Thursday, May 03, 2007

May 3, 2007 Bonus Blog
True West magazine has always had a very strong attraction to one of America's largest legends. Johnny Cash loved our magazine and even named an album after it (Johnny Cash Sings The Ballads of The True West, 1965), complete with accurate lyrics, like: "Right through the swinging doors John Selman/Came with a blazing gun/Wes Hardin chug-aluggin' red-eye/Got him in the back of the head/John Wesley Hardin fell dead/Hardin wouldn't run."

So it was a thrill today to receive a personal letter from Mr. Gene Ferguson, of Lewisburg, Tennessee, who wrote me the following:

"Thought this might be of interest. I retired from CBS in Nashville. I was with Johnny Cash for 30 years. I considered Joe Small a friend. Enclosed are pictures of a dinner we had in San Antonio after a Johnny Cash concert."

In the first picture, the founder and publisher of True West, Joe Small, is at left. Next to him is June Carter Cash, Mrs. Elizabeth Small, Johnny Cash, and Gene Ferguson (lighting up in background).

In the second photo, June (bottom, left) is taking a bite of what looks to be prime rib, or a filet, and Johnny is scratching his head, with Joe Small, center, and Gene Ferguson at right. The photos were taken in April of 1971.

Gene also told me Joe featured "my daughter & myself on the cover of True West, a painting, as a Christmas present. Joe sent me the original."

Pretty danged cool.

"I bought up every issue of True West, a successful magazine published in Texas and sold coast to coast."
—Johnny Cash

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