July 4, 2006 ~ Johnny Cash releases what becomes his first #1 album in 37 years. Like the earlier installment to the “American” series, it’s produced by the legendary Rick Rubin.
The collection features guest appearances from June Carter Cash and Carl Perkins, a cover of Kris Kristofferson’s “Sunday Morning Coming Down” and some of Cash’s biggest hits at the time like “I Walk The Line” and “Hey Potter.”
Johnny Cash is just 25 and releases his thirty-first album — “At San Quentin” — on June 4, 1969. Legendary rock photog Jim Marshall shot the cover and also the infamous “One Finger Salute.”
JC explained it in the 2000 reissue liner notes as an angry reaction to a film crew from the UK there to record the concert for broadcast on television. They were blocking Cash’s view of the audience and when they ignored his ask to “clear the stage,” they got the middle finger which turned into one of Johnny’s — and Jim Marshall’s — most famous photos.
He’d seen it all. Rest in peace, sir.
R.I.P. Jimmy Capps, “The Gambler” Guitarist and Grand Ole Opry Member Dies at 81
Capps was part of The Nashville A-Team, a collective of session musicians who backed artists like Elvis, Patsy Cline, Bob Dylan, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Brenda Lee throughout the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. In Capps’ case, he famously played on Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler”, George Jones’ “He Stopped Loving Her Today”, and George Strait’s “Amarillo by Morning”. He also shared time in the studio with Johnny Cash, Reba McEntire, Ray Charles, Andy Williams, and Alan Jackson.
May 1, 1969 ~ The Johnny Cash Show debuts on ABC and his guest is Orpheus. He performs a couple songs solo and then he and The Man In Black team up for a duet that, to this day, remains one of the greatest of all time. The first show occurs at The Mother Church of Country Music — The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.
The 81st (that number is just stupid) album from Johnny Cash is released on April 26, 1994.
It’s the beginning of a resurgence for The Man In Black. The album is produced by the legendary Rick Rubin and is recorded in Rubin’s living room, Johnny’s cabin, and in LA’s Viper Room. The result was an Americana masterpiece.
It won a Grammy and is #366 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
March 14, 1998 ~ Weeks after Johnny Cash‘s “Unchained” wins the Grammy for Best Country Album, his producer Rick Rubin takes out this full-page ad in Billboard.
The photo of course is the classic from the lens of Jim Marshall taken at the legendary San Quentin prison concert Johnny put on in 1969. (Cash made the gesture after being asked to “do a shot for the warden.”)
The photo was not widely seen until Rubin used it in the ad to make the point that Cash got the Grammy win even without support from country radio, which had little use for the aging legend on their playlists. But while country stations remained enamored with the likes of Shania Twain and Garth Brooks, Cash found a wider audience with Unchained, which had cross-genre appeal.
The photo hangs on the walls of many. It’s on my office wall. Willie Nelson even hangs it in his tour bus as an emblem of real country music.
Johnny Cash and June Carter marry on March 1, 1968. It’s as close to royalty this country will ever get.
b. February 26, 1932.
Today is a holiday in many places.
February 17, 1969 ~
Cash and Dylan hit the studio together in Nashville …