Posts Tagged ‘Johnny Cash’


One of those guys I’m friends with on Facebook, after wishing for something impractical, wrote: “Well, here is a better, and more tasteful desire: I want to see Tom Jones make a bare-bones acoustic guitar album, a la Johnny Cash.”

It’s pretty clear to me and most people that those American Recordings of Cash in the 1990s and early 2000s represent some of the finest music in his career. As it turns out, Welsh singer Sir Thomas John Woodward, OBE, has already followed suit.

Praise & Blame came out 26 July 2010. “The album was Jones’ first release with Island Records and was recorded in 2009… [It] was made up of largely little known devotional and gospel covers, marking a departure from the pop-orientated style that had dominated Jones’ recent recordings…

“Upon its release, Praise & Blame received generally positive reviews from most critics. Giving the album four stars, Andrew Perry in The Daily Telegraph claimed that the album was ‘by far Jones’ best album in two decades’ and stated that “with its loose, spontaneous sound, and the all-pervasive sense of artistic rebirth… it’s a revelation.'”

Spirit in the Room (2012): “Tom Jones is still commendably committed to re-imagining himself as a Rick Rubin-years Johnny Cash, by way of interestingly oddball selections of Americana and bespoke blues covers.”

Long Lost Suitcase (2016): “Andre Paine, reviewing for the Evening Standard also gave it four stars, stating ‘At 75, Jones’s volcanic vocal still sounds majestic on an album that maintains the artistic rejuvenation of recent years.'”

I have the first two albums of the trilogy of albums produced by Ethan Johns, and I like them a lot. They’re a far cry from What’s New Pussycat and It’s Not Unusual.

Listen to:

What Good Am I here or here

Burning Hell here or here

Run On here; Johnny Cash performed the same song, as “God’s Gonna Cut You Down”, on American V: A Hundred Highways (recorded in 2003, released posthumously in 2006)

Bad as Me here or here

Hit or Miss here or here

Travelin’ Shoes here

Dimming of the Day here

Charlie Darwin here or here

For ABC Wednesday


Do Not Lose Heart; We Were Made for These Times

On earth as it is in heaven: Why Jesus didn’t call his followers to be safe

The Gaslight Zone, Part 1 and Part 2

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Gerrymandering and Marijuana

Can We Get Real About Opioids? and Opioids, My Mom’s Death, and Why People Trust Science Less

How my daughter died from a simple case of flu

The Perception of Liberal Bias in the Newsroom Has Nothing Whatsoever to Do With Reality

Facebook use is a predictor of depression

The Internet Isn’t the Wild Wild West Anymore, It’s Westworld

Killing the Church with Sunday School

Girl, 2, defends her choice of doll to cashier

Carolyn Kelly, R.I.P.
Mark Evanier’s getting by, with the help of Henry Fonda

Sheryl Sandberg: ‘Everyone looked at me like I was a ghost’

Letterman’s mom was everyone’s mom: Dorothy Mengering dead at 95

A Tribute to Carrie Fisher

The Public Library: A Photographic Love Letter to Humanity’s Greatest Sanctuary of Knowledge, Freedom, and Democracy

Dianne Bentley saved receipts, helped take down her cheating governor husband

Arts in the Parks

Not me: Two longtime artists offer stunning works in ‘Traces’ exhibition

“Let me help” (Thoughts on “The City on the Edge of Forever”)

Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in the 1960s

Ken Levine interview: Voiceover artist Randy Thomas

I wrote about helicopter parenting four and a half years ago, and someone wanted to know if I wanted to read Abandon Helicopter Parenting, Embrace Negotiation Parenting; xooloo has developed an app for that.

7 Tips for Donating Old Books Without Being A Jerk

Now I Know: The Slave Who Spied on the Traitor and The Campaign for the Other Gary and Taking “One Person, One Vote” Literally — and Accidentally

Queen Elizabeth has someone break in her shoes before she wears them

Dawn Wells: Forever Mary Ann

I keep seeing references to crushed Doritos in recipes, e.g. replacing bread crumbs on fried chicken, or as the crust for mac and cheese. Have YOU used them?

Chopped liver

Music

Just a clown singing Pinball Wizard to the tune of Folsom Prison Blues

The Beatles – Home Recordings, May 1968 (white album)

Coverville: Elton John cover story

Back in June 1980, the legendary Chuck Berry performed in the little village of Ladner, British Columbia, Canada

K-Chuck Radio: Music to help pretty plants grow

5 truly explosive performances of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture

Appreciating an Unusual Beach Boys Album

Who has opened for the J. Geils Band?

