Autograph Live

The Authentic Experience

Has there ever been a nicer, more humble, more fan friendly superstar than Johnny Cash?

Johnny was the Babe Ruth of Country Music—the top-ranking Country artist of all time and the most loved. And Johnny loved his fans as much as they love him. So while like the Babe, Cash signed untold numbers of autographs, the supply could never meet demand...and probably never will.

Fans who couldn't meet Cash in person often requested autographs through the mail. The common belief is that he personally autographed those requests. But between his demanding touring schedule and later, his failing health and vision, it seems impossible that he could have signed even half of the mail he received.

A growing number of collectors and dealers now believe that many if not most Johnny Cash through the mail autographs were secretarial. We want to see if we can identify any secretarial styles, and at the same time build a reference collection of no-question genuine Cash exemplars to help identifying forgeries.


Are There Johnny Cash Secretarials?
If So, How Do We Identify Them?
Help Find Out!

You can be an important part of the study in three ways:

  1. Upload into this discussion images of Johnny Cash autographs that you personally received through the mail, and tell us when you received them. (The year is fine, but if you know the date, even better.)
  2. Upload images of Johnny's autographs that YOU saw signed by Johnny yourself. Include the date or at least year, too. If you didn't see it signed yourself (like pre-signed ones sold or given away at shows), please don't upload it.
  3. As more and more images are uploaded, see if you can identify characteristics that are commonly found on Johnny's through the mail autographs that are rarely if ever seen on ones signed in person.

With your help, we can identify Cash secretarials if they're out there. Over time this should increase the value of genuine Johnny Cash autographs, and help protect future fans and collectors against autographs that aren't authentic. 

Once we finish this phase of the study, we'll go on to identifying genuine Johnny Cash autographs from forgeries.

Let's go!

Tags: Johnny, autographs, cash, genuine, mail, secretarial, the, through

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Replies to This Discussion

Brandon, thanks for your reply.  Could you please tell me what you

think of this J. Cash signature?  Thanks.

Thank you.  No need for ":(" ...
what is your greatest experience in authentications?  Sports or Celebrities, Brandon?



In the case of your item, Match the signature to the items signed in-person and know nt obe authentic here.  Don't just try to match one letter look at the whole signature, the style, size, flow, letter formations.


Go to and look in the autograph section.  All of those items are 100% authentic with a COA from Bill Miller.  Try matching your autograph to those too.


I think that will help you see what I see.


Good advice.  But even your enlarges forms look similar.. i guess i just need to learn more.  i try to stay engaged in this area.. Thank you for that link.. !


Do you have anyone you know who sells specifically Vintage material in celebs?  The one I buy from is Tom Kramer  He is very well known to many in htis field and I have seen his work... He works with R&R, etc... I really liked that item.  He's a good guy.. will give me credit but I am astounded how these can pass through even the most tenasciously experienced authenticators.. ??  lol..

Tom Kramer is top-notch. Profiles in History and are great sources for vintage celebs. Many more, too.

I looked and Brandon, his prices are outrageous.  700 dollars for an 8x10 NON VINTAGE felt signed autograph?  Are you kidding me?  You may not like The Sanders Book, but it is the standard bearer.  And If it wasn't, here, would not have it on their shelf for purchase.. would it, since their motto is to be careful what they advertise in the first place.  Something I was told by one of their execs.  Yep!  Ya can't have it both ways in this industry.  I don't mean you, just the topic here at hand.  Thank you for your service !
Authentic Johnny Cash autographs are not as easy to come across as one might suspect.  The prices are what they are....Hopefully, collectors will get a better idea of what's real and maybe that will help them land a good deal.
too true.  but to try to take this hobby hostage by such outrageous prices is not very nice and doesn't speak well of "a" seller especially when one is aware of the market value. 


I think Brandon sent you to so you could look at no-question genuine autographs from various eras, not necessarily to buy there. The owner, Bill Miller, was very close to Cash and has a huge collection of his autographs, no question genuine.


I never said I doubted authenticity.  But like most people after a celbrity passes on do things unsavory.  I think charging 700 dollars for a non vintage photo is unsavory.  Fair enough?  WWJohnnySay?  Hmmm?  Same things could be said of James Dean as well...albeit his prices are usually on target.  Johnny Cash just died a couple of years ago. 


My pal Tom Kramer, a well known and stellar authenticator in his own right, charged me 1/5th of that fee.  And he is correcting this as we speak.  Sooo.. There are people who strive for excellence and fairness in the hobby or bilk it.  Tell me I'm wrong right here. 


I thought Brandon sent you there for examples. I understand your feelings about dealers pricing things high, but I judge a dealer by authenticity and whether they represent the autographs they sell honestly and accurately.

Pricing is something I generally don't judge a seller by, because any potential buyer can research prices, and a seller truly can ask what they want. 

But what you pointed out is important: Collectors always should research prices before they buy.


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