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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I agree, the Highwayman cover is not real. The cut signature looks ok to me. Still, I would get Bill Miller's opinion on it to be sure.


As you folks can see, Johnny was VERY irregular with his signature...That's something the forgeries that we are talking about are not.

I think that I did learn here that Johnny's "C" is very distinctive. 

I used to have two Johnny Cash signed photos in my collection. I later learned one was secretarial and one was a fake. Purchased from Robert Polk and Jim Oleson. (Can't remember which was which.)


Seeing this thread makes me yearn to get a real one.

Any thoughts on this sig: 


The guy I bought it from took a pic with Johnny so I'm assuming it's real but would love to hear thoughts.

That one may be real...it is close enough to ask Bill Miller to be sure though.  Johnny was in no way consistant with his signature. Especially in his final years. I'm leaning towards authentic.

Thanks for the response. Forgot about Bil :)

I am a new poster to this forum so excuse me if I am not posting this correctly.  I recently acquired some records and in the group was a few "signed" Johnny Cash Albums.  I have no idea if they are authentic, secretarials, or just fakes.  Here is one of them:


Any comments would be appreciated.   Thanks for helping me out.

I'm saying real to this.  I see many characteristics here that are in my known authentic examples.

Thanks for your opinion, I appreciate it.

to me it looks like a good attempt if not real. The rounded J top.. and the hook attop the C and short script of last name...

overall I would say its authentic, signed in a rushed situation...in a hurry you might say...

I just bought this Johnny Cash signed casette cover. It is certified by PSA/DNA. Any opinions on its authenticity?






Here is my contribution a 1974 playbill signed by Johnny, June & Anita Carter and Carl Perkins




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