Published Apr 14, 2017Johnny Cash's guitar player for nearly 30 years, Robert "Bob" Wootton, has died. Wootton, who played as part of Cash's Tennessee Three, passed away last Sunday (April 9) in Gallatin, TN. He was 75.
Born March 4, 1942, in Paris, AR, Wootton replaced original Tennessee Three guitarist Luther Perkins in 1968 and ended up playing with Cash all the way up to the late country legend's initial retirement from touring in 1997. Perkins died in a fire in 1968.
During Wootton's time playing with Cash, the guitarist was on hand for the Man in Black's legendary performance at San Quentin State Prison, as well as during Cash's TV variety show and on Bob Dylan's classic Nashville Skyline album, not to mention a long string of Cash records.
Wootton also became Cash's brother-in-law when he married Anita Carter in 1974, though the couple would later get divorced.
Along with his work as a guitarist, Wootton perused a career as a stuntman and even doubled for Cash in some film and TV work. In his life, Wootton also became a bus driver for musical acts, including Smashing Pumpkins.
After Cash's death in 2003, Wootton helped keep his memory alive by touring with fellow Tennessee Three drummer W.S. "Fluke" Holland and playing original Cash hits. Wootton's most recent album was 2012's Guaranteed Cash with the Six Mile Grove. He was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 2006.
Wootton's funeral was held yesterday (April 13).