WHEN Johnny Cash played at the Odeon in Glasgow in November 1968, he was looking forward to the gig – and a special ‘date’ afterwards.

According to the Evening Times, Johnny was meeting up with a ‘well-known Scots show business family’ for a late night meal – the Reillys from Coatbridge.

Glasgow Times: Johnny Cash at Falkland Place

We reported: “Johnny and his wife June Carter have been friends of the Reillys for a long time and in May this year when the American singer was in Scotland he invited the whole family to his show in Edinburgh and to dinner at his hotel afterwards.

“Unfortunately, Peter Reilly was in England on business and did not catch up with Johnny until the following evening in Carlisle.

“This time his wife Biddy is singing at a club in Irvine but she will be back in Glasgow for the get-together.

“Their daughter Bernadette is in London this week but hopes to make a flying overnight visit. Incidentally, Bernadette, who won this year’s televised Song for Scotland contest, has a record our this week, appropriately enough a Johnny Cash number, You’re the Nearest Thing to Heaven.”

Do any Times Past readers remember the Reillys?

According to our report, Peter and Biddy were a well-known country and western duo who appeared on TV and radio singing the songs of Johnny Cash.

By the time of this visit, Peter had ‘stepped out of the limelight’ and started his own management company. Bernadette Reilly, who came from Townhead, had her own TV show on Scottish Television in the 60s.

Glasgow Times: Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash was born in Arkansas in the US in 1932, and after spells in the US Air Force as a radio intercept operator, and working in an automobile factory and as a door-to-door home goods salesman, he broke onto the music scene in 1955 on Memphis’ fabled Sun Records.

His biggest hits include I Walk the Line, Big River and Folsom Prison Blues.

He was also proud of his Scottish roots – he visited a genealogist and discovered he was of Scottish descent and that his clan had originated around the 12th century in the Strathmiglo area of Fife.

The connection was traced back to when the niece of Malcolm IV (1153-1165) – who was named Cash or Cashel – married the Earl of Fife. The first American Cash connection came in 1612 when mariner William Cash sailed from Scotland to Salem, Massachusetts, with a boatload of pilgrims.

Johnny was struck by this connection and travelled to Fife at least three times – most notably in 1981 when he recorded a Christmas special for US television, and local people were surprised to see the famous singer, clad in trademark black trench coat walking the streets of their tiny town with fellow singer Andy Williams.

Our photographers have captured Johnny Cash many times on film over the years, notably at Falkland Palace and at Loch Katrine, where he enjoyed a trip on the SS Walter Scott with his wife June Carter Cash.

He was always warmly welcomed by Glasgow audiences.

This review in our sister newspaper from one of the last times he appeared in the city with his family said: “Whether standing up for Jesus and the underdog, or getting fatalistic, mawkish and haunted, Johnny Cash was ragged but right. Get Rhythm and Sunday Morning Coming Down were epic.

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“The historically wayward A Croft In Clachan, with its refrain about ‘the English on the run’, may become a new Scottish anthem. Y’all come back real soon, Cash-Carter family.”

Did you see Johnny Cash in Glasgow? Which famous stars have you seen perform in the city over the decades? Get in touch with Times Past to share your stories and photographs.