Music tribute supports charity

Sam Malone

DeKalb | Students who find themselves walking the line of boredom this weekend can clear their plans for 7:30 p.m. Saturday and head to the Egyptian Theatre to catch “Diamonds for Cash,” a Neil Diamond and Johnny Cash tribute performance dedicated to supporting a local charity.

Robert Stolzman, owner of Dynasty Entertainment, puts together concerts from various tribute artists around the Midwest in efforts to raise money for local charities in support of the mentally handicapped. This year and next, he has chosen to house several shows at the Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. Second St., in hopes of raising money for the Opportunity House, 630 Linden Place.

“I contacted the Egyptian Theatre, and [they] came back to me and said ‘we have a beautiful place here that’s always looking for help, and that’s the Opportunity House,’ Stolzman said.

The first of four in this year’s series, Saturday’s show will feature the musical stylings of Neil Diamond, represented by Denny Diamond, and Johnny Cash, represented by Keith Furry.

“I make nothing,” Stolzman said. “I’ve never taken a dime [from the proceeds.] You pay the bills and what little is left [goes to the charities.] If I was to take it, then it defeats the purpose of what we’re doing.”

The show will begin with a brief presentation given by representatives from the Opportunity House, and clients of the organization will also be in attendance. Stolzman said he sees this as an opportunity for students to go out on the weekend and get away from the bars for a fun night of music and charity.

Following the presentation, the performance will open with Diamond and move into Furry’s Johnny Cash show, which he has been perfecting for several years. Furry said Cash’s music has a way of bringing people together, regardless of age, and he strives to be the closest thing to a Cash show students will ever see.

“When I walk out on stage, I am Johnny Cash for two hours,” Furry said. “When I turn around and grab the microphone, and they start with a few licks on Folsom [Prison Blues,] and I just grab the [microphone] and go ‘hello, I’m Johnny Cash,’ and we’re right into it.”

Tickets for the event are currently on sale and can be found on the Egyptian Theatre’s website for $20, but Stolzman said students who are interested and cannot afford the event should contact him. He said music has a way of bringing people together and healing things people may not understand.

Excited to be taking part in an event that will give back to the community, Furry said he’s looking forward to being in the DeKalb area, where he will be surrounded by so many young people who appreciate Cash’s music and what he stood for.

“I so appreciate the younger generation grabbing ahold of some of this Cash music,” Furry said. “I don’t know whether they’ve gotten it from their grandparents or their parents or what, but they follow through with it and [go] back to the earlier Cash stuff too, and it’s just incredible.”