Cash Wins Three Americana Awards

One week after his death, Johnny Cash won three trophies — album [American IV: The Man Comes Around], song [Trent Reznor’s “Hurt”] and artist of the year — at the Americana Music Association awards on Friday (Sept. 19) in Nashville.

Cash’s son John Carter Cash accepted the artist trophy on his behalf, saying “It’s pretty amazing how somebody like my father could go all through his life and reach so many people and never slow down right up until the end of his life, [and] to make as important and as profound of a statement as an artist as he ever made, right at the end of his life. It was an open book, everything about him. I know he would be honored. He would be very honored.”

Polly Parsons, daughter of the late Gram Parsons, accepted his President’s Award on his behalf, saying, “My father wanted more than anything to be accepted by Nashville, and tonight he is.” Parsons died in 1973 at the age of 26.

Scotty Moore, Elvis Presley’s original guitarist, accepted the lifetime achievement award for an executive on behalf of the late Sam Phillips, founder of Sun Records.

Levon Helm, a founding member of The Band, was named recipient of the lifetime achievement award for a performer. Helm, who has been in ill health in recent months, was not present at the awards ceremony. The award was accepted by Paul Schmidt, Helm’s friend and musical collaborator, who noted, “Levon’s going to be up and singing again real soon.”

Kris Kristofferson, recipient of this year’s Spirit of Americana free speech award, presented the lifetime achievement for a songwriter award to John Prine. Kristofferson discovered Prine in Chicago more than three decades ago.

Dobro player Jerry Douglas won instrumentalist of the year at the ceremony, which featured performances from Rodney Crowell, Kathleen Edwards, Kris Kristofferson, Allison Moorer, and Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder.