Phases & Stages

Johnny Cash

The Best of the Johnny Cash TV Show (Legacy)

Television's variety show died an unceremonious death in the Eighties. During the previous two decades, they passed for reality TV, with everyone from Dean Martin to Donny and Marie Osmond hosting programs that featured music, comedy, magic, animals, etc. The appearance of this magnificent two-disc set might make you wonder why the format faded. The Johnny Cash Show only broadcast from Nashville's Ryman Auditorium 1969-1971 but was groundbreaking in the range of performers the Man in Black served up as musical guests. The short list includes Bob Dylan, Louis Armstrong, Stevie Wonder, Creedence Clearwater Revival, James Taylor, Derek & the Dominos, Neil Young, Neil Diamond, Bill Monroe, and Ray Charles. Presented as a documentary narrated by Kris Kristofferson, Best of reels off one special moment after another, totaling four hours of prime Americana. Cash fans won't be disappointed by the inclusion of performances of some of his best loved tunes, "Hey Porter" given a particularly rowdy run-through. He also shares rare duets with Linda Ronstadt, Waylon Jennings, Pete Seeger, the Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison, Merle Haggard, and his wife June. The booklet reads a bit skimpy while still offering photos from the show, an essay by noted country music historian Rich Kienzle, listings from TV Guide, and limited track info. That's a minor quibble seeing as a better depiction of the era's music might be hard to top.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash
The Johnny Cash Christmas Specials: 1976-1979 (Record Review)

Jim Caligiuri, Dec. 26, 2008

Box Sets
Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison (Record Review)

Daniel Mee, Dec. 12, 2008

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Gary Clark Jr.
This Land (Record Review)

Kahron Spearman, March 22, 2019

Texas Platters
Rosie Flores
Simple Case of the Blues (Record Review)

Jay Trachtenberg, March 22, 2019

More by Jim Caligiuri
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Her father's death and daughter's birth upped the stakes of the singer's finest work

April 14, 2017

SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
Soft Boys, Youngbloods, Moby Grape, Brian Jones’ grandson, etc.

March 18, 2017


Johnny Cash

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle