Music museum acquires Johnny, June Carter Cash guitars The National Music Museum at The University of South Dakota in Vermillion has acquired two guitars and a banjo from the Johnny and June Carter Cash estate that were recently sold by auction at Sotheby's in New York.
The 1971 Martin D-28 guitar, known as the "Bon Aqua," was kept at Johnny's 100-acre farm near Bon Aqua, TN, 35 miles southwest of Nashville.�Returning from extensive tours in the U.S. and abroad, Johnny would go there alone, as he wrote in his autobiography, "to cook my own food, read my own books, tend my own garden, water my own land, and think, write, compose, rest, and reflect in peace."
As such, the guitar, which Johnny used while writing songs during the last 30 years of his life, was more intimately connected with him than the hundreds of other guitars that came and went through his hands on the road.
The "Bon Aqua" will be exhibited Nov. 10-17 in Sioux Falls at First Dakota Financial Center, which underwrote the acquisition of the highly sought instrument, and will be played by John McNeill of Springfield, at the Vermillion High School Performing Arts Center on Nov. 20, when he and his colleagues present "Celebration of Johnny Cash" at a United Way of Vermillion fund raiser.
The National Music Museum also acquired the 1967 Gibson "Hummingbird" guitar that was one of June Carter Cash's favorite guitars, according to Marshall Grant, bass player with Johnny's show from 1955 to 1980.�She was still playing it when she posed for the Sept. 18-24, 1999 issue of TV Guide.
The third acquisition is a 1980 Gibson five-string banjo that was given to Johnny by Earl Scruggs, the bluegrass legend, who wrote on the head of the banjo, "To my friend Johnny Cash/Earl Scruggs.�Johnny and Scruggs collaborated often, including recent albums that came out in 2001 and 2002.
The three instruments will go on permanent exhibit at the National Music Museum next summer, when the NMM opens a new gallery to tell the story of the development of American guitars in the 20th century.