May 14: Legendary producer the late Bob Johnston was born in 1932

Photo by Al Clayton

“Is it rolling, Bob?”
– Bob Dylan at the beginning of To Be Alone With You (Nashville Skyline)

“Johnston had fire in his eyes. He had that thing that some people call ‘Momentum.’ You could see it in his face and he shared that fire, that spirit. Columbia’s leading folk and country producer, he was born one hundred years too late. He should have been wearing a wide cape, a plumed hat, and riding with his sword held high. Johnston disregarded any warning that might get in his way. … Johnston lived on low country barbecue, and he was all charm.”
– Bob Dylan, Chronicles: Volume One

“I had the best in the world in my hand – there was no place I couldn’t go with him, so that’s where I went. I think Blonde On Blonde is the best record Dylan ever cut… Blonde On Blonde was the first symphony cut in Nashville!”
– Bob Johnston (Uncut magazine)

Donald William ‘Bob’ Johnston (born May 14, 1932, Hillsboro, Texas, died August 14, 2015) was an American record producer, best known for his work with Bob DylanJohnny CashLeonard Cohen, and Simon and Garfunkel.

Great interview from youtube (by Harper Simon):

Continue reading “May 14: Legendary producer the late Bob Johnston was born in 1932”

May 1: Johnny Cash released “I Walk The Line” in 1956 – here are 5 great live versions

I keep a close watch on this heart of mine
I keep my eyes wide open all the time.
I keep the ends out for the tie that binds
Because you’re mine,
I walk the line

“I Walk The Line” was written by Johnny Cash & recorded on April 2, 1956 @ Sun Studio, Memphis, Tennessee. It was released May 1, 1956 on the Sun label.

Celebrating this masterpiece today, here are 5 great liver versions.

Live at The Tex Ritter Show (1956?):

Continue reading “May 1: Johnny Cash released “I Walk The Line” in 1956 – here are 5 great live versions”

Classic Concert: Johnny Cash @ Glastonbury Festival 1994 (video)

Johnny Cash considered his UK appearance at Glastonbury Festival 1994 as one of the great highlights of his musical career. He wrote about the performance in his autobiography and was so moved by his experience at the time, there were tears rolling down his face when he came off stage afterwards, according to the other performers who were there.
– Paul Goodman (hubpages.com)

Glastonbury Festival
Worthy Farm, Pilton, England
June 26, 1994

Band

  • Bob Wootton – guitar
  • W. S. Holland – drums
  • Dave Roe – bass
  • Backing vocals and rhythm guitar: John Carter Cash
  • Vocals on Jackson and If I were a Carpenter: June Carter

Continue reading “Classic Concert: Johnny Cash @ Glastonbury Festival 1994 (video)”

Video: Johnny Cash’s Final Public Performance at The Carter Family Fold, July 5th 2003

The site was Hiltons, Virginia, a short distance from Bristol, the “Birthplace of Country Music,” where acts including the Carter Family made some of the very first country recordings. Just three miles down a narrow country road from Hiltons, in a large wooden structure known as the Carter Family Fold, Cash was introduced by one of the Fold founders, Janette Carter, the daughter of Sara and A.P., two-thirds of the original Carter Family with Maybelle Carter. Cash, who toured and recorded with the Carter Family throughout the Sixties, would later become inexorably linked to the family when he married June Carter, the second of Mother Maybelle’s three daughters.
-Stephen L. Betts (rollingstone.com)

Continue reading “Video: Johnny Cash’s Final Public Performance at The Carter Family Fold, July 5th 2003”

December 15: Johnny Cash released the single, Folsom prison blues in 1955

sun-johnnycash

Folsom Prison Blues is a song written and recorded by American country music artist Johnny Cash. The song combines elements from two popular folk genres, the train song and the prison song, both of which Cash would continue to use for the rest of his career. It became one of Cash’s signature songs. It was the eleventh track on his debut album With His Hot and Blue Guitar but was also included (same version) on All Aboard the Blue Train. Folsom Prison Blues was in the country Top Five in 1956, though Cash had written it while in the Air Force somewhere before 1954.

Continue reading “December 15: Johnny Cash released the single, Folsom prison blues in 1955”

Jan 13: Johnny Cash recorded At Folsom Prison in 1968

“Folsom Prison looms large in Johnny Cash’s legacy, providing the setting for perhaps his definitive song and the location for his definitive album, At Folsom Prison. The ideal blend of mythmaking and gritty reality, At Folsom Prison is the moment when Cash turned into the towering Man in Black, a haunted troubadour singing songs of crime, conflicted conscience, and jail.”
~Stephen Thomas Erlewine (allmusic.com)

One of the best live albums in recording history was taped on this date in 1968, hell, it’s one of the best albums period. Today it is it’s 48-year anniversary.

folsom

Continue reading “Jan 13: Johnny Cash recorded At Folsom Prison in 1968”