Johnny Cash Sings the Songs That Made Him Famous is a terrific starting point for any up-and-coming Cash fan. Though his second LP, it contains an all-star lineup of (early) greatest hits proportions. Remember, this isn’t a compilation album, just the man’s second full-length effort. Big River, I Walk the Line, Ballad of a Teen-age Queen, Next in Line, Home of the Blues, There You Go, and Guess Things Happen That Way… and that’s only about half of the album. If you own it, spin it. If you don’t have it, I recommend holding out for the original. Reissues have their time and place, but with J. R. Cash, it’s go original, or go the hell home.
The comp work on the cover of Johnny Cash’s The Blue Train is borderline laughable (sorry Betty Cherry), but that doesn’t diminish the phenomenal tracks it houses. A late 70’s comp released by Sun Records long after J. R. Cash left the label, The Blue Train lifts five of its tracks (half of the record) from the 1963 album, All Aboard the Blue Train, also released on Sun Records. Repackaging and repurposing was certainly nothing new by 1979 standards, but the lack of attention to detail deserves strong criticism, at least, in my humble opinion. Anyway, happy Friday!
Feeling a bit on the homesick side of things lately, and it doesn’t get more “home-y” than J.R. Cash. This 1968 copy of the 2-LP set, The Heart of Johnny Cash was owned by my Grandfather, and was one of the great, many Cash albums I acquired after his inevitable, yet unfortunate death. What I wouldn’t give to share a whiskey and a spin with him now.
Johnny Cash, the perfect remedy for the homesick blues.
Listen, for reasons that transcend both you and me, J. R. Cash holds, and will always hold, a deep-rooted seed of importance with me (and my Midwestern upbringing). Bruce McCulloch put it accurately when he said that Greatest Hits albums were for housewives and little girls, BUT, I must state that a little gathering of the goods, if you will, is nothing of an ill-comprised representation of one’s output. Are there better albums of Mr. Cash’s to be had? Shame on you for asking. Does this one hold sentimental value far more than any top 40 single on the bullshit charts? You bet your ass! I’ll be as gone as a wild goose in winter…and I welcome you all to join me.
RIP J. R. Cash.
(Thanks to the SO for the title… 😉 ) Happy-ily (for those of you who are Vacant Lot fans) Thanksgiving!! The lady had to work today, so tomorrow we’ll be celebrating the Day of Thanks. Currently listening to Johnny Cash’s Greatest hits Volume 1, and yes, “house wives and little girls” aside, (Bruce McCulloch), I hope ever-body done had them-selves a damn-good day! (23.95 lbs this year, btw…)
For J. R. Cash’s third studio album, 1958’s The Fabulous Johnny Cash, the legendary man in black, or The Undertaker, as he was jokingly nicknamed, took a staggering leap up the distribution ladder and landed a contract with acclaimed Columbia Records, a label he’d stay with until moving to Mercury Records in 1985. It should be noted that J. R.’s stint with Sun Records, his first label, is the favored batch of rural tunes by yours truly. Be it either the simplistic and underproduced approach, or the documentation of a storied artist making his first marks, I for one just can’t get enough of that radiant, Sun sound.
Mr. Cash released two singles from TFJC. Frankie’s Man, Johnny and Don’t Take Your Guns to Town, the latter proving to be one of his biggest, early successes. It’s painfully obvious to mention that J. R. Cash was as unstoppable as Old 97 for Columbia, churning out hit after record breaking hit, a three decades long merger that proved, what I assume, immensely lucrative for both parties.
This copy was a thrift store find about a decade back, and was apparently pre-owned by a Pat Johnson from 655 Park Ave in Port Hueneme, CA. I venture to think, since 3/8/62 until the day it was offered to an Oxnard, CA second hand store, that Pat cherished The Fabulous Johnny Cash almost as much as I do.
Whenever I’m feeling nostalgic, I tend to turn to the roughneck, blue-collar grit of Johnny Cash. While I’ll prefer Mr. Cash’s work with the Tennessee Two during their Sun Records days, there was something about Blood, Sweat and Tears that stuck out like a rusty spike awaiting its inevitable drive into the cold, hard Earth that grabbed my sleep-clouded eyes this morning. Since it’s Monday morning for all of you hard working pencil pushers, the inevitable start to yet another inevitable workweek, Blood, Sweat and Tears seemed desperately appropriate.
A collection of working man ballads, this, Mr. Cash’s 15th album, was released in 1963 on Columbia Records and features the soulful accompaniment of the Carter Family, the same legendary folk ensemble he’d become a part of some five years later, in March of ’68, when he married June Carter.
So, welcome to the working week, and if you find yourself daydreaming for an era without redundant meetings, corner-cutting executives, or inner-office politics, book some time with the musical spokesperson for the hardworking everyman, Mr. Johnny Cash.
Cataloged as SUN 119, Sunday Down South is a lot more than just a compilation of songs by the late 1950s masterminds of radio rock, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis. Apart from being a great representation of these legendary artists as they both entered the 1970s (this album was released in 1970), Sunday Down South is good ol’, down south rockin’ gospel done right. Something can be said about each of these man’s darker, more controversial sides coupled with their resurrected approach to religious music, but unfortunately, I have no idea what those words might be.
Clocking in at just over 22 minutes, Sunday Down South is a painfully brief, yet enjoyable journey into the rock n’ roll souls of these mythical musicians, and is a perfect album to enjoy on this, or any Sunday, regardless of your geographical location.
This is a bit awkward considering we’ve never met, but I can’t help but feel an eternal connection with you through our shared love for Johnny Cash. Like you, I enjoy his baritone voice, his uncanny ability to create timeless soundscapes, and this, a convenient collection of his greatest hits circa: 1963.
I must say Mr. Suman, your overall care for this copy of Ring of Fire – The Best of Johnny Cash has rendered this record in rather adequate condition. The disc has a few scuffs, but doesn’t skip, and the sleeve is in better than average condition considering she was released 51 years ago. No, overall she was an exciting find at a Wisconsin thrift store some years back, and although I own many of these songs on their respective albums, it’s nice every once in a while to spin a collection of someone else’s favorites.
I do, however, have one quick question for you, Mr. Suman. Respectfully, I can’t help but ask, WHY THE HELL DID YOU WRITE YOUR EGG-SUCKIN’ NAME ON THE MOTHER-LOVIN’ COVER… IN PEN?!?!??!1!? Couldn’t you haves scribbled your deteriorating title on the back, or on the inside label? Why did you feel the need to piss your inscription square on the cover like a yippy dog to a low hanging pant leg? I question your judgment, good sir.
51 years ago, you made a poor decision, one that will forever live as a blatant symbol of your irresponsible and shortsighted character. I hope you feel an eternity of shame, that which you justly deserve.
Sincerely, your pal,
The Prudent Groove
J. R. Cash was seldom shy about his faith. He was brought up on Baptist beliefs, was quoted 17 ways from Sunday commenting on his personal relationship with God, and wife June was inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame back in 2009. This 1963 album on Columbia Records stands as a shameless appreciation of this rugged man’s enormous heart, and shows that everyone, from Timbuktu to Kalamazoo, has a little classic country in them. Titled The Christmas Spirit, Mr. Cash masters that warmhearted holiday sentiment perfect for sitting fireside while heavy winds fight trees outside closed windows, and looming clouds sift a heavy helping of blanketed snow.
For me, anytime of year is a great time for Johnny Cash, but for some reason, maybe it’s his deep, fearless tone, the holidays are the best days for enjoying a little Man in Black. Don’t expect Brenda Lee or Chuck Berry on this album, they are more part of the sparkling, bubbling lights on the holiday music tree. Johnny Cash on the other hand, is the one shining star that rests atop this tree, creating that perfect, musical glow of holiday comfort and joy .
When your boss’ ego takes priority over what’s best for everyone involved, Get Rhythm.
When you find that honesty takes backseat to the convenience of fearful confrontation, Get Rhythm.
When the squirrels have finally found an effective way to raid the bird feeder, and it’s time to say goodbye to the birds, Get Rhythm.
When social decencies are ignored for selfish, single-minded objectives, Get Rhythm.
When popularity eclipses the right thing to do, Get Rhythm.
When you get the blues, Get Rhythm.
It only costs a dime, just a nickel a shoe
Does a million dollars worth of good for you
– J. R. Cash