Video: The real Man in Black

msnbc.com
updated 11/21/2005 8:32:59 PM ET 2005-11-22T01:32:59
TRANSCRIPT

Movie-goers rushed in line at the box office for "Walk the Line," the new movie that chronicles lives of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash.  The love story brought in $22 million this past weekend.

But is the legendary singer portrayed in film even close to the real Man in Black?

Lou Robin answers that question on Scarborough Country.  He managed and promoted Johnny Cash for more than 30 years, and now oversees the
estate.

To read an excerpt of their conversation, continue to the text below. To watch the video, click on the "Launch" button to the right.

JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC HOST: Let's start with the essential question.  Did you see the movie and was it a great portrayal of the man you knew and loved? 

LOU ROBIN, LONGTIME MANAGER OF JOHNNY CASH: I saw the movie a total of three times so far, Joe, from the early cuts until the premiere last weekend.  And I think it is a terrific portrayal of John and June's lives. 

SCARBOROUGH: Talk about the love story between Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash.  That's obviously the essence of this thing. 

ROBIN: It is.  And I guess you could say they were in the right place, which ultimately was proven, at the wrong time, in the beginning, because they were both married to other people.  The relationship just developed through the years, because they worked together so much. 

SCARBOROUGH: Obviously, I know you heard Kathy Cash, daughter of Johnny Cash, from his first marriage, critical of the film.  She said, "My mom was basically a nonentity in the entire film, except for the mad little psycho who hated his career.  That's not true.  She loved his career and was proud of him, until he started taking drugs and stopped coming home."

Is that a fair criticism of this movie? 

ROBIN: Well, I think every child looks at a problem in their household in a divorce situation differently, because they just have different memories. 

Some are more vivid than others.  So, I don't fault her for what her thoughts were, and I think her sister's thoughts were probably different.  But it happened, unfortunately.  And Vivian, John's first wife, chose not to be involved with the film. 

SCARBOROUGH: Yes.  Talk about Johnny Cash.  Obviously, this was a guy who was a country star, and he wasn't just popular in Tennessee and Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky and — I mean, this guy was known wherever he went. whether it was Europe or Asia or anywhere across the world.  Talk about how popular Johnny Cash was worldwide. 

ROBIN: It was fun to travel to all these different parts of the world that you just named with John, even behind what was then the Iron Curtain.  The only places we really didn't get to were southern Europe and Latin America, where their music really didn't tie back to American folk or American country music. 

But John was always known in Europe as a great entertainer, not a country singer.  In Germany, which was his biggest European record market, he was known as the man in black. 

SCARBOROUGH: The man in black, he was.  Thank you so much for being
with us, Lou Robin. 

It's interesting, friends.  When I left Congress, obviously set up my office, had pictures of me with presidents and prime ministers and everything else.  Without exception, when people walked past the picture of me between Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, they would always stop, point to it and go, 'When did you meet him?'

I mean, this guy, a legend.  Unbelievable. 

Catch 'Scarborough Country' each weeknight at 10 p.m. ET

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