RICK McKAY - as Johnny Cash

Rick McKay as Johnny CashHello, I'm Rick McKay.

Hmmm, doesn't quite have the same ring to it does it? Oh well……

The first thing I want to say about the show itself is that I am, first and foremost, a genuine Johnny Cash fan and not just someone looking for a way to “cash” in (excuse the pun)

As a youngster I grew up with the sounds of Johnny Cash – my parents played hardly anything else but his albums so my first attempts at singing were in fact, singing along to "At Folsom Prison" – Johnny Cash, and that album in particular were in fact a big part of why I got into the music business in the first place!

I started out in bands and moved to theatre in 1987 when I landed the role of "Young Elvis" in "Forever Elvis" and I guess it was then that I discovered I had a knack of being able to sing in ‘different voices’ – if you see what I mean?  I loved it. The music was great and later I got to record an album of my own songs, and in doing that I discovered "New Country" as well.  When I moved to Nashville in 1994 it was a fantastic experience and one that I will never forget - added to which I gained a priceless insight into the American Country scene, how things are done over there, and generally learning the other side of the business.  As time went by though I found out that, despite my love of working & living in the USA, I really missed my family and friends, and so I decided to return to England and resume my career over here.

1998 saw the release of "I Walk The Line (Revisited)" as a single by Rodney Crowell with Johnny Cash as a guest artist, singing the verses from his legendary hit. It was a double-whammy for me as Rodney Crowell is one of my all-time favourite singer/songwriters and here he was doing a duet with the man himself! Unashamedly, I stole the song, added it to my own set list, and since Johnny wouldn't return my calls asking him to join me on stage in Selsey (?) I decided to try and impersonate him.  Now it wasn't the first time I'd done this, I'd been singing along to Johnny Cash for years and in the privacy of my home, pretending it was me at Folsom Prison. I wasn’t prepared for the reaction the song got, and in particular the reaction to my Johnny Cash impression, but I enjoyed it enough to keep it in my show as a kind of party piece, and even extended it to a couple of other Johnny Cash songs over the years. Ever since then people have told me "You should do a Johnny Cash tribute show".

At Folsom Prison Cover

As I said at the beginning of this now quite long blog entry I’ve always been a Johnny Cash fan. "At Folsom Prison" was the first LP I ever wore out through playing it over and over. But now I have not only his Sun recordings and his Columbia recordings to choose from, I have his great and IMHO underrated Mercury recordings ("The Mystery Of Life" CD is one of my all-time favourites) and all of his powerful work for American Recordings.

Making the decision to put the show together was easy. The only part of this that was in any way difficult was deciding, from all the great songs Johnny Cash had recorded, which ones do we put in the show?  Well, we took the easiest route we could. We picked all his classic songs and biggest hits, added a few little self-indulgences and here it is: JOHNNY CASH REVISITED.  We really hope you'll come and see the show and that you have as much fun as we do.

See you soon,

Rick