Johnny Cash’s Bass Player David Roe Has Died

Johnny Cash’s Bass Player David Roe Has Died | Classic Country Music | Legendary Stories and Songs Videos

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Johnny Cash’s Longtime Bass Player David Roe Dies at 64

David Roe, most famously known as Johnny Cash’s bass player, passed away on Saturday, September 16th, 2023. As his family, friends, and loyal fans gather together to mourn and reflect on the life of the legend who contributed so much to country music, we too would like to share a few things about him to honor his legacy.

A photo of Dave Roe that Crystal Shawanda shared on Facebook.
Crystal Shawanda / Facebook

A Legend In The History Of Country Music

Born on June 20, 1959, in Shreveport, Louisiana, Dave’s love affair with music started in the late 60s and 70s when he first picked up a bass guitar. Little did he know that this instrument would not only become an extension of himself, a tool with which he’d express his talent and passion for music, but would lead him to move to Nashville where he’d start a successful career.

Dave Roe’s contributions to the world of music were nothing short of remarkable. His ability to play bass made him one of the most sought-after musicians, gracing the stage and studio with iconic artists such as Johnny Cash, Dwight Yoakam, and John Mellencamp. He was Johnny Cash’s bass player in The Johnny Cash Show band from 1992 to 2003, until Cash passed away.

Dave Roe’s legacy of bass playing and the music he made, connected people, inspired other artists, and brought joy into the lives of those he taught his high-level abilities to. The news of Dave’s passing sent shockwaves through the music industry and left a profound void that can never truly be filled.

Dave Roe’s Family & Friends

But Dave wasn’t just known for his musical talent; his family and friends said his warmth, his sense of humor, and his unwavering dedication to those he loved made him an absolute pleasure to be around. To the Roe family, Dave was a mentor, a friend, and an inspiration to the family, generously sharing advice and knowledge he gathered in his life.

Johnny Cash’s son, John Carter Cash wrote on Instagram, “So long, sailor, may fair-winds send you too distant shores. So much to say, have to process. The master who made the dream a reality has had his time here on this earth. We will have numerous recordings of his wondrous playing to keep us company, but I for one will miss the man. In the first photograph here, he stands beneath a picture of my father in @cash_cabin, the last portrait ever taken of Dad by @martystuart @hugh.waddell.1 introduced Dave to my dad in the late 1980’s. He couldn’t play the upright bass. Dad gave him a chance. He went on to become one of the best “slap bass” players in the world.” 


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A post shared by John Carter Cash (@johncartercash)

The oldest grandson of Johnny Cash, Tomas Gabriel, also shared on Facebook the shock he had over losing a fellow bandmate and paid tribute to Dave’s legacy.

What Caused His Death?

According to multiple sources, his sudden and tragic death was due to a heart attack. Yet, among the sorrow and loss of his untimely passing, we hope that shining a light on the indelible mark he left on the world of country music and those he loved will bring some comfort to his family, friends, and fans. May his memory live on forever in the hearts of those who were fortunate enough to know him.

Listen to Dave Roe talk about what it was like playing with Johnny Cash below

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