Johnny Cash does his Elvis impression
02.10.2014
04:44 am

Topics:
Amusing
Music

Tags:
Johnny Cash
Elvis Presley
June Carter


 
In which one towering figure of 20th century American music good-naturedly ribs another…

“You know at just about all of our shows, and wherever we go, we usually do an impersonation… and we had a request here tonight to do an impersonation of a rock and roll singer…”

This is funnier than you think it’s going to be.

Interesting historical footnote to this, it was Elvis who first “introduced” Johnny Cash to June Carter. In her own words:

He was stooped down on one knee and grasping a guitar trying to tune it to somewhere near the correct pitch to make a correct cord ring - ‘Everybody knows where you go when the sun goes down, Ah-ummm - A - ummm’ and he’d strike the guitar again. Plink: plunk: ‘A-ummm ...’ What are you trying to do, I asked. ‘I’m trying to tune this blame guitar, honey, and I’m trying to sing like Johnny Cash’. Who is Johnny Cash I asked Elvis Presley, and I grabbed the guitar away from him. Mother Maybelle would never let me or Elvis go on the stage with a guitar that was that far out of tune! What’s the a-um-a-um for? ‘That’s what drives the girls crazy’ Elvis said. ‘Cash don’t have to move a muscle, he just sings and stands there’. I don’t know this Johnny Cash I said, and Elvis said: ‘Oh you’ll know Cash. The whole world will know Johnny Cash. He’s a friend of mine’. So the whole tour, my first with Elvis, we went into small cafes all throughout the south and Elvis played Johnny Cash on the jukebox while I fought off the girls trying to get through Scotty, Bill and I to Elvis. And the thing I remember the very best was the voice of Johnny Cash singing ‘You’re gonna cry, cry, cry and you’ll cry alone!’. Somehow this low voice just penetrated my heart and spoke to my loneliness, for I had no lover in my life and there was a terrific loneliness in my soul. I had visions of myself screaming ‘Hey Porter’ and riding a lonesome train home.

I had been working at the Grand Ole Opry since 1950 with my mother Maybelle and sisters, Helen, Anita and Chester Atkins. I would rush home from a tour on Saturday nights back to the same routine of loneliness and this particular night, I found myself backstage trying to tune my guitar humming Ah-ummm Ah-Ummm, when all of a sudden, there he was! The voice was the same. Johnny Cash took me by the hand and said, ‘I’ve always wanted to meet you’. The strangest feeling came over me. I was afraid to look him in the eyes. It was one of the things I did best. I never stammered and still found myself not able to say much of anything. I think I finally blurted out - I feel like I know you already. Elvis plays you on the jukebox all the time and he can’t tune his guitar without humming ‘Cry, Cry, Cry’ Now he’s got me doing it.

‘Why don’t you work with me on the road sometime?’ I’d like to I said. Hey, bring me one of your records. I’ve become a real fan.

I can’t remember anything else we talked about, except his eyes. Those black eyes that shone like agates. I only glanced into them because I believed that I would be drawn into his soul and I would never have been able to walk away, had he asked me to go with him. I felt that he was the most handsome man I’d ever met. I saw him take six encores that night. He had a command of his performance that I had never seen before. Just a guitar and a base and a gentle kind of presence that made not only me, but whole audiences become his followers. I walked away from him that evening.

The next time I saw Johnny Cash, he brought me his new record and we did find the time to talk together. Both of us afraid to look, and both afraid to see the lost and lonely souls that we were. For the next few years, I never saw him where I did not remember when, where and who he was with. John told me that after seeing him on stage that very first time in Nashville, he knew he was going to marry me. I guess neither of us ever forgot that. We walked away from each other and we both made some bad choices in our travels. I wondered if he has as hard a time with my blue eyes as I had with his, and after he wrote ‘I Still Miss Someone’ I think he might have really looked.

It took such a long time of praying and of walking away when I knew from first looking at him that his hurt was as great as mine, and from the depths of my despair, I stepped up to feel the fire and there is no way to be in that kind of hell, no way to extinguish a flame that burns, burns, burns. And so came the idea for the song ‘Ring Of Fire’. I was ashamed to tell John that I had always cared, that I couldn’t get him off my mind. Out of the loneliness came one song after another. There was so much hurt for both of us. And hurt for those we loved that only God could have pulled us out of that ‘Ring Of Fire’. For the last 35 years, I have been able to look into those black steel eyes and feel his love, and realize he always cared.

