NPR correspondent Don Gonyea has taken a look back at an interview he recorded with Johnny Cash in 1981. Read an excerpt below and listen at NPR.org.
I started out in radio more than 30 years ago. My first job right out of college was as a country-western DJ at WVMO, my hometown radio station in Monroe, Mich.
I have many boxes of cassette tapes stashed in my basement, including one that has a recording from the Monroe County Fair in the summer of 1981. I remember standing there with my microphone. To my right were the grandstands where they do the demolition derby. To my left was this big, silver tour bus. I was about to meet one of my musical heroes: Johnny Cash.
…He was way nicer to me than he had any reason to be. I was just this kid wearing a plaid shirt and a corduroy vest from some local radio station that he’d never heard of, but he took the time to answer all of my questions, even the stupid ones. I didn’t fully appreciate it at the time, but that is what I love about this interview all these years later.
Johnny Cash being interviewed by Don Gonyea (far right, in vest) in 1981. Courtesy of Don Gonyea.