Linda Hopkins; blues singer won Tony for best actress

The Neuroscience of Singing

There is a reason to have a B# and an E#

John Coltrane Draws a Picture Illustrating the Mathematics of Music

Monkees Star Mike Nesmith Reveals All on Drugs, a Near-Crippling Illness, and Jack Nicholson ‘Bromance’ in New Memoir

Where Have All The Bob Seger Albums Gone?

Genesis Tour Manager Recalls His Role in One of Rock’s Most Embarrassing Moments

Rock’n’roll shrimp named after Pink Floyd because of its deafening vocal ability

Bill LankfordAt some point in the 1990s, I bought a box set called Roots ‘N Blues: The Retrospective 1925-1950, “a four-CD box set released on Columbia Records in 1992. The set features five hours worth of early blues, folk/country and gospel recordings from a variety of American artists. Many of these recordings had never previously been issued in any medium.”

Eventually, I got Moby’s 1999 album Play, and stopped short when I heard the song Run On. Read the rest of this entry »

peteseegerI was, and am, a big fan of the late folk singer Pete Seeger (May 3, 1919 – January 27, 2014). I wrote about him on his 90th birthday in 2009 HERE, though I am surprised that I didn’t mention the fact that I had the opportunity to actually talk with Pete at the Springboks demonstration.

My affection for the We Shall Overcome album I have documented.

I remember watching him singing Waist Deep in the Big Muddy on The Smothers Brothers show, after it had previously been yanked by CBS.

The documentary Wasn’t That A Time, about the reunion of the Weavers Read the rest of this entry »

johnny cash.folsom

Eurreal Wilford “Little Brother” Montgomery (April 18, 1906 – September 6, 1985) was an American jazz, boogie-woogie and blues pianist and singer from Louisiana.

From his 2013 Blues Hall of Fame induction: “Montgomery first recorded in Chicago in 1930 but spent most of his early professional years in south Mississippi, where he played lumber camps, cafes and nightclubs, sometimes in a blues mode, other times leading a more jazz-oriented dance band. Among the bluesmen influenced by his music in Mississippi were Skip James, Sunnyland Slim, Arthur ‘Big Boy’ Crudup, and especially Willie Dixon.” Among his songs was an instrumental called Crescent City Blues.

Gordon Jenkins (May 12, 1910 – May 1, 1984) I associate as a producer and/or arranger for Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, The Weavers, Frank Sinatra, and Nat King Cole. “He also began recording and performing under his own name… His ‘Seven Dreams’ released in 1953 included ‘Crescent City Blues’,” featuring singer Beverly Mahr, Jenkins’ wife, borrowed liberally from Montgomery’s version. Jenkins is now in the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame.

Johnny Cash (February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was inspired by a movie Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison (1951), written and directed by an actor, screenwriter and director named Crane Wilbur. Cash stole even more heavily from the Jenkins version to create Folsom Prison Blues, which he wrote and first recorded in 1955.

The lyrics are nearly identical, except for the points where Cash changes the perspective of the narrator. For example, both begin “I hear the train a comin’/It’s rollin’ ’round the bend.” The Jenkins song follows that with “And I ain’t been kissed lord/Since I don’t know when,” but Cash follows it with the darker “And I ain’t seen the sunshine/Since I don’t know when.” All of the verses have this dichotomy, with an identical narrative path and stark differences in tone. Where Jenkins’ narrator says “But I’m stuck in Crescent City/Just watching life mosey by,” Cash has his protagonist sing the far darker “But I shot a man in Reno/Just to watch him die.”

Nonetheless, Jenkins was not credited on the original record from Sun Records. According to Cash’s manager Lou Robin, Cash acknowledged the debt to Jenkins’s song, but was reassured by Sun founder Sam Phillips that he had no reason to fear a plagiarism suit. Fifteen years later, Jenkins sued for royalties. In the early 1970s, after the song became popular, Cash paid Jenkins a settlement of approximately $75,000.

The original Cash studio version hit #4 on the country charts in 1956, but the live version from 1968 spent four weeks at the top of the country charts in 1968. It was also #32 on the pop charts and #39 on the adult contemporary charts. The live album from which it came, At Folsom Prison, went to #13 pop, and #1 country.

Johnny Cash received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1996, and has been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame (1980) and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1992), among many other honors.

LISTEN to:
Crescent City Blues – Little Brother Montgomery
Crescent City Blues – Gordon Jenkins, featuring Beverly Mahr (or Maher)
Folson Prison Blues – Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues vs Jenkins’s Crescent City Blues

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