Johnny Cash tributes planned on stage and page. A bio of the Man in Black is ready, while a musical tribute at the Grand Ole Opry is in the works

By Gary Susman
Updated October 10, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

Johnny Cash’s close friends are planning to remember the Man in Black at his wake by strapping on their guitars. A tribute concert, which will be free to the public, will be held Nov. 10 at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, with a bill that includes Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Sheryl Crow, Hank Williams Jr., Jack Clement, Steve Earle, Larry Gatlin, and daughter Rosanne Cash. In talks to join the lineup are Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and Bono, Cash publicist Lou Robin tells the Associated Press. ”The family just wanted to give the public closure to their feelings about John’s death,” he said. Details on how tickets are to be distributed will be announced later, he said.

It’s been less than a month since Cash died at age 71 of complications from diabetes, but a new Cash biography is being rushed into print in November, Reuters reports. Publisher John Blake has been selliing international rights to Garth Campbell’s ”Johnny Cash — He Walked the Line” at the current Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany. ”We are not cashing in on Cash,” Blake told Reuters. ”This is a warm and heartfelt tribute to a man who changed the face of music. It just happened to be in preparation when he died. We commissioned the book 12 months ago. We had planned to publish in 2004 and then tragically he passed away. It will now be out in November.”