I didn’t realize what a rare piece of audio I had from an interview I did with Johnny Cash back in 1988. I remember mentioning to him, “Most people don’t remember that Johnny Cash once got fired from the Grand Ole Opry.” His answer is that rare sound clip.

(backstage at Lulu’s Roadhouse in Kitchener, Ont. for Johnny’s first appearance there)

Jonathan Holiff is the son of Johnny’s longtime manager, the late Saul Holiff (who was from London, Ont.), and Julie Chadwick had written a biography of Saul’s relationship with Johnny entitled “The Man Who Carried Cash.” Last year, they were guests on my radio show.

When discussing the time Cash was fired from the Opry, I played that audio clip and was surprised at their reaction. Julie explained that when researching her book, she had heard the story about Cash being fired from the Opry, but never really found confirmation of the story…until she heard the clip. She explained it was amazing to hear the story with Cash’s own voice telling it!

(backstage at Lulu’s Roadhouse in Kitchener, Ont. for Johnny’s second appearance there)

The story: Cash was on the Opry and, upset about something, walked off the stage. But he dragged his microphone stand with him, smashing the footlights at the front of the stage on his way out. It was another example of Cash being a rebel.

Johnny died on this date sixteen years ago. He was a changed man at the time of his passing. But he still had a bit of the rebel in him.

You can hear Cash telling the story to me here: