Contract Secured for Cash Statue

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A statue of Johnny Cash got one step closer to standing in Cooper-Young Monday as a local non-profit organization secured a contract for the marker with artist Mike McCarthy.

Fundraising efforts for the life-sized bronze statue have been underway for years. An ioby page for the project recently raised $26,429, meeting its May deadline.

Legacy Memphis Inc., a nonprofit “dedicated to erecting statues and monuments to Memphis’ musical and cultural icons,” said the recently wrapped campaign was for Phase I funding and that another round of funding will be necessary to complete the project with site preparation and landscaping.

The statue's exact location is still being determined, though organizers said it will be somewhere in the Cooper-Young neighborhood.

Legacy Memphis said it has secured all the rights “from all necessary estates” for the project. The statue will be modeled from a photograph of Cash in 1962. Local historians will work together to create the historical marker describing Cash’s first performance at the church.

Here’s what Legacy Memphis has to say about McCarthy:

“While better known for his films and graphic novel work, McCarthy, a resident of Cooper-Young for 18 years, studied under sculptor John McIntyre at the Memphis Art Academy (now the Memphis College of Art).”

The statue will be cast at the Lugar Bronze Foundry in Eads. Also cast at the foundry were the statues of Elvis Presley on Beale and Little Milton and Bobby Blue Bland on South Main.


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