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CD Review: The Johnny Cash Show

Posted on 10 January 2008 by Bill West

I was too young to remember the Johnny Cash TV show.  But I can’t help but feel a bit nostalgic tracking through a new CD released this week called "The Best Of The Johnny Cash TV Show."

This new disk features 16 rare, live performances from Cash’s TV variety show that aired between 1969-1971, including 6 exclusive tracks not also included on the 2-DVD set that came out last fall.  The full CD track list is below, with an impressive cross-section of artists from many genres that Johnny handpicked for his show.

Listening to tracks like Tammy Wynette’s "Stand By Your Man" takes you back to the early days of ’70s television even if you’re too young to REALLY remember it. 


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At fist glance you’d expect the collection to be ALL Cash songs from his TV show but thankfully that’s not the case.   There are already plenty of Cash compilations floating in the marketplace.  Instead the VARIETY and quality in the 16 tracks is what makes this disk worth the Cash.

It’s cool to hear Derek and The Domino’s back to back with Kris Krisofferson and Roy Orbison.   I forgot how much I liked Orbison and  his medley is one of my favorites on the project. 

The other surprise is the QUALITY of the recordings.  In this HD world the sound of these live recordings is exceptional.  The producers of the TV show really had it going’ on.  James Taylor’s "Fire and Rain" stands up to the studio recording but has enough difference to make it really get your attention.

Finally, track the final cut to the end.  I enjoyed hearing the closing monologue over the once jazzy now considered "campy" credit music version of "Walk The Line."  It took me back to 1970.  Even if I wasn’t really a part of it all.

My Grade: A+
Don’t Miss:
A Soulful Ray Charles Performance of "Walk The Line"
Miss:  The Joni Mitchell cut. It’s all good but I was never big on her.

BEST OF THE JOHNNY CASH TV SHOW

CD Track List (** = CD exclusive tracks)
1. The Johnny Cash Show – open/Johnny Cash – I Walk The Line (2:55)
2. Johnny Cash – Flesh And Blood (3:02) **
3. Tammy Wynette – Stand By Your Man (2:48)
4. George Jones – medley: She Thinks I Still Care, Love Bug, The Race Is On (3:48)
5. Johnny Cash and Lynn Anderson – I’ve Been Everywhere (2:16)  **
6. Bobby Bare – Detroit City (3:24)
7. Ray Charles – Ring Of Fire (3:52)
8. Derek & The Dominos – It’s Too Late (4:14)
9. Kris Kristofferson – Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again) 
10. Roy Orbison – medley: Only The Lonely, Oh, Pretty Woman (4:00) **
11. Johnny Cash with The Carter Family and The Statler Brothers – Belshazzar 
12. Waylon Jennings – Brown Eyed Handsome Man (2:47)
13. Joni Mitchell and Johnny Cash – Girl From The North Country (3:45)  **
14. James Taylor – Fire And Rain (3:48) **
15. Johnny Cash, The Carter Family, The Statler Brothers, Carl Perkins and The Tennessee Three – Daddy Sang Bass (2:24)
16. Johnny Cash – closing monologue/I Walk The Line (reprise) (2:13)

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