The day I met Johnny Cash
One evening in the bleak December back in the 1970’s I was sitting in one Louisville’s famed dens of iniquities, Rhiney’s Go Go Bar and Lounge. The Rick Hipple Duo was playing for our listening enjoyment. Rick Hipple was on the the organ and sang vocals while his partner Lou Stanfield played the drums. I was there with my girlfriend, Lynn of the pretty green panties.
The band had just finished playing a rousing version of Dixie, Of course back in those days whenever a band played Dixie everyone stood up took off they hats and put their hands over their hearts.
Lynn and I had just re-seated ourselves and I was trying to get the waitress’s attention for another round of drinks when the door of the establishment flew open and out of the cold night a man dressed in black and a whole entourage of people trailing behind him filed into the bar.
The man in black approached the bandstand and wrestled the microphone away from ole Rick Hipple and said into the mic with a bit of a slur, “Hi, I’m Johnny Cash, how do you do!”
He looked back at the astonished face of Rick Hipple and said, “Orange Blossom Special,” which Rick commenced to playing.
Now these were the days before Johnny was acquainted with June Carter which is to say he was still a pretty wild character. And that character was on full display that night. He was all liquored up on that roadhouse corn and he stood there swaying in the spotlight slurring his words and trying his best to get through that song.
“Well, I’m going down to Florida and get some sand in my shoes…”
Well, that was the night I met Johnny Cash. A night I will never forget.