Local Man Sings the Songs of Johnny Cash


Jerry Claypoole and Dale Ruth perform yesterday at the Kittanning Senior Center. Ruth is known for his musical stylings of Johnny Cash.

The “Man in Black” made his appearance before a capacity crowd at the Kittanning Senior Center on Queen Street yesterday.

Dale Ruth in typical long black coat and white tuxedo shirt performs many of the greatest hits of Johnny Cash.

Dale Ruth, 79, describes himself as just “a good ole’ boy from Worthington” that enjoys doing the music of Johnny Cash. He began entertaining years ago when he was young.

“There was just a bunch of guys (playing music). This was in the 50s when Johnny Cash became popular. I only started, maybe ten years ago, imitating Johnny. My wife came with us at that time but it isn’t any fun for her anymore, so she quit,” Dale said with a chuckle.

Wearing the long black coat and white tuxedo shirt, Dale tuned up his guitar that had Cash family signatures as well as “Johnny Cash” written across the neck of the instrument.

His bass player for the concert was Jerry Claypoole. He plays in another musical group called “Full Throttle Band.”

Jerry, 63, said his band will be playing at the Worthington Carnival on the Wednesday night of the Carnival, June 19 from 6:30 PM until 10:00 PM.

Dale said he continues to play his guitar and sing simply as a way to entertain.

“It’s not for money, that’s for sure,” Dale said with a smile. “We like to do it.”

Dale said there has been a resurgence of Johnny Cash music.

“It surprises me how many young people like Johnny Cash. We play the senior centers a lot, but the young people really like Johnny Cash.”

As Dale tours the senior centers in Armstrong County, he said there has been great response.

“We were up at the Dayton Senior Center last week. We always end with ‘I’ll Fly Away’. We normally ask everyone to sing on the last verse. But in Dayton, they were singing it before we ever got started! I’ve never had a response like that!”

Anyone interested in booking Dale for a concert may call him at 724-841-1730.