—from the liner notes for the Johnny Cash CD, Love.
 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Watch Bob Dylan in ‘Eat the Document’ (with John Lennon, Johnny Cash and The Band) while you can
02.05.2014
10:34 am

Topics:
Music
Television

Tags:
Bob Dylan
Johnny Cash
The Band


 
Eat the Document was intended to be a TV documentary on Bob Dylan’s 1966 European tour, produced for ABC Stage 67, a prestigious showcase for musicals, documentaries, original teleplays and short films (everything from a rock musical scored by Burt Bacharach and Hal David to a doc on Masters and Johnson to “Skaterdater”), but the network rejected it for being “incomprehensible.” The film captures the madness of that tour and was shot by D. A. Pennebaker, who’d also made Don’t Look Back, the documentary of Dylan’s 1965 tour. Pennebaker’s version was called “Something Is Happening.” The retitled Eat the Document was cut by Dylan himself with Howard Alk, but the network still didn’t want it.

Eat the Document wasn’t seen at all until the early 70s when it was screened at New York’s Academy of Music and the Whitney Museum. Shitty bootleg copies have floated around for decades (I had one that was barely watchable) but in recent years a super clean digital copy has been seen on torrent trackers, and occasionally on YouTube. Dylan was, and is, alleged to hate it, which is why you should probably watch this sooner rather than later. There’s always a bit of Whac-A-Mole going on with Eat the Document there, I’ve noticed.
 

 
In the film we see Dylan tired, jamming with Johnny Cash, onstage with The Band (then still called The Hawks) writing songs with Robbie Robertson and wearily dealing with members of the media. Some of the infamous footage of Dylan riding around in a limo with John Lennon (Lennon claimed Dylan had gotten him high on heroin beforehand) is also seen in the film.
 

 
Thank you Glen E. Friedman of New York City!

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Louis Armstrong and Johnny Cash play together, 1970
01.08.2014
06:15 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Johnny Cash
Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong and Johnny Cash
 
From 1969 to 1971, ABC aired The Johnny Cash Show first on Sundays but later on Wednesdays; it was taped at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. One of the highlights of the show was the appearance of Louis Armstrong on the October 28, 1970 show. Less than a year before his death of a heart attack, Armstrong briefly sings “Crystal Chandeliers” and “Ramblin’ Rose” before Johnny Cash joins him onstage for a charming duet of the Jimmie Rodgers song “Blue Yodel #9.”

Not surprisingly, Cash knew his history. As he explains on the program, in 1930 Louis played on Rodgers’ recording of that same song, “Blue Yodel #9.” Louis’ voice is not heard on the number; he’s there strictly as a session musician. Louis’ wife, Lil Hardin Armstrong, is on the piano. Certainly Cash selected one of Louis’ rare appearances on a country track (if it can be so called) quite consciously to link the triumphant early period of Louis’ career to Cash himself.

Also, it gave Louis an excuse to put on a huge white cowboy hat at the Grand Ole Opry.

According to Johnny Cash: The Life by Robert Hilburn,
 

Cash was especially proud of bringing Louis Armstrong onto the Ryman stage, where the jazz great had once been barred from performing because of his race. On the show, Armstrong re-created the trumpet solo he’d played on a Jimmie Rodgers recording of “Blue Yodel No. 9” in a 1930 session in Hollywood; Cash was thrilled to sing Rodgers’s part. By celebrating that historic pairing, Cash wasn’t just saluting his heroes; he was subtly underscoring his message of unity and tolerance.

 
To hear Louis’ familiar, scratchy voice join Johnny’s yodel chorus is a delight.
 
Jimmie Rodgers, “Blue Yodel No. 9,” 1930:

 
Louis Armstrong and Johnny Cash, The Johnny Cash Show, 1970:

 
via William Caxton Fan Club (a.k.a John Darnielle’s Tumblr)

Written by Martin Schneider | Discussion
Johnny Cash and The Cowsills would like to sing you a little ditty ‘bout Baby Jesus

cash/cow
 
What could have been more square in the late 1960s than a family band with MOM in it? The Cowsills became a badge for the co-optation of counterculture when they sang the theme song for Hair, and their rep for milky white safeness was cemented forever when The Partridge Family pilfered their schtick pretty much wholesale. But with a few decades elapsed between then and now, I think it’s no longer a betrayal of The Revolution to be OK with them, because ultimately, they just wanted to sing, and bland content or not, they sang very, very well. And while they do shoulder some blame for David Cassidy’s career, at least the Osmonds aren’t their fault.
 
cash/cow 2
WHAT THE—okay, maybe they weren’t entirely safe.

