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The Ledger - EST. 1978 - Nashville Edition

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VOL. 37 | NO. 6 | Friday, February 08, 2013

Pollard, Man in Black’s son share ‘similar mission’

By Tim Ghianni

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The Tennessee Plowboy and The Man in Black were far different in public perception, but they were friends in life. And Shannon Pollard can’t help but compare his own attempts at securing the legacy of his grandfather, Eddy Arnold, to the great successes of John Carter Cash.

The brilliant son of Johnny and June Carter Cash has been phenomenally successful in making sure what his dad did continues to make impact on the music world almost a decade after his death.

Pollard hopes that with a tribute record and a style of recording and selecting artists for other projects, he can remind people who his grandfather was and why he still matters.

“We have a similar mission, obviously,” Pollard says. “John Carter and I email each other. In many respects he’s gotten more to work with. “

For example, there is no vault-load of new Eddy Arnold recordings comparable to the artistic gems Johnny Cash so religiously stored for his heirs in his declining years.

“John Carter’s dad was so prolific and did so much that still hasn’t been released and was so compelling in the way he treated those latter days with Rick Rubin.

“His dad had that Cash cache of that rebel image … that kind of dangerous image.

“My grandfather didn’t have that particular image,” he says, with a laugh of understatement. “That perhaps is kind of because he played it safe. He wasn’t known for tearing down walls and bars. Not that he didn’t do some of that (in his early, rowdy days), but he wasn’t known for that.”

“As an artist, he is very different from Johnny Cash. I have to dig a little deeper in to find out more about him.

“That is where John Carter Cash and I have definite similarities in that we are driven to make sure that legacies are not left behind. He’s done a phenomenal job.

“To some degree, he’s an example of how you can do that.”