Kustom Amplification

Johnny Cash's Personal Kustom P.A. Returns Home

Johnny Cash's Personal Kustom P.A. Returns to Kustom From the Cash Family in Nashville

An amazing artifact of music history has now come full circle. The Kustom "Tuck n' Roll" P.A. system owned by legendary artist Johnny Cash from the early 1970s until his death in 2005, has come home to Kustom. The vintage system will be displayed prominently at the new world headquarters of Kustom and its parent company, Hanser Music Group, located in Hebron, Kentucky, near the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

The Kustom P.A., which of course was covered in Black Tuck n' Roll material for "The Man In Black," had been used for performances and later at The House of Cash, the name for Mr. Cash's home studio in Hendersville, Tenn. Although the Kustom system has obviously seen plenty of use – with the natural wear to prove it – it is generally in very good condition.

The Kustom Series 300 P.A. was a popular system of its era, offering 300 watts, Anti-Feedback controls and a Kustom exclusive, Reverb with its own Bass and Treble controls. Complementing the powered mixer are two large speaker cabinets, each housing two 15-inch Kustom speakers with matched, high frequency horns. The system was built at the original Kustom factory in Chanute, Kansas.

"It's truly an honor for Mr. Cash's personal P.A. system to come home to Kustom," said Mark Hunter, marketing manager for Kustom. "It sends shivers down your spine when you imagine Johnny Cash singing 'Ring Of Fire' through it. We will display it proudly at our new facility in Kentucky."

Mr. Cash's son, John Carter Cash, had initially contacted Soundcheck, Nashville's preeminent rehearsal and production facility, regarding his father's Kustom P.A. After investigating his options, which included "big name" artists who wanted the system, he felt that it made sense for his father's system to return to the company that built it. Kustom personnel picked up the P.A. soon thereafter in Nashville.

This year has been exciting for Cash fans, as the newly released CD "American V: A Hundred Highways" earned the first #1 for Cash since his 1969 release "Johnny Cash At San Quentin." A second release entitled "Johnny Cash: Personal File" has also been released this year. "Personal File" features songs that were privately recorded by Cash alone at his House Of Cash studio. The release contains 49 unreleased tracks all recorded in Hendersonville, Tenn., primarily during five days of sessions in 1973.

Classic Tuck n' Roll Kustom P.A. systems were used by thousands of bands and musicians in the 1960s and '70s. Through the years, the systems went through various stages of design, with power increases and new features at each step along the way. Musicians who have played Kustom P.A.s and instrument amplifiers through the years include John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival, Sheryl Crow, The MC5, The Jackson 5, Herbie Hancock, James Jamerson, Trivium, Rich Eckhardt (Toby Keith), Lifehouse, Van Zant, and more.

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