Prior to Johnny Cash's death in 2003, the country icon and pastor Billy Graham enjoyed a decades-long friendship that even included a musical collaboration. In 1971, Graham appeared on the song "The Preacher Said Jesus Said" with Cash.

From Cash's Man in Black album, "The Preacher Said Jesus Said" features spoken-word interludes, pulled from the gospels, by Graham. The song is the first on the album, and it also mentions Graham in its lyrics ("From St. Paul to Billy Graham, the same is heard ..."). Readers can press play above to watch a performance of the song, from an episode of The Johnny Cash Show; Graham also preached during the episode.


According to a Robert Hillburn-penned biography of Cash, the Man in Black and Graham's friendship began thanks to Graham's son, Franklin Graham. It was the younger Graham convinced his father, the Gospel Coalition reports, that Cash could help "attract millions of people ... especially young people" to Graham's messages and mission.

"[They are] two of the most wonderful friends that God ever gave my wife and I," Graham said of Cash and his wife, June Carter Cash, during a 1986 service in Tallahassee, Fla., at which Cash and Carter Cash performed. "They're such thoughtful people and such wonderful people."

Graham died Wednesday (Feb. 21), at the age of 99, CNN confirms. A native of Charlotte, N.C., William Franklin Graham Jr. became a United Gospel Tabernacle pastor during college; he served as a preacher with numerous organizations before founding the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in 1950. Today the BGEA "exists to support and extend the evangelistic calling and ministries of Billy Graham and Franklin Graham by proclaiming the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to all we can by every effective means available to us and by equipping the church and others to do the same," according to its website.

In addition to hosting radio and TV programs, Graham wrote a syndicated newspaper column and numerous books. He received, among other awards, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation Freedom Award (in 2000) and the Congressional Gold Medal (in 1996).

Country Stars and Their Famous Friends

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