Tuesday 5 December 2017

#110 JOHNNY CASH - Radio Broadcasts (1956-59)

Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two - Radio Broadcasts 1956-59

 Country Style USA Radio - 12 November 1956
Country Style USA Radio - May or June 1956
Guest Star Radio - 28 June 1959

Johnny Cash - Vocals & Guitar
Luther Perkins - Lead Guitar
Marshall Grant - Upright Bass

There's an amazing twang and reverb on these 1956 sessions. They should have just let the band run through their entire repertoire. The Sun singles don't sound like this. The freshness and vitality of the new blasts through these recordings. They are quite awesome (despite the crackles) and I say that as someone who only owns a single Cash cd. If you know anyone who is a big Johnny Cash fan get this for them, you will make their day.

You can hear Sun recording artiste Johnny Cash perform all six sides of his first three singles, released on the label. Cry! Cry! Cry! b/w Hey Porter! released on June 21, 1955,  So Doggone Lonesome b/w Folsom Prison Blues released on December 15, 1955 and I Walk The Line b/w Get Rhythm released on May 1, 1956. Johnny attempts his version of Rock Island Line, then follows it appropriately with an old time gospel cover. The third show on this set is from 1959, a year after Johnny had left the Sun label because of money issues and Sam Phillips refusal to allow him to record gospel music.
Country Style USA was a radio program syndicated by the US Army Band and Recruiting Services and broadcast as a recruiting tool for them. The series consisted of 15-minute radio and film programs produced from 1957 to 1960. To encourage people to listen to them they included sessions by the top country stars of the day. Each year 13 episodes were produced in Nashville, Tennessee, and distributed to local radio and TV stations.

Guest Star was produced by the U.S. Treasury Department in the 1940s and 1950s as a public service program. It featured a different often top-name "guest star" (singer, actor, comedian) each week to promote the sales of savings bonds.

These are from vintage radio broadcast transcription discs (at times you can hear the original vinyl source which adds a certain resonance). The lineage is unknown but the original seeder says 
"I received these many years ago in a trade and transferred them from cassette." There is no information on the transfer process. 

The three shows compromise eleven performances and were originally seeded by ‘brownstien’ on the Dime tracker, 1 July 2006. Then by YardGnome’on the Traders Den, 21 August, 2006. They were then reseeded by Aikowolf (on the Traders Den) in 2015 who discovered the correct show dates. The microgaps between tracks exist on all three of those seeds. 

I have run it through Wavlab and removed a few pops and clicks and repaired the microgaps via Traders Little Helper. The exact date of the second set from 1956 is unknown, it’s thought likely to be around May or June of that year. 

12 November 1956 - Country Style USA Radio 
01. Country Style USA Intro 
02. Hey Porter 
03. I Walk The Line 
04. Join The Reserve For Youth Training Program advertising spot 
05. Rock Island Line 
06. So Doggone Lonesome 
07. Country Style USA Outro

May or June 1956 - Country Style USA Radio 
08. Country Style USA Intro 
09. Folsom Prison Blues 
10. Cry Cry Cry 
11. Reserve For Youth Training Program advertising spot 
12. I Was There When It Happened 
13. Get Rhythm 
14. Country Style USA Outro

28 June 1959 - Guest Star 
15. Guest Star Intro 
16. Country Boy 
17. Chat w/ Johnny 
18. Don’t Take Your Guns To Town 
19. Johnny Cash “Buy Savings Bonds” advertising spot 
20. Buzz Adlam & His Orchestra - When It's Twilight On The Trail 
21. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot 
22. Guest Star Outro

These programmes were originally produced by the US Government and are now in the public domain. HERE

If you have enjoyed these live 50's performances, you may want to hear more and that's where you'll have to go down the official route.

Johnny's first live radio recording is included on Colombia's official bootleg series 'Bootleg Vol II - From Memphis To Hollywood'. He performs four tracks: Wide Open Road, One More Ride, Luther's Boogie and Belshazzar (Dylan fans will recognize this one). Columbia have wisely included the complete KWEM in Memphis show (broadcast on August 4, 1955) with the radio announcements and adverts, giving it a sense of time and place. It's a more primitive recording than the unreleased bootleg.

Johnny Cash & the Tennessee Two returned to Country Style USA Radio in 1957 and that performance including: Stay All Night Stay A Little Longer, There You Go, Give My Love To Rose and Home Of The Blues is available on the DVD: 'Various - Country Style USA: Season 2'    

Finally Columbia's bootleg series 'Vol. 3: Live Around The World' has three tracks live at the Big D Jamboree in Dallas, Texas from 1956: So Doggone Lonesome, I Walk The Line and Get Rhythm.


  1. Wow, fantastic gift right before Christmas!! Thankyou so much for this, and your continuing work.

  2. Your welcome KC, have a great festive season.

  3. WOW! Link?

    THANK YOU. I know the work it must take to do this. Very appreciated.