Dyess, Arkansas was a construction of FDR’s New Deal, a planned community for those disenfranchised by the Depression. Among them? Johnny Cash’s parents. Now, the town is trying to make Cash’s childhood home into a socially equitable version of Graceland, as The Guardian explains:
Now, nearly a decade after his death, Cash’s family home is being returned to its original state as the anchor attraction of a $10m tourist project on the back of the singer’s global celebrity.
Just as Dyess was born out of a social experiment to give people hit by the Depression, like Cash’s parents, a second chance, the hope is that the Cash connection will give the entire town and its population of 500 a fresh start, transforming the dusty delapidated streets into a living museum of the era. Or as the people behind the plan call it, a “socially responsible Graceland”.