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Johnny Cash: Man in Black: Live in Denmark 1971

Track List

>Boy Named Sue, A
>Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down
>I Walk the Line
>Blue Suede Shoes
>Matchbox
>Me and Bobby McGee
>Guess Things Happen That Way
>Bed of Roses
>Flowers on the Wall
>Folsom Prison Blues
>Darlin' Companion
>If I Were a Carpenter
>Help Me Make it Through the Night
>Man in Black
>Introduction to the Carter Family
>Song to Mama, A
>No Need to Worry
>Rock of Ages
>Children, Go Where I Send Thee

Album Notes

Personnel: Johnny Cash (vocals, guitar); The Carter Family, Carl Perkins (vocals, guitar); The Statler Brothers (vocals); Bob Wootton (guitar); W.S. Holland (drums).

Photographer: Sandy Speiser.

Broadcast on Danish television in 1971, this hour-long program is a decent document of Johnny Cash in the prime of his media visibility, though it's not the best such thing available. In fact, it's a little like watching an episode of his network variety TV show without as much variety. Done on a simple set before a small audience, the focus is wholly on the music, though Cash occasionally cedes the spotlight to a few guests. Seven of the 19 songs on the disc, however, are Cash solo performances, including well-known numbers like "I Walk the Line," "Man in Black," "A Boy Named Sue," and "Guess Things Happen That Way," as well as the Kris Kristofferson covers "Me and Bobby McGee" and "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down." Cash also duets with wife June Carter Cash on three tunes, taking in another Kristofferson cover ("Help Me Make It Through the Night") and interpretations of songs by John Sebastian ("Darling Companion") and Tim Hardin ("If I Were a Carpenter"). Also taking turns as featured performers are Carl Perkins (with "Blue Suede Shoes" and "Matchbox"), the Statler Brothers (who do their biggest hit, "Flowers on the Wall"), and the Carter Family (though the instrumental they offer sounds like a song that's waiting for a lead vocalist to come in). All the performers join together for some spiritual tunes, and Cash provides the melodramatic narration for the Carter Family's maudlin "A Song to Mama," complete with an insert of Maybelle Carter getting misty-eyed in a corner of the screen. The show as a whole is a little workmanlike (and Cash's guitar often dangles unplayed), but it's a fair way to get a concentrated dose of the music Johnny and his intimates were performing in the early '70s. ~ Richie Unterberger



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