Cash: Ultimate Gospel

Cash: Ultimate Gospel

3.5 4
by Johnny Cash
     
 

No music meant more to Johny Cash than the simple hymns of his Christian faith. This most complete CD of his gospel recordings -- two dozen tracks spanning the '50s to the '70s -- presents Cash at his most reverent, and includes three previously unreleased performances. The earliest tracks, from 1957, hail from Johnny's Sun Records days, while stops in the '60s… See more details below

Overview

No music meant more to Johny Cash than the simple hymns of his Christian faith. This most complete CD of his gospel recordings -- two dozen tracks spanning the '50s to the '70s -- presents Cash at his most reverent, and includes three previously unreleased performances. The earliest tracks, from 1957, hail from Johnny's Sun Records days, while stops in the '60s include eight songs with the Carter Family. The 1970s were arguably Cash's most reverent period, after his marriage to June Carter and the success of his television show -- nine songs are included from that decade. Of the previously unreleased tracks, two recordings from 1981 feature Marty Stuart on guitar and were produced by Jack Clement, as was the 1974 session that yielded "My Ship Will Sail."

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Johnny Cash was most fully invested in songs when he was exploring the gospel canon. Which is why the 24 cuts (3 heretofore unreleased) on this overview are such a powerful listening experience. Ranging from a couple of tracks cut during the Sun years to some early-'80s recordings with Marty Stuart on guitar, Ultimate Gospel is a first-rate primer on the breadth and depth of Cash's spiritual legacy in song. The material comes from all over the place -- Thomas A. Dorsey's "Peace in the Valley," Carl Perkins's "Daddy Sang Bass," the Carter Family's "Troublesome Waters" -- but the bulk consists of warhorses that Cash revivifies with the force and commitment of his testimony. Included is his original studio recording of "Were You There (When They Crucified My Lord)," which became a pivotal emotional component of his live shows; a regal (and previously unreleased) "How Great Thou Art"; the first studio recording of another Cash landmark, "Far Side Banks of Jordan," in a duet with June Carter Cash; a reverent, honky-tonk-style rendering of "Great Speckled Bird"; and a breathtaking, majestic treatment of "Oh, Come, Angel Band," from an album released on the Cachet label after Columbia turned it down. This is practically a lesson in the fundamentals of gospel, and a listener could hardly have asked for a better guide to the wisdom, humility, and humanity to be found therein.
All Music Guide - Jeff Tamarkin
Johnny Cash released more than half a dozen gospel albums during his career, beginning with 1959's Hymns by Johnny Cash, and he scattered gospel tunes throughout his other works as well. A deeply religious man, he sang his songs of praise with as much, or perhaps more, conviction as he did his secular material -- even the most skeptical non-believer would have to appreciate the honesty and soul of Cash's gospel recordings. Cash: Ultimate Gospel collects 24 of his best, most drawn from his Columbia catalog with a pair ("I Was There When It Happened" and "Belshazzar") emanating from Cash's early Sun Records period, and two ("Oh Come, Angel Band" and "Children Go Where I Send Thee") originally on the Cachet label. Three tracks on the set are previously unreleased: a moving reading of "How Great Thou Art," that rivals Elvis Presley's, "It Is No Secret What God Can Do," and "My Ship Will Sail." As with all of Cash's music, there is a realism and warmth to his delivery; Cash's spiritual music is saccharine-free and naked in its emotions, non-preachy and devoid of hellfire in its words -- he's out to tell a story, not to convert. Cash: Ultimate Gospel is sequenced in a non-chronological manner, which works to its benefit -- the songs flow together beautifully, so that the transition from a polished '70s track such as "The Preacher Said 'Jesus Said'" to the more minimalist "I Was There When It Happened" (from 1957) isn't jarring in the least. Some of the songs here are traditional and well-known to all ("Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," "Amazing Grace"), while others have a distinctive Cash stamp on them ("Daddy Sang Bass," the Cash-June Carter Cash duet on the Carter Family's "Far Side Banks of Jordan"). All told, it's as rich and rewarding a collection of Johnny Cash music as any other.

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Product Details

Release Date:
03/06/2007
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0886970073929
catalogNumber:
700739
Rank:
17699

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Here Was a Man
  2. The Preacher Said "Jesus Said"
  3. I Was There When It Happened
  4. Belshazzar
  5. That's Enough
  6. It Was Jesus
  7. The Old Account
  8. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
  9. The Great Speckled Bird
  10. He'll Understand and Say Well Done
  11. How Great Thou Art
  12. It Is No Secret (What God Can Do)
  13. He Turned the Water into Wine
  14. Were You There (When They Crucified My Lord)
  15. Troublesome Waters
  16. (There'll Be) Peace in the Valley (For Me)
  17. When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder
  18. In the Sweet By and By
  19. My Ship Will Sail
  20. Far Side Banks of Jordan
  21. Oh, Come Angel Band
  22. Amazing Grace
  23. Daddy Sang Bass
  24. Children Go Where I Send Thee

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Johnny Cash   Primary Artist
Norman Blake   Dobro
Marty Stuart   Guitar
Carter Family   Background Vocals
Carl Perkins   Electric Guitar
Bob Johnson   Guitar
Jan Howard   Background Vocals
Bill Pursell   Piano
Mother Maybelle Carter   Autoharp
Johnny Western   Guitar
Ritchie Albright   Drums
Earl Poole Ball   Piano
June Carter Cash   Vocals
Johnny Christopher   Guitar
Chuck Cochran   Piano
Philip Donnelly   Electric Guitar
Rosa Dotson   Background Vocals
Duke Goff   Bass
Marshall Grant   Bass,Vocal Harmony
Jack Hale   Piano,Trumpet
Buddy Harman   Drums
Jerry Hensley   Guitar
Bob Lewin   Trumpet
Farrell Morris   Percussion
Luther Perkins   Electric Guitar,Vocal Harmony
Jack Routh   Guitar
Jerry Shook   Guitar
Pete Wade   Guitar
Johnny Whittaker   Background Vocals
John Williams [double bass]   Bass
Bob Wootton   Electric Guitar
W.S. Holland   Drums
Ralph Hansell   Vibes
Marvin Hughes   Piano
B.J. Baker   Background Vocals
Morris Palmer   Drums
Beegie Cruzer   Piano
Rev. Billy Graham   Track Performer
Nashville 21st Century Singers   Background Vocals
Bill Walker   Performing Ensemble
Bill Harris Quintet   Percussion
Robin Johnson   Background Vocals
Joe Allen   Bass
William A. "Bill" Walker   Piano
Millicent Alexander   Background Vocals
Anna Grizzard   Background Vocals
Frederic Schulman   Background Vocals
James Carter Wilson   Piano
Larry McCoy   Piano

Technical Credits

Charlie Bragg   Producer
June Carter Cash   Duet
Jack Clement   Producer
Bob Johnston   Producer
Frank Jones   Producer
Don Law   Producer
Jack Routh   Producer
Howard Fritzson   Art Direction
Rev. Billy Graham   Text
C. Williams   Arranger
Traditional   Composer
Sylvie Simmons   Liner Notes
J.R. Cash   Composer

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