Here’s a seasonally timely clip of the Cowsills on The Johnny Cash Show, guesting with Cash on the gospel number “Children, Go Where I Send Thee.” Not only do they admirably hold their own backing up Cash’s rich basso voice, pay attention around 2:09, at which ten-year-old Susan Cowsill peers confidently into the camera and nails a solo verse. This, again, is a ten-year-old kid sitting next to Johnny By God CASH and singing with laudable poise. That talented little kid went on to gain a measure of hip cred playing in Dwight Twilley’s band in the ‘80s, and in The Continental Drifters with The dBs’ Peter Holsapple (her husband for a time). She continues to pursue an active solo career.
 

Written by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
Watch all four Johnny Cash Christmas specials

The Christmas Spirit by Johnny Cash
 
From 1976 to 1979, CBS ran a Johnny Cash Christmas special every year—it must have been a significant Christmas tradition in many homes (alas, not my own). For those who remember Cash as the ultimate rebel par excellence, these specials make for some interesting viewing. During the 1970s Cash experienced a slump in record sales, and during this period he was a familiar face on TV, appearing as a guest star on Columbo and Little House on the Prairie and doing commercials for Amoco.

In these specials, the sentimentality of the occasion can’t be ignored, so Cash gamely refashioned himself as a family-friendly country music TV host. We’re far from the middle-finger Johnny Cash or Folsom Prison Blues; there’s a decent amount of corny levity to be seen here. You might say that this is the closest that Cash came to a figure on Hee Haw (of course, he appeared on Hee Haw as well).
 
Johnny Cash as Santa Claus
 
Of course, June Carter Cash is every bit as present as Johnny—the emphasis here is charmingly on family, and many of June and Johnny’s wide-ranging clan of relatives are featured, especially in the 1976 and 1979 specials, which were taped in Tennessee.

If you find yourself inundated with cheesy Christmas songs in every retail establishment you dare to enter, you can surely improve your life by dialing up The Johnny Cash Christmas Special, with its mix of Christmas classics and country-western fare, in their stead.

Taped in Nashville, the special that kicked it off is the most homespun of the bunch. The entire second half of the show is framed as an expansive musical visit around the Cash family hearth. Earlier, Johnny and June join Tony Orlando for “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree,” and (back at the hearth) Barbara Mandrell, several years before she and her sisters got a show of their own on NBC, engages in some ass-kicking steel guitar wizardry before singing “A Beautiful Morning with You.” Billy Graham ends with a downbeat sermon.
 

 
The 1977 edition may be the strongest from a musical perspective, or maybe it’s just my own bias in favor of rock over country. There’s scarcely any humor sketches, which would predominate in the next two years, and the core of the show is dedicated to three of rock and roll’s most venerable heroes, all associated with Sun Studios, just as Cash himself was. In rapid succession we get Carl Perkins singing “Blue Suede Shoes,” Roy Orbison singing “Pretty Woman,” and Jerry Lee Lewis singing “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” before Lewis essays a reverent rendition of “White Christmas.” Then the three of them and Cash come together to sing “This Train Is Bound For Glory” in a tribute to Elvis, who had died just a few months earlier. Also, Johnny spends a good chunk of the show wearing Army fatigues (!).
 

 
The 1978 Johnny Cash Christmas Special, like the 1977 edition, was taped in Los Angeles, and it shows a little. The guests include Kris Kristofferson, Rita Coolidge, and Steve Martin, who as a budding superstar is given a fair amount of time for his hijinks. The high point is probably Cash and Kristofferson singing the latter’s “Sunday Morning Coming Down” together.
 

 
It’s not news that DM is very Andy Kaufman-friendly, so it was something of a shock to hit play on the 1979 special and see none other than Kaufman himself in the opening bit. For this version of the special, Cash returned to Nashville, and the presence of an appreciative Opryland audience is a blessing. Kaufman scarcely strays from his Latka character, except when he does a completely straight version of Elvis Presley’s “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin.” It’s well known that Elvis loved Andy’s impersonation; here’s a fine chance to see it.
 

