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On the road with Tommy Cash

Courtesy Photo Tommy Cash is a featured entertainer during the Trinity Mardi Gras, appearing at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Trinity High School auditorium.

Tommy Cash, whose musical career spans 48 years, will bring his love of music to the stage of Trinity High School on Saturday.

Not only will he perform songs from his 21 albums, Tommy will give a musical tribute to his late brother, the legendary Johnny Cash.

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His performance opens at 7:30 p.m., as a featured performer for the Mardi Gras Golden Jubilee.

It’s his love of music that has kept Tommy on the road for nearly half a century.

“Music is in my blood,” he said. “I’ll entertain as long as I stay healthy and my voice holds up. I love working the road. I love working with people I meet on the road. When that stops, then I’ll quit.”

Tommy lives in Hendersonville, Tenn., with his wife, Marcy.

“She’s the love of my life,” he said. “My wife bought our house on a golf course seven years ago and we love it there.”

Tommy was born in Arkansas, the youngest of a family of seven children and eight years after his brother, Johnny.

“Johnny was a big brother to me,” he said. “He wasn’t Johnny Cash then. JR Cash was his real name.”

Tommy likes to describe Johnny as a studious young man, who wrote poetry at age 7.

“He was a good brother, a great brother,” he said. “He taught me how to swim when I was 5 years old by throwing me off a bridge.”

When entertaining, people say their voices are similar.

“Johnny was a legend — he had a unique and wonderful life and career,” Tommy said.

On the other hand, Tommy has pursued multiple interests throughout his career.

He formed his first band in high school and enlisted in the Army after graduation. He deejayed for the American Forces Radio Network. After the Army, Tommy played with Hank Williams Jr., and later gained a record deal from Musicor in 1965. A year later, he joined United Artists.

In 1969 with Epic Records, he delivered his biggest hit, a tune titled “Six White Horses,” followed by other hit singles, “One Song Away and “I Recall a Gypsy Woman.”

A highlight of his career was during the United States Centennial year of 1976, when he did 121 concerts with the Carter family, Johnny Cash and his band.

“We had special guests at the time, such as Carl Perkins and the cowboy actor Tex Ritter,” he said. “Many times, Johnny would bring people on the road to give them a start.”

When not entertaining, Tommy is a licensed Realtor and owns a music publishing company.

Tommy has traveled throughout the U.S. and Canada, and tries to tour overseas once a year.

“I still travel doing about 50 to 60 shows a year, and I still write music,” he said.

Advance tickets are available at any of the Dickinson Catholic schools or at Rosie’s Food and Gas.