'Ring of Fire' Rolls into Region 8

March 13, 2004 -- Posted at 5:48 p.m. CST

PIGGOTT -- He's recorded more than 1,500 songs on nearly 500 albums...he's the man in black, Johnny Cash. While the legendary singer may have passed away last September, his memory still lives on, and two brothers in Piggott are steering the path to preserve his history.

It's a big piece of history, and for now, it's parked in Region 8.

"This is the tour bus that they actually used on the road all those many years that they traveled," said bus owner Eldon Wright.

Johnny Cash bought the tour bus in 1979 and traveled with his family while he was on tour, but just last year, brothers Eldon and Marlin Wright purchased it.

"There are things that you just don't do, and you just don't destroy history and that's something we're trying to preserve," said Eldon, "In our work and in our endeavor to preserve and do what we are doing, we are working very closely with the family and with the estate and the attorney for the estate to make sure that whatever we do, although we do have legal title to the bus, whatever we do we want it to be done in a manner that we feel like Johnny would be proud of."

The Wright brothers knew they had hit the jackpot when the purchased the bus, but little did they realize...they got more than they had paid for.

"I found a Polaroid picture of June when I was digging around looking for a screw to the vacuum cleaner. I think the first week I had it I found the safe on it, and got around digging and it had a bunch of papers in it," said Marlin Wright.

Some of those papers were pretty interesting, like a 1990 CMA award ballot that Cash had never filled out, and a complete history of the Cash family.

So just how do you come to own Johnny Cash's tour bus?

"I'm not at liberty to say how we came about it, but I will say this, we were very fortunate to be at the right place at the right time," laughed Eldon Wright.

Right now the bus has 361,000 miles on it, but the Wright brothers say they will add a few more.

The bus will stay in Piggott for now, but it will eventually find a permanent spot in Branson, as a part of a museum and a tribute to Johnny Cash and his music.