Written by Martin Schneider | Discussion
Merle Haggard does hilarious impressions of Johnny Cash, Buck Owens and other Country greats
12.05.2013
08:31 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Johnny Cash
Glen Campbell
Buck Owens
Merle Haggard


 
On his 1970 live album, The Fightin’ Side of Me, recorded in Philadelphia on Valentine’s Day of 1970, Merle Haggard performs a medley of extremely convincing impersonations of well-known country music personalities including Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, Hank Snow and Buck Owens. His 5-minute-long “Medley of Impersonations” includes “Devil Woman,” “I’m Movin’ On,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Jackson,” “Orange Blossom Special,” and “Love’s Gonna Live Here.”

It’s hilarious. Flawless. The man truly could have been the Rich Little of Country & Western should he have wanted to go in that direction (although I’m sure glad he didn’t). It’s even better seeing him do the imitations, as he did on this 1969 episode of The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour.

Wait for the surprise guests…
 

 

 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
How Johnny Cash was nearly killed by an ostrich in 1981
10.04.2013
07:16 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Johnny Cash


 
It’s well known that Johnny Cash battled drug addiction for much of his life. After having dabbled very seriously with pills in the 1960s, he managed to kick the habit until an eye operation and a near-fatal encounter with one of his pet ostriches provided ample grounds to turn to painkillers again. He was in pain, and painkillers alleviated that pain. The problem is, he kept using the painkillers even after the medical pretext for using them had long gone away.

The year is 1981, a relative lull in Cash’s career. Cash’s masterpieces of the 1960s were long behind him, and he had spent most of the 1970s in a manner that was a far cry from his outlaw image, recording a great deal of gospel, cultivating an avuncular, family-friendly image for his annual Christmas television specials, and even appearing on an episode during the third season of Columbo. Actually, let’s give you a taste of that Columbo episode just for fun:
 

 
Cash was a long way from the hefty second wind his career would get after his album American Recordings, produced by Rick Rubin, introduced him to a younger audience more conversant with REM than with George Jones.

According to Cash, if it weren’t for the “good and strong” belt he was wearing, the ostrich would easily have killed him. The incident took place at the “House of Cash” in Hendersonville, Tennessee, which featured offices, a museum, a recording studio, a gift shop—and an enclosure for exotic animals, including ostriches. Cash’s return to heavy amphetamine use lasted until a 1983 incident in which Cash trashed a hotel room in Nottingham, U.K., landed him in the hospital.

Here’s Cash’s engaging account of the ostrich attack, as related in Cash: The Autobiography:
 

One such spell, the most serious and protracted, began when I took painkillers after eye surgery in 1981, then kept taking them after I didn’t need to. It escalated after I was almost killed by an ostrich.

Ostrich attacks are rare in Tennessee, it’s true, but this one really happened, on the grounds of the exotic animal park I’d established behind the House of Cash offices near my house on Old Hickory Lake. It occurred during a particularly bitter winter, when below-zero temperatures had reduced our ostrich population by half; the hen of our pair wouldn’t let herself be captured and taken inside the barn, so she froze to death. That, I guess, is what made her mate cranky. Before then he’d been perfectly pleasant with me, as had all the other birds and animals, when I walked through the compound.

That day, though, he was not happy to see me. I was walking through the woods in the compound when suddenly he jumped out onto the trail in front of me and crouched there with his wings spread out, hissing nastily.

Nothing came of that encounter. I just stood there until he laid his wings back, quit hissing, and moved off. Then I walked on. As I walked I plotted. He’d be waiting for me when I came back by there, ready to give me the same treatment, and I couldn’t have that. I was the boss. It was my land.

The ostrich didn’t care. When I came back I was carrying a good stout six-foot stick, and I was prepared to use it. And sure enough, there he was on the trail in front of me, doing his thing. When he started moving toward me I went on the offensive, taking a good hard swipe at him.

