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Great State: Philip Bauer Does Johnny Cash Better Than Anyone

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OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA -- Johnny Cash used to start just about every concert with the guitar lick from the song 'Fulsom Prison Blues'.

But the man playing the same tune at the Oklahoma Opry theater isn't Cash, who passed away in 2003.

It is the man who walked into this venue in 2008, and who, one night, discovered a new calling.

His given name is Philip Bauer.

He was a sales and marketing guy and weekend musician.

Then a recording of his Johnny Cash impersonation, complete with black wig, got to YouTube and people started calling.

On his impression Bauer chuckles and says, "Basically, what you do is take John Wayne and Mr. Ed. Stick them together and you've got Johnny Cash." 

Philip was savvy enough to shop that video link around to a few booking agents and so started a second career, the career he always wanted in the first place.

"If I couldn't make it as myself then I'll do it some other way," he states.  "Nobody pays to see Philip Bauer. They come to see Johnny Cash." 

His Johnny Cash show plays a couple of weeks a month on tour.

Bauer has ben all over the world as the pre-eminent Cash impersonator.

Recently, he was even chosen to do on a TV show called 'World's Greatest Tribute Bands' aired on the AXS network.

He admits with a smile, "Live scares me to death," 

Bauer says he's got about 20 different famous voices, including Neil Diamond and Conway Twitty, singing in his head all the time.

But he's found a way up with Johnny Cash as a man who plays the man.

Philip Bauer as Johnny Cash performs a one-hour live concert from the Whiskey-A-Go-Go in West Hollywood, CA Tuesday, April 28th and 9pm Oklahoma time.

AXS is available on ATand T's U-verse and the Dish Network.

For more information go to http://www.philipbauer.com