Exhibit showcases friendship, collaboration between Dylan, Cash - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Exhibit showcases friendship, collaboration between Dylan, Cash

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan are universally identifiable for their songs and the way they sang them.

While New York City is the place Dylan is most closely linked to, Nashville played a key role in his success. Part of that is thanks to a kindred spirit he found in Cash.

Their story is now fully told and on exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame.

For some, Dylan's songs are an acquired taste. Cash was a fan from the beginning.

"When Dylan put out his first album, Johnny Cash wrote him a note out of the blue," said Michael McCall with the Country Music Hall of Fame. "'I love this album. I'm a fan of yours and look forward to hearing more.'"

At the time, the two men were writing songs about topics often ignored in popular music of the time, including war, relationships and reality.

"I think they recognized that in each other. Dylan was inspired by Cash because Cash was writing songs that hit you in the heart," McCall said. "And then when Cash heard Dylan, he had a compadre. Someone doing something more with pop music than most people tried."

That friendship and collaboration is on display at the hall of fame.

On Dylan's visits to Nashville, he always made time to play with Cash. The pair's distinct singing and writing styles are hard to find in today's music industry.

"They were both pioneers, did something different, and that's always something today for people to pay attention to," McCall said.

The Dylan/Cash exhibit runs through 2016. It also features a tribute to the Nashville Cats, a group of musicians who gained worldwide respect and played a major role in making Nashville the Music City.

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