I missed. He wasn’t there. He was in the air, and a split second later he was on his way down again, with that big toe of his, larger than my size-thirteen shoe, extended toward my stomach. He made contact—I’m sure there was never any question he wouldn’t—and frankly, I got off lightly. All he did was break my two lower ribs and rip my stomach open down to my belt, If the belt hadn’t been good and strong, with a solid belt buckle, he’d have spilled my guts exactly the way he meant to. As it was, he knocked me over onto my back and I broke three more ribs on a rock—but I had sense enough to keep swinging the stick, so he didn’t get to finish me. I scored a good hit on one of his legs, and he ran off.

They cleaned my wounds, stitched me up, and sent me home, but I was nowhere near good as new. Those five broken ribs hurt. That’s what painkillers are for, though, so I felt perfectly justified in taking lots of them. Justification ceased to be relevant after that; once the pain subsided completely I knew I was taking them because I liked the way they made me feel. And while that troubled my conscience, it didn’t trouble it enough to keep me from going down that old addictive road again. Soon I was going around to different doctors to keep those pills coming in the kind of quantities I needed, and when they started upsetting my digestive system, I started drinking wine to settle my stomach, which worked reasonably well. The wine also took the sharper, more uncomfortable edges off the amphetamines I’d begun adding to the mix because—well, because I was still looking for that euphoria.

So there I was, up and running, strung out, slowed down, sped up, turned around, hung on the hook, having a ball, living in hell……

 
I couldn’t resist this one: here’s “Folsom Prison Blues” performed by Ostriches—no, not “perfomed by ostriches,” performed by some band named Ostriches.

Written by Martin Schneider | Discussion
‘Hello, I’m Johnny Cash’: The 1976 Christian comic book
09.11.2013
06:48 am

Topics:
Art
Music

Tags:
Johnny Cash
comics

Hello, I'm Johnny Cash
 
In 1976 Spire Comics, publisher of Christian-themed comic books, many of them involving Archie and his friends, came out with “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash,” which told the life story of Johnny Cash and the start of his musical career, the breakup of his first marriage, his battle with pills, a jail stint, and his eventual marriage to June Carter. Johnny Cash traditionally started his concerts with the phrase “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash” before breaking into “Folsom Prison Blues.”

The material’s hokey, of course, but the art isn’t half-bad—just like a real comic book, y’know. Not nearly as cringeworthy as it could have been. It’s credited as being written by Johnny Cash with Billy Zeoli and Al Hartley—one wonders how involved Johnny actually was.

Here are some panels from “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash” for your enjoyment. (Does anyone know if Johnny ever played Pisa? This Johnny Cash concert database suggests that he never played Italy. Anybody know?)
 
Hello, I'm Johnny Cash
 
Hello, I'm Johnny Cash
 
Hello, I'm Johnny Cash
 
Hello, I'm Johnny Cash
 
Hello, I'm Johnny Cash
 
Hello, I'm Johnny Cash
 
You can download the entire comic book in PDF format here.

Here’s a video of a Johnny Cash fan free-associating over some stills of the comic book. Be sure to catch the reference to President Obama!

Written by Martin Schneider | Discussion
‘My Father and the Man in Black’: Johnny Cash as seen through the eyes of his long suffering manager
09.04.2013
03:48 pm

Topics:
Movies
Music

Tags:
Johnny Cash
Saul Holiff
Jonathan Holiff


 
Coinciding with the 10th anniversary of Johnny Cash’s death (September 12), My Father and the Man in Black, a powerful and unique new documentary film comes out theatrically this Friday in select cities and on iTunes, VOD, DVD and elsewhere soon after.

My Father and the Man in Black is the riveting insider tale not so much of Johnny Cash, per se (although, of course he looms large over the entire narrative) but of his longtime Canadian manger, Saul Holiff, who committed suicide in 2004 and the interaction between these two troubled men that went into creating Cash’s monumental career.

In what is surely one of the only examples one can point to of a manager leaving behind a superstar client, Holiff “fired” Johnny Cash in the early 1970s. The film’s director, Jonathan Holiff, and his father rarely had any contact in the decades before his death. The father left no letter. His son would get no closure. He got nothing.

At least not until his mother makes him aware of a storage locker with some recordings the elder Holiff had made of telephone calls between himself and Cash during the 60s and 70s. These are the years when Cash was setting forest fires, getting nabbed at the border with hundreds of Mexican amphetamines and generally raising hell in the way we all know that Johnny Cash did. Saul Holiff was the guy who got him OUT of those troubles, brought June Carter into his life, cleaned up his many messes and made him into an internationally beloved superstar and American icon. We even get to listen to Johnny Cash, all good and hopped up on goofballs, sounding like a crazy man and ranting a mile a minute. It’s pretty cool stuff, I must admit.
 

