Thursday, September 20, 2007
'Hello, I'm Johnny Cash'
I miss Johnny Cash.

The man was modest, sincere and direct. He delivered truth: Truth with his songs, truth with his talk. You can sense it any time you hear "Folsom Prison Blues," "Ring of Fire" or "Man in Black." (Especially "Man in Black.")

For two years in the late '60s and early '70s, Johnny Cash got to host a network variety show. It was called "The Johnny Cash Show" and it displayed the same combination of fearlessness and modesty characteristic of Cash himself. Cash booked acts rarely seen on TV, including Bob Dylan, a very young Joni Mitchell and Derek and the Dominos -- not to mention the cream of Nashville. (He even shot the show in Nashville, at the Ryman Auditorium, which was not exactly TV-friendly at the time.)

On Tuesday, Sony/Legacy released "The Best of 'The Johnny Cash TV Show,' " a 2-DVD set containing 66 performances. They run the gamut of styles and personalities: Creedence Clearwater Revival performing "Bad Moon Rising," Louis Armstrong joining Cash on "Blue Yodel #9" and Carl Perkins -- then with Cash's band -- jumping in to match guitars with the Dominos' Eric Clapton on "Matchbox." Also priceless: the Everly Brothers, accompanied by their father, doing "That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine."

But what's most revealing are the clips of Cash away from the show. During one episode from Vanderbilt University, a student asks Cash his thoughts on marijuana. Cash genuinely considers the question. "I don't really know," he responds, finally offering only his own disapproval. Then another student asks about problems with drugs in the music business. After saying that there was a problem in Nashville, Cash pauses.

"I learned the hard way about drugs," he says matter-of-factly. "I courted death with it. ... I took my chances and tried a little bit of anything there was to try. ... I was lucky enough to survive."

No lectures, no judgments. Just Johnny Cash: Nothing but the truth.
Thank you for this great report - I've just added the DVD set to my wish list. I miss Johnny Cash too. His music has first touched me at the age of 10 and to this day, more than 30 years later, he's still one of my favorites and I associate many memories with his songs. Thanks again for posting your article.
Johnny Cash is the bomb
If you love Johnny Cash - Check out the band Cash'd Out. They'll easy the pain and take you back that's for sure!!!
My dad introduced me to Cash's music at a very young age, and I miss his honesty and rawness. My kids both have his last album, and can sing "Folsom Prison" Ring of Fire" and "I Walk the Line' (and my daughter is an opera singer!) It's so much fun to still gear his voice in commercials. I sometimes forget he's gone...and thank God for those last releases. Now we'll have this set to watch all those great TV moments too.
When I think of Johnny Cash, I think of "Ring of Fire". I first heard the song when I saw the movie... a date night in the 60s. That's when I came to love his music. What a talented man!
If you love J.Cash then you will be interested in this!

Check out the website for the Johnny Cash Flower Pickin' Festival in November.

http://www.pardonjohnnycash.com
I pre-oreder this and received it last week. I watched the first DVD yesterday. It is great! I miss him too. It is very interesting to listen to the comments of his former band members, Kris Kristofferson and others.
Me too.
The DVD is on my wishlist too! If any of you guys are interested in a collection of Cash-inspired literary pieces, there's a tremendous book I just read called Literary Cash, edited by Bob Batchelor published by BenBella Books. I'm sure you can find it at Amazon or everywhere else on the web.
Tidbit: When I was a little girl, I was friends with one of his granddaughters. At the time, I didn't know who he was. But I think he's awesome and I regret never having seen him perform live. He is missed.
johnny was the greatest i went an seen an impersonator do a johhny cash show figuring it would be a total let down it turned out to be a great show that was very respectfull the guys name was shawn barker if you ever get a chance to see him go he has a web site www.shawnbarker.com
I was raised on Mr Cash and his songs are buried deep within my roots. I love the man in black.

I was curious, was the title of this blog intentionally the same as an Alabama 3 tribute song to the man in black? Or just a coincidence?
A legend...enough said.
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