Eric Church wrote to Johnny Cash’s children before his performance at ACM Awards


Eric Church had one of the most memorable performances at this year’s ACM Awards when he went from Johnny Cash’s Ragged Old Flag straight into his own single Stick That in Your Country Song.

But it turns out, Church’s performance almost didn’t happen because he didn’t have the permission of Cash’s estate to sing Ragged Old Flag. Cash’s children have been traditionally very protective of their father’s work, but Church was able to convince them to let him put his own spin on the song with a passionate letter.

Instead of having Church sing the spoken lyrics in Ragged Old Flag, he and his band instead played behind the words so Cash’s voice could be heard.

“I’m never going to share that letter, but it’s the reason that performance aired,” ACM Executive Producer RAC Clark said. “His passion about what he wanted to say and why allowed them to entrust him with their father’s legacy.”

Ragged Old Flag was the title track on Cash’s 47th album which was released in 1974.