 
Among the tapes Holiff found were hours of highly personal, confessional and often very depressed audio diaries made by his father. Some of what the son found in these tapes were real heart-tugging “Cat’s in the Cradle”-style lamentations of a father missing his young family.

With a skillful way of using unobtrusive “recreations” that don’t in any way become annoying, Jonathan Holiff tells a really damned good story here—My Father and the Man in Black is very novelistic for a documentary—and manages to rise above the creative limitations that his predominantly audio archival treasure trove would force on the telling of this tale. There’s one part that’s particularly “woah!” where Johnny Cash has self-financed a film about the Holy Land and is basically demanding of his Jewish manager “Do you accept Jesus Christ as your savior or not?” and that’s when Saul Holiff had simply had enough of what he perceived as his client’s born-again Christian bullshit and got out of the situation. (He went on to manage the Statler Brothers.)

I highly, highly recommend My Father and the Man, not just as a sidebar to better understanding Johnny Cash, but as a wholly fascinating—and very original—film on its own merits. It may seem like it’s one thing—and it is that, don’t get me wrong—but there are many surprises and wonderful details in store for viewers of My Father and the Man in Black that are completely unexpected. And very moving.

My Father and the Man has won a few dozen “best doc” awards in the festivals and it’s easy to see why.

My Father and the Man in Black opens in Los Angeles and New York this Friday, September 6th and in select cities nationwide. The film will be available on iTunes (where you can pre-order it now), VOD, and Amazon Instant Video on September 10th and DVD on October 1. Director Jonathan Holiff will be doing Q&As at the Music Hall 3 in Beverly Hills opening weekend. The Johnny Cash tribute band The Mighty Cash Cats will perform at 6:30PM on September 6 prior to the 7:15PM showing.
 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Melanie: Powerful (WOW!) live performance of ‘Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)’, 1970
08.14.2013
11:44 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Johnny Cash
Woodstock
Melanie Safka


 
I posted this show-stopper of a performance by folk singer Melanie (with The Edwin Hawkins Singers) doing her classic “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)” a couple of years ago, but fuck it, it’s that good, so here it is again. When is the last time you saw a musical performance this good on television? Was it even in the past decade? Sadly, probably not.

These days we’ve got Katy Perry and Rhianna at the top of the hit parade. It’s not the same thing. This powerful performance was about really connecting emotionally with the audience, not strutting around and sexing it up with a bunch of buffed-out, well-oiled himbo dancers! [Well maybe not those Dutch people in the top clip!] In forty years, they’ll probably still be using Melanie’s song in TV ads and film and TV soundtracks, but frankly, I don’t expect the same will be true of Ke$ha or Nicki Minaj’s tunes (I could say the same thing about Robin Thicke and any number of male performers, too, of course).

The song’s powerful lyrics were inspired by events that took place at the “Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam” demonstration of November 1969 and by Melanie’s experience performing at Woodstock. She’s describing the feeling of generational hope and solidarity that came over her as she looked out over the vast audience who held up candles (or more likely Zippo lighters) in appreciation during her soggy set.

When David Bowie asked “Ain’t there one damn song that can make me break down and cry?” on Young Americans, frankly, I don’t thing he was anticipating the extreme vapidity of today’s artistically merit-less top 40 radio.

Listen to her voice! How many little white girls have lungs that could standout against the mighty pipes of The Edwin Hawkins Singers??? Positively sublime!
 

 
More incredible Melanie performances after the jump, including a little-known clip from Woodstock…

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Shit-hot: The PERFECT Johnny Cash set from German TV, 1972
07.24.2013
09:50 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Johnny Cash
June Carter
Carl Perkins


 
Talk about a ring of fire… Watch this highly enjoyable (I’d go so far to say it’s “inspiring”) 1972 Johnny Cash episode of Germany’s Beat Club TV show, featuring The Tennessee 3, June Carter and her sister Anita Carter, along with special guest Carl Perkins.

