a home there and the road you turned on was also the main road to "Twitty City." We lived a bit over a mile past the Cash compound in a home built by one of the guys from Doctor Hook. But mainly we were the drive where the tour buses turned around while saying, "No one important lives here!" I don't want to imply that we knew any of those celebs 'cause we didn't and I can guarantee you there were no "block parties."

That said, I am very sorry to see this home destroyed. I know it was something like 14000 square foot and had a cathedral center section with windows that looked out over the lake. It was mainly stone, cedar, and glass. Truly a beautiful place..........

According to reports, Barry Gibb was having it remodeled a bit and a preservative (Linseed Oil?) was used on the wood inside and out. This acted as an accelerant which had the house fully involved when the firefighters arrived. Certainly lots of memories there for the Cash family as well as their many friends.


11 Apr 07 - 07:32 AM (#2022035)
Subject: RE: Johnny Cash's Burning House of Fire
From: Ron Davies

It's a shame--Gibb evidently had a lot of respect for Johnny and planned to keep the house pretty much as he left it.

11 Apr 07 - 07:45 AM (#2022048)
Subject: RE: Johnny Cash's Burning House of Fire
From: Jean(eanjay)

What a shame - thank goodness nobody was living there. If the preservative was an accelerant how did the actual fire start?

11 Apr 07 - 07:53 AM (#2022053)
Subject: RE: Johnny Cash's Burning House of Fire
From: Charley Noble

So, can anyone post the lyrics and tune?

Charley Ignoble

12 Apr 07 - 10:37 AM (#2023169)
Subject: RE: Johnny Cash's Burning House of Fire
From: Tweed

The House of Cash chose self-immolation over becoming a House of Disco. Hallelujah!

12 Apr 07 - 12:41 PM (#2023276)
Subject: RE: Johnny Cash's Burning House of Fire
From: Nigel Parsons

The BBC news story is

This old house is looking dated,
And the colour's looking faint
Think I'll use some linseed oil
To replace the flaking paint.
Some folks said this house was past it,
But I'm naming me no names
'Cos I've just now re-insured it
'Case the whole thing ends in flames.

Ain't gonna use this house no longer
Ai'nt gonna use this house no more
Ain't got time to oil the hinges
Or re-hang the bathroom door
Can't do no more renovation
Not the simplest little chore
All that's left is two stone chimneys
And a quarry tiled floor!

12 Apr 07 - 12:42 PM (#2023277)
Subject: RE: Johnny Cash's Burning House of Fire
From: Nigel Parsons

Oh, Sorry, this wasn't a 'Song Challenge' thread!