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Last Updated: Friday, 12 September, 2003, 15:52 GMT 16:52 UK
'Great man' Cash remembered
Johnny Cash
Cash "was a great inspiration to all country fans"
Figures across the music industry have paid tribute to country legend Johnny Cash who has died aged 71.

Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger said he was "a great loss to the music community" and recalled that Cash's songs once made up "a big part of our repertoire".

"I was really saddened to hear of Johnny's death," he said.

"His influence spread over many generations of different people. I loved him as singer and a writer."

U2 frontman Bono remembered how Cash showed him around "his house, his ranch, his zoo, his faith, his musicianship".

"It was a lot to take in," he said. "I considered myself a friend, he considered me a fan - he indulged me.

'The real thing'

"He was more than wise. In a garden full of weeds - the oak tree."

Australian singer Nick Cave, who appeared on Cash's last studio album, American IV, told BBC News Online: "He was the real thing.

"He had such a wealth of experience in his voice, heaven and hell and no-one could touch him."

One of the great things he brought to the music was a more open mind
Bob Harris
BBC Radio 2
Elvis Costello described Cash as "a great, great man" and said: "I'm saddened and very sorry for all Johnny's family.

"He made me feel very welcome in his home and I will never forget that."

BBC Radio 2 host Bob Harris said Cash was alongside Hank Williams as the foremost male figures in country in the second half of the 20th Century.

The fact that he had been inducted into both the country and rock and roll halls of fame was an example of his influence, he said.

"One of the great things he brought to the music was a more open mind, bearing in mind he came from a rockabilly and rock 'n' roll background, and of course he also encompassed gospel and folk."

His music will go on forever, just like Elvis
Jan Flederus
Johnny Cash European fan club
Fellow Radio 2 presenter Nick Barraclough said Cash set the mould for country singers to come.

"Being the most famous country singer ever, it was his image that made him as great as he was," he said.

Alexis Petridis, music critic with The Guardian newspaper, said Cash took country music back to its "gritty, earthy and harsh" roots after the scene became "syrupy".

"The themes of his tunes - which are fear of death, temptation, those kinds of things - are very, very basic, universal themes - the themes of the working man," he told BBC News 24.

"It doesn't really matter whether that working man is in Arkansas or Preston."

Jan Flederus of Cash's European fan club told BBC News 24: "He had a great voice, and was a great inspiration to all country fans.

He was not only a giant in the music business but a cultural icon
Ed Benson
Country Music Association
"He sings about farmers and the working people - and that's what we all do, so the songs are common to all the people in Europe and the whole world.

"His music will go on forever, just like Elvis."

Ed Benson, head of the Country Music Association, said that Cash would be sorely missed.

"He was not only a giant in the music business but a cultural icon - something very few people can say," he said.

"People associated him with values that I think they held near and dear to their hearts."


WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Nick Higham
"He bought his first guitar at the age of 15 - five years later he was jamming with Elvis Presley"



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