The United States Postal Service will be issuing a Johnny Cash stamp later this year as part of its new “Music Icons” series. The stamp features a photograph taken by Frank Bez which appeared on the cover of the album Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash.
Olivia Newton-John should be hurled into a burning ring of fire for desecrating the Johnny Cash classic, which was co-written by his wife June Carter and Merle Kilgore.
This discofied version of “Ring Of Fire” is a re-mix of the track that first appeared on Newton-John’s 1977 album of country covers, Making A Good Thing Better - a misleading title if there ever was one.
Oregon -based artist Kay Petal makes these whimsical sculptural needle-felted rock star dolls. Kay says, “Using single, barbed felting needles I sculpt wool fibers into solid felted wool characters with heart and soul. My characters are soft and flexible yet strong and durable.”
And guess what? Kay will even make one of YOU! You can contact her on the website Felt Alive for more information.
Age may weary and death may claim, but the ears will not condemn this fine selection of essential listening from Blondie, Joe Strummer, Ian Dury, Sonic Youth, David Bowie, Johnny Cash and Leonard Cohen taken from Later with Jools Holland.
01. Blondie - “Heart of Glass” from 1998
02. Joe Strummer - “London Calling” from 2000
03. Ian Dury - “Sex and Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll” from 1998
04. Sonic Youth- “Sacred Trickster” from 2009
05. David Bowie - “Ashes to Ashes” from 1999
06. Johnny Cash - “Folsom Prison Blues” from 1994
07. Leonard Cohen - “Dance me to the End of Love” from 1993
From 2004, Johnny Cash: The Last Great American was the first major TV retrospective of the singer’s life and times. Featuring contributions from his daughter Rosanne Cash and son John Carter Cash, longtime manager Lou Robin, and fellow musicians, Little Richard, Cowboy Jack Clement, Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard and Elvis Costello. This documentary contains incredible archive and some superb performances, and is a fine testament to The Man in Black.
This colour clip was shot silent in 1955 in Oklahoma City while Holly and Elvis Presley were working the two bottom slots on a country package tour headlined by Hank Snow — and apparently represents not only the earliest film footage of Holly but that of Elvis as well (he’s dressed in a neon-bright green shirt and he’s already a physically commanding figure).
Other YouTubers are saying this was shot in Buddy Holly’s high school in Lubbock, Texas, the following year. Whatever the case, you can also catch Carl Perkins, and at :58 seconds in, a really young-looking Johnny Cash.
Every picture tells a story and here is the story behind one of the most iconic rebel images of all, photographer Jim Marshall’s classic shot of Johnny Cash flippin’ the bird during his famous concert at San Quentin State Prison:
Some of Marshall’s most arresting photographs of Cash were taken at two California prisons, Folsom (1968) and San Quentin (1969). These were not Cash’s first performances for prison inmates—indeed, his song “Folsom Prison Blues” had been released more than a decade earlier, in 1955, as a 45 and 78 by Sun Records. But the trip to Folsom would be recorded for a live album, and Jim Marshall was invited along by Cash’s label, Columbia, to document the event.
On the SFAE website, Jim Marshall recalls the day, January 13, 1968, when Cash and his band, the Tennessee Three, with the great Carl Perkins on guitar, entered the prison (see the pensive portrait of Cash, above). “The granite walls in Folsom are about eight feet thick, and we had just gotten off the bus and gone through one giant gate into a holding area. Then we went through a second gate, and, when it clanked shut, John said, ‘Jim, there’s a feeling of permanence in that sound.’ After that, I started wondering when we were going to get out of there.”
The success of “Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison,” with a Marshall close-up of Cash on its cover, sweat dripping down his face from the bottom of his sideburns, sent Cash to San Quentin a year later for another live album. That recording, which made it to No. 1 on both the country and pop charts in the U.S., is famous for its black-and-blue cover, with Cash’s head silhouetted from behind by a harsh spotlight.
The most famous image from the day, though, is unquestionably the candid shot of Cash taken during a rehearsal before the show. Again from the SFAE website, Marshall recalls the origins of what he believed was “probably the most ripped off photograph in the history of the world. There was a TV crew behind me and John was on the side of the stage. I said ‘John, let’s do a shot for the warden.’” Apparently, that’s all the prompting Cash needed to look straight into Marshall’s lens and flip him the bird.
Below, Johny Cash and the Tennessee Three perform “San Quentin” at California’s San Quentin State Prison in 1969. What an amazing moment.