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From the liner notes:
I watched him sitting there on that stool much, as I had once sat on a cold steel bunk on Death Row. He was dressed in black as he always is, as if he wanted to be in the proper attire for Jesus to take him home at any given moment, coughing now and then as if to remind himself that he once misused his vocal cords with pills and cigarette smoke. His hands twitched convulsively in nervousness missing the guitar he usually clutches tightly or slings over his back with the nonchalant determination of a man that wants you to be sure to get the impact of every word he has to tell you about his life, his loves and his Savior.
Precious Memories echoes through the studio with sincerity and an angelic loveliness that seems almost impossible for this hulking giant of a man to institute.
It’s been said he’s never been in prison, but I find myself looking at him as if he’s done more time than I have. Each man has his own prisons. Perhaps his prisons weren’t the same as mine, but I know his prisons have left their mark on him as surely as the twenty years I spent left more marks on me than the tattoos that cover my body.
I’m free now and so is he. There’s no doubt in my mind that his love for Jesus has set him free. It’s hard to be around him and not feel the presence of the Lord. Kristofferson once told me he was inspired to go to church and later wrote Why Me Lord because of the influence of this man’s eternal vibrations. Yet, he’s not a preacher. He only sings his songs and lets you see the Savior through his every movement. He’s influenced us all.
I find myself singing more about the Lord and trying to live a Christian life, but I’ve got a long way to go. He’s there now. There was a time I wouldn’t admit I was an ex-convict, but this man who cared enough to go to prisons throughout the country and let the convicts know someone cared about them gave me the courage to stand up and face the truth about my past. Thanks to him, I am proud to say I’m an ex-convict.
Maybe someday I’ll be able to thank him for showing me how to be a Christian.
This man called Johnny Cash.
Just a friend,
David Allan Coe