Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Music: (About) 100 Words on Johnny Cash - American V - A Hundred Highways

He began with the “Hey Porter” in 1955:

...But ask that engineer if he will blow his whistle please. Cause I smell frost on cotton leaves and I feel that Southern breeze.

Rick Ruben completed his collaboration with Johnny Cash with A Hundred Highways after the singer's death. Ruben mostly succeeded not making this recording a production self indulgence, employing a bevy of respectful studio aces, including the Heartbreaker's Mike Campbell. The result is filled with poignancy and grief like his wife, June Carter Cash’s final recording, Wildwood Flower. Listen to Cash completely recast Gordon Lightfoot’s “If You could Read My Mind” as the singer's Liebestod for his recently deceased wife.

He ended with “Like the 309,”

...Give a drink of my wine to my jersey cow / I wouldn't give a hoot-in-hell for my journey now / On the 309, on the 309...Put me in my box on the 309.

That was Johnny Cash.

© Copyright, C. Michael Bailey, 2006