Saturday, September 8, 2007

I promised a set of Johnny Cash duets, and here goes. There's a lot of available stuff out there because Cash had his own TV show about 1970 or so.

"Blue Yodel No. 9," with Louis Armstrong, doing a Jimmie Rodgers song. Don't miss this one.

"City of New Orleans," with the Highwaymen. Willie Nelson handles up on lead vocals.

"I Guess Things Just Happen That Way," with Jose Feliciano, who then does "Earl's Breakdown."

"It's Too Late / Matchbox," with Derek and the Dominoes and Carl Perkins. Clapton and the band do the first song, and Cash and Perkins come out for the second. Awesome.

"Take Me Home Country Roads," with John Denver. Yep, you read that right.

"Wildwood Flower," Maybelle Carter with the Carter sisters. Cash does the introduction.

"Orange Blossom Special / Jackson," with Miss Piggy and the Muppets. Cash has fun with this one.

"It Ain't Me, Babe," with June Carter.

"Doin' My Time," with Marty Stuart.

"Girl from the North Country," with Bob Dylan.

"Ring of Fire," Ray Charles. Cash does the intro.

"Folsom Prison Blues," with the Highwaymen.

"King of the Road," with Roger Miller. Starts with about two minutes of clowning around.

"Darling Companion," with June Carter.

"Will the Circle Be Unbroken," with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and a cast of thousands.

"Only Mama That'll Walk the Line / The Shells in the Ocean," with a very young Linda Ronstadt. Cash joins in on the second song.

"Ghost Riders in the Sky," with the Muppets.

"Gentle on My Mind / Little Green Apples / Please Release Me / Born to Lose," with Cass Elliot.

"I've Been Everywhere / By the Time I Get to Phoenix / Galveston / Folsom Prison Blues / Abilene," with Glen Campbell.

"Kaw-Liga," with Hank Williams Jr.

That's twenty, and there are dozens more. I'll come back to this theme.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Pete Seeger, America's most influential folkie, has finally admitted that Stalin was not a very nice man. Remember, back during the Nazi-Soviet Pact, old Pete made a whole album of antiwar songs. Anti-World War II songs, that is, calling Roosevelt a warmonger and charging him with scheming to get us into a capitalist-imperialist war to save the British Empire. As of June 23, 1941, Pete stopped doing those tunes, for some reason, and the album was pulled.

Of course, Pete Seeger is an educated and cultured man, rather than a real hillbilly, and he was popular among the educated and cultured left. I doubt many real hillbillies knew who he was, since they were busy listening to the Hag and Buck Owens.

To Seeger's credit, he knows and loves American music and has done a lot to spread it. Also, everyone says he is a nice guy. He's really self-righteous, though, and he had never before criticized the Party until now. He has terrible judgment, both politically and morally.

A set of Pete Seeger videos:

"Where Have All the Flowers Gone," live in Stockholm in 1968.

"Guantanamera," live on TV in the late '60s. Seeger's Spanish is excellent. Note fashions worn by audience.

"Careless Love," live with Doc Watson, Clint Howard, and Fred Price.

"Solidarity Forever," with the Weavers. Recorded version with slides of old labor movement photos.

"Waist Deep in the Big Muddy," live on TV in the late '60s. This one was notoriously censored by the network when Seeger was going to sing it on the Smothers Brothers show.

Medley of American soldiers' songs, from the same TV program.

"This Land Is Your Land," with Arlo Guthrie and a full band. Live at Wolf Trap in 1978.

"So Long, It's Been Good to Know You," with the Weavers in the early '50s.

"Bring 'Em Home," live during the Vietnam era. Very misguided politically, of course.

"Ramblin' Boy," with Tom Paxton. Live on TV in 1965.

"I Am Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes," with June Carter on lead vocals and Johnny Cash, from a late-'60s TV show called Rainbow Quest.

"As Long as the Grass Shall Grow," with Johnny Cash on lead vocals and June Carter. From Rainbow Quest.

"Turn, Turn, Turn," with Judy Collins on lead vocals. From Rainbow Quest.

There are lots of clips on YouTube from the Rainbow Quest show that are well worth checking out.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Johnny Cash is probably my favorite American musician of all time. Without further ado, here's a long Johnny Cash set.

"Big River," from a 1958 TV show.

"Man in Black," from a 1971 TV show. Includes 30-second Merle Haggard comment.

"A Boy Named Sue," live at San Quentin in 1969.

"Folsom Prison Blues," live on TV in 1959. Mediocre sound, but dig the '50s local-TV aesthetics.

"Sunday Morning Coming Down," from a 1970 TV show. Very Nashvilley.

"Ring of Fire," from German TV circa 1982. Cash is paunchy and there's a synthesizer in the backup band, but it still rocks.

"Bonanza / Five Feet High and Rising," two different clips from late-'50s local TV spliced together.

"I Walk the Line," live on local TV in 1959.

"Jackson," duet with June Carter. Note Carter Administration aesthetics (Jimmy, not Maybelle).

"I Got Stripes," live on local TV in 1959. Note the fashions of the times in the crowd shots. Begins with two-minute intro of the band. This is one of the lesser-known early Cash songs.

"Ghost Riders in the Sky," in concert in the late '70s or so.

"Get Rhythm," live on late-'50s local TV.

There's so much Johnny Cash stuff on YouTube that I can't fit it all into one set. I'll post another set of Cash duets tomorrow or when I can.