The first compilation / greatest hits album Johnny Cash released (or rather, the label released for him) was 1959’s appropriately titled, Greatest! 12 cuts, all from the Sun Records library, Greatest! is a breath of fresh, country air even 56 years after its initial release. I have no idea what LPs sold for back in 1959, but this one set me back only $3 just last weekend. Inflation be damned, am I right? Anyway, Greatest! contains some classic, early Cash greats such as Get Rhythm, Luther’s Boogie, a few Hank Williams numbers (Hey, Good Lookin’, You Win Again), and some lesser known classics to round out a full, pertinent collection of tragic songs. Greatest! may not be Cash’s greatest, but it’s worth seeking out.
The first message from man on the moon… The moon in legend and the science… The beginning of rocketry… Tsiolkovsky… Goddard… Oberth… Goddard’s first launch… The American Rocket Society… Dorn Berger’s experiments in Germany… World War II and the V-2s.
Side 2 (which, for apparent broadcast reasons, is NOT on the same LP…):
World War II ends… U.S. seizes remaining V-2s and the German Rocket team surrenders to the Americans… H-bombs for the U.S. and the U.S.S.R…. The war in Korea… U.S. space program lags… Sputniks stun the world… The humiliation of Vanguard I and the success of Explorer I.
If that doesn’t tickle your curiosity’s fancy, then I don’t know what will!
Also: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD! MAY THE MOONS AND THE STARS FOREVER SHINE UPON YOUR LIGHTED MEMORY!