Perkins gets the audience warmed up with his “Blue Suede Shoes,” then Cash steps onstage for a charming reading of Shel Silverstein’s “A Boy Named Sue” and a few words in German (Cash served in the US Air Force there). Then he goes into Kris Kristofferson’s “Sunday Morning Coming Down” (the first of three numbers by the songwriter) and it just keeps getting better from there.

It’s pretty much the perfect mid-career Johnny Cash set, and when June comes out, forget about it, the whole thing just goes into overdrive. The quality is very good here.

Carl Perkins: “Blue Suede Shoes”
Johnny Cash: “A Boy Named Sue”
Johnny Cash: “Sunday Morning Coming Down”
Johnny Cash: “Tennessee Flat Top Box”
Johnny Cash: “I Still Miss Someone / Me and Bobby McGee”
Anita Carter: “Lovin’ Him was Easier Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again”
Johnny Cash: “Rock Island Line”
Johnny Cash: “Folsom Prison Blues”
Johnny Cash: “I Walk The Line”
Johnny Cash & June Carter: “Jackson”
Johnny Cash & June Carter: “If I Were a Carpenter/Help Me Make It Through the Night”
Johnny Cash & June Carter: “If I Had a Hammer”
Johnny Cash: “A Thing Called Love”
 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Just a photo of a ravenous Johnny Cash eating cake
06.14.2013
07:31 am

Topics:
Amusing
Food
Music

Tags:
Johnny Cash
Cake


 
Here’s a photo of Johnny Cash hoarding a delicious looking strawberry cake all for himself. I guess he didn’t like sharing desserts. Or forks!

Photo circa 1970s.

Via Retronaut

Written by Tara McGinley | Discussion
Waylon Jennings: ‘Only Daddy That’ll Walk the Line,’ 1969
05.20.2013
02:29 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Johnny Cash
Jessi Colter
Waylon Jennings


 
Waylon Jennings on The Johnny Cash Show in 1969. The country great was still clean-shaven here, but already moving in the direction of his “outlaw” country sound even then.
 

 
Here’s another shit hot live version of “Only Daddy That’ll Walk the Line,” from what appears to be Hee Haw. I am currently monumentally obsessed by this song. I could play it on a loop for 24 hours. That fuckin’ guitar solo is sublime city, baby!
 

 
Here’s a link to Linda Ronstadt’s more Flying Burrito Brothers-ish sounding version of the song, rechristened “Only Mama That’ll Walk the Line,” a staple of her live show in the late 60’s.

In case you were wondering (and I know you were) the mega-hottie on keyboards is Jennings’ then newly-wed wife, Jessi Colter. Below, Jessi Colter performs her 1975 pop-country crossover hit, “I’m Not Lisa”:
 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Psycho Killer: Johnny Cash plays a ‘door-to-door maniac’ in ‘Five Minutes to Live’
03.13.2013
09:00 am

Topics:
Movies

Tags:
Johnny Cash


 
The Man in Black’s acting debut came when he portrayed the deranged, practically foaming at the mouth cop killer “Johnny Cabot” in the 1961 film noir, Five Minutes to Live. Johnny, along with his partner (Vic Tayback, “Mel” from the 70s sitcom Alice ) plot a unique bank robbery. Johnny knocks on the door of a housewife (Cay Forester, who wrote the script) offering to give her guitar lessons and then takes her hostage. Her husband, (Donald Woods) a bank manager, is told that she will be murdered unless Tayback’s character walks out of the bank with $70,000.

Their plans go awry when the banker calmly informs him that they’d be doing him a big favor by killing his wife so he can run off to Las Vegas with his mistress! Then their son (a young Ron Howard) comes home from school, throwing another wrench into the works.

The weirdest part of the film is the way they shoehorned in a Johnny Cash performance (albeit a twisted one) when “Johnny Cabot” decides to sing a murder ballad to his terrified hostage about her own impending doom. You can skip directly to 36:40 to watch Cash-as-psychopath terrorize her with his guitar, performing “Five Minutes to Live.”

He’s not exactly “Frank Booth” from Blue Velvet, but he’s still pretty fucking creepy.

Five Minutes to Live was re-titled Door-to-Door Maniac for a 1966 re-release. Country great Merle Travis makes a cameo appearance.
 

 
Via Open Culture

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Johnny Cash in German
02.21.2013
01:22 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Johnny Cash


 
Because you’re mein…?
 

 
Via Noisey

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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