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Johnny Cash through the years (on TV with June in the center)


Short of investing in the 5 CD box set called Unearthed, this is the collection of Cash to have. It’s got the hot 21:

Cry! Cry! Cry!
Hey Porter
Folsom Prison Blues
I Walk the Line
Get Rhythm
Big River
Guess Things Happen That Way
Ring of Fire
A Boy Named Sue
Sunday Morning Coming Down
Man in Black
One Piece at a Time
The Wanderer (U2 starring Johnny Cash)
Delia’s Gone
Rusty Cage
I’ve Been Everywhere
Give My Love to Rose
The Man Comes Around

This batch of songs spans releases nearly 50 years apart, beginning with the original classics produced by Sam Phillips for Sun Records in 1955. Cash was the classic American maverick--a career that begins with Sam Phillips and ends with Rick Rubin is bloody hard to imagine, but this excellent compilation puts one on the road to understanding some small part of that journey. I’m personally blown away by Johnny’s fantastic reads on modern edgy songs by Chris Cornell of Soundgarden ("Rusty Cage") and Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails ("Hurt," which won the Best Video at the Country Music Awards and was nominated for Best Video on MTV.)

The man is iconic at the nationalistic level. Listening to the CD this morning, I was on a long interior journey myself of what it means to be American. And how proud I am to be American, all our many foibles and sins notwithstanding. We are lucky to have a man like Johnny Cash represent us to all the world, as he did and does for all his lifetime and beyond. He was rock solid, and yet transparent--the fact that he never hid his weakness was another way his strength was revealed. I’ve heard a lot of stories about Johnny Cash, many from people who played and toured with him, and have never heard anyone speak against him in any way. He was beloved to people of all kinds, and of all ages. A very rare person, and this CD is a great way to keep him close.
• Frank Goodman

enter to win! We'll mail a free The Legend of Johnny Cash CD to the first three (3) readers who can name all of the songs from this collection that have (as of October 2005) also been on albums by Ry Cooder.
Email your entries here.

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johnnycash.com      hip-o records     maninblack.net

And you might enjoy listening to Sarah Vowell's piece on Johhny & June at This American Life. You'll find it by clicking the 03 link in their Episodes/Realplayer section, scrolling down to episode #247 from September 19, 2003, then clicking the blue realplayer icon and sliding over to about 47:30 on the realplayer. (It's available free, as are all of the archived TAL past episodes.)

Johnny Cash

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