Sings the Ballads of the True West [Bonus Track]

Sings the Ballads of the True West [Bonus Track]

by Johnny Cash
     
 

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In a 1965 project near and dear to his heart, Johnny Cash explored life in the Old West on Sings Ballads of the True West, which remains a powerful document. The set finds Cash employing his great gifts as a storyteller and revealing his deep compassion for the gritty men and women who bucked the odds to carve out a civilization. The See more details below

Overview

In a 1965 project near and dear to his heart, Johnny Cash explored life in the Old West on Sings Ballads of the True West, which remains a powerful document. The set finds Cash employing his great gifts as a storyteller and revealing his deep compassion for the gritty men and women who bucked the odds to carve out a civilization. The Statler Brothers and the Carter Family (and Mother Maybelle solo) provide haunting background vocals, and the Tennessee Three supply the stripped-down instrumental backdrop for a tour that is as meticulously detailed as a Louis L'Amour novel. With conviction and tenderness, Cash brings a bygone era back to life, recounting the exploits and misadventures of a cast of characters -- some real, some fictional. A stark, largely acoustic tale of John Wesley Hardin's demise, "Hardin Wouldn't Run" is a classic of moral ambiguity. Daniel Boone's travails figure prominently in "The Road to Kaintuck"; "Hiawatha's Vision" tells the heartbreaking story of the land loved by and stolen from Native Americans. Ramblin' Jack Elliott's spunky "Mister Garfield" is a vivid folktale of President James Garfield's assassination. "Sam Hall," arranged by Tex Ritter, finds the title character gleefully chortling over his many misdeeds prior to being hanged; it's followed by Shel Silverstein's similarly cheery death watch, "25 Minutes to Go" (reprised memorably on At Folsom Prison). Pete LaFarge's "Stampede," a graphic, tumultuous account of one hard fact of life on the range, ought to disabuse anyone of the notion that the cowboy's life was a romantic one. This 2002 reissue includes two bonus tracks, but its heart and soul remain the original 20 cuts, which add up to an unqualified classic.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Cub Koda
One of the projects Johnny Cash wanted to do when he was on Sun Records was to record an album of songs from the Old West. Of course, Sam Phillips wouldn't hear of it, but the idea -- along with concept albums of gospel, train songs, and others -- all came to fruition when he moved to Columbia Records. This concept album is a 20-track set that combines songs and narrations, the bulk of which were recorded in 1965 (the lone exception is Carl Perkins' "The Ballad of Boot Hill," which originates from a 1959 session). The booklet includes Johnny's original liner notes to the album, along with song-by-song comments. One of Cash's best concept albums. [The 2002 CD reissue adds two tracks: the Peter LaFarge song "Rodeo Hand" (recorded at the sessions and eventually issued on a Bear Family import), and a one-minute instrumental alternate take of LaFarge's "Stampede."]

Product Details

Release Date:
08/27/2002
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0696998678927
catalogNumber:
86789

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Johnny Cash   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals,Narrator
Carter Family   Vocals
Bob Johnson   Lute
Bill Pursell   Piano,Harpsichord
Mother Maybelle Carter   Autoharp
Anita Kerr Singers   Vocals
Statler Brothers   Vocals
Jack Clement   Guitar
Marshall Grant   Bass
Luther Perkins   Electric Guitar
W.S. Holland   Drums
Michael N. Kazak   Drums

Technical Credits

Johnny Cash   Arranger,Liner Notes,Author
Tex Ritter   Arranger
Frank Jones   Producer
Don Law   Producer
Mark Wilder   Mastering
Johnny Whiteside   Liner Notes
Quaglieri   Reissue Producer
Howard Fritzson   Art Direction
Seth Foster   Engineer
Traditional   Composer
John Christiana   Packaging Manager

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