I was in my early teens when The Johnny Cash Show originally aired. I recall watching it every week with my parents on an old black and white Motorola television, back in the days of three channels, when you either watched ABC, CBS, or NBC. That’s right kids, only three choices, no cable.
Johnny Cash was a true pioneer. From the stage of the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, he hosted 58 episodes of this groundbreaking variety show, featuring his wife June Carter Cash and her mother and sisters, along with the Statler Brothers.
The guest list reads like a veritable “who’s who” of popular music, and this 4-hour collection features the very best of these performances, along with interview segments from executive producer (and son of Johnny and June) John Carter Cash, musician Marshall Grant, Hank Williams, Jr., musical arranger Bill Walker and hairstylist Penny Lane. The DVD is narrated by Cash’s friend Kris Kristofferson.
Amazing footage includes Cash dueting with a youthful Bob Dylan on “Girl From The North Country,” and Cash performing with such varied talents as Louis Armstrong, George Jones, Waylon Jennings, Pete Seeger, Carl Perkins and a wonderful segment featuring Derek and The Dominos. After Clapton and the gang perform “It’s Too Late,” they are joined by Cash and Perkins for a rockabilly rave up on “Matchbox.”
More great performances include Linda Rondstadt, Tony Joe White, Ray Charles, Roy Orbison, and Creedance Clearwater Revival.
This package is a must have for all Cash fans, of course, but also for any lover of popular music of the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. An absolutely amazing time capsule.
-Michael Buffalo Smith