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During the late 1960s and early '70s, Johnny Cash introduced country fans and viewers of his weekly variety show to hand-picked artists-- some contemporary country's best—whom they may not have otherwise had exposure to. This "best of" anthology is a little more random than its title suggests, omitting the duet with Bob Dylan from the program's debut (perhaps the best remembered highlight from the series) in favor of a duet with the then-emerging Joni Mitchell on "Girl From the North Country," and including a hokey arrangement of "I've Been Everywhere" with Lynn Anderson. Yet Ray Charles' soulful recasting of "Ring of Fire" is a revelation, and a roster ranging from Eric Clapton's Derek and the Dominoes to Roy Orbison to George Jones and (separately) Tammy Wynette made for some memorable television.
One of America's pre-eminent popular musicians of the 20th Century, Johnny Cash is best remembered for his distinctive fusion of country, rockabilly and rock 'n' roll. Crooning several songs in this tense and gritty thriller, Cash delivers a shocking, early screen performance with his "Man In Black" demeanor already in full swagger.
“Johnny Cash was one of the most iconic talents to emerge in country music in the '50s; he was a bold and uncompromising artist who spoke his mind and performed the sort of music he chose regardless of what record companies, concert promoters, or network television executives expected of him. But "Johnny Cash the Nashville rebel" was also a devout Christian, and his faith informed both his life and his music in many unexpected ways. The Gospel Music of Johnny Cash is a documentary narrated by Dan Rather which looks at Cash's life and career and how his Christianity guided his music, helped him kick a longtime drug habit, and gave him solace in the lonely days following the death of his wife June Carter Cash. The Gospel Music of Johnny Cash features extensive footage of Cash performing his inspirational music, including plenty of material from his many television appearances with evangelist Billy Graham.” ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide
JOHNNY CASH AT SAN QUENTIN, FOLSOM's follow-up and companion piece, upped the chart-success ante and then some; on August 23, 1969 it reached the top of the LP stack in "Billboard" and remained there for four weeks, making it the best-selling of all Cash longplayers.
Originally a single album, AT SAN QUENTIN is now a deluxe three-disc, Legacy Edition package: two CDs containing 31 selections, 13 of them previously unissued, plus a DVD called JOHNNY CASH IN SAN QUENTIN, a 1969 documentary made by England's Granada TV for British television. It is, by turns, exhilarating and harrowing; among the tunes is a full rendition of "A Boy Named Sue," the rollicking, rowdy smash that in 1969 topped the C & W singles charts for five weeks, while also reaching number two on the Pop side. There are also interviews, some searingly candid, with the prisoners and guards who were present when the Johnny Cash Show packed the big house.
Backed by his scythe-sharp band, the Tennessee Three, Cash's quavering bass-baritone renders hits, hymns, history (personal and American), humor and, of course, the singular "boom-chicka-boom" railroad rhythm that is one of Country music's most ineffable, instantly identifiable sounds. The bill also includes first-rate performances from rockabilly king Car
RELEASED FROM THE ARCHIVE FOR THE FIRST TIME:
• CD One: 65-minute first show -with seven previously unissued tracks
• CD Two: 75-minute second show - with 24 previously unissued tracks (of 26)
• DVD: new documentary film - with exclusive Folsom Prison footage, interviews with Merle Haggard, Rosanne Cash, Marty Stuart, and former inmates at concert, and unpublished photographs by Jim Marshall
It’s one of those dates that is embedded in music history. January 13, 1968, the day that Johnny Cash and his crew - June Carter (two months before their wedding), Columbia staff producer Bob Johnston, Carl Perkins, the Statler Brothers, and the Tennessee Three (guitarist Luther Perkins, bassist Marshall Grant, drummer W.S. "Fluke" Holland), rolled into northern California's notorious maximum security lockup and gave a performance that changed Cash's career arc and the future of popular music. Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison, the LP issued on Columbia Records the following May, became a cultural benchmark in the midst of the single most tumultuous year in American history since the end of World War II. It was more than a record album - it was the turning point for a generation.
Forty years later, the Cash archives in Tennessee continue to dazzle researchers with their riches. In fact, as rarely known by even the most ardent fans, and rarely mentioned in Cash writings until now - there were two Folsom shows performed and recorded that day: The first show, the bulk of which comprised the classic, familiar 16-song album; and a longer second show, the bulk of whose 26 tracks (except for two songs) were put on the shelf.
JOHNNY CASH AT FOLSOM PRISON: LEGACY EDITION has been a long time coming, indeed. The revealing three-disc (2 CD+DVD) close-up of that day now presents the entire unvarnished 65-minute first show on disc one - expletives intact for the first time, and with seven previously unissued tracks; and the entire 75-minute second show on disc two, with 24 previously unissued tracks (out of 26). It's topped off with a new documentary DVD - featuring exclusive footage from inside Folsom, interviews with Merle Haggard, Rosanne Cash, Marty Stuart, and former inmates who witnessed the concert, and unpublished photography by Jim Marshall.
JOHNNY CASH AT FOLSOM PRISON: LEGACY EDITION, the latest deluxe display-book box set entry in the Legacy Edition series will be available at all physical and digital outlets starting October 14th through Columbia/Legacy, a division of SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.
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