Music Reviews

Johnny Cash

Live Recordings from the Louisiana Hayride


This look at the early Johnny Cash only further confirms what the rest of his career showed: that Cash was one of America’s greatest songwriters and performers. Recorded in the mid ’50s with his “Tennessee Two” (featuring guitarist Luther Perkins), these recordings show Cash’s early hybrid of country music and rockabilly, particularly on “Hey Porter,” “I Walk the Line” and “Big River.” Although the group had only been performing for a few months at this point, the sound is seamless, with that marvelous, unmistakable voice rumbling out like a beacon. Cash would go on to revolutionize country music, get tossed in jail a few times and earn every accolade that was possible to award him. But he never got far from his roots: old time gospel, plaintive country and hiccupping rockabilly. It just took the rest of the world a little time to find him.

Johnny Cash:

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