The Fabulous Johnny Cash – 1958

The Fabulous Johnny Cash - 1958

The Fabulous Johnny Cash – 1958

So growing up as a child, there were two big musical influences in my life, and they both came from riding in the car with my dad.  Back then, we had an 8 Track tape player with only two tapes, Johnny Cash’s Greatest Hits and The Beach Boys Endless Summer.  To this day I still love both of their music.

I recently got my hands on The Complete Columbia Album Collection of Johnny Cash. It spans 63 CD’s and covers the original 59 albums Johnny put out on their label.  I thought I might go through each album and write a little post about each of them.

So here goes nothing …

The Fabulous Johnny Cash – 1958

This was Johnny’s first album after signing for Columbia Records.  He made the switch from Sun Records when Columbia promised to let him release an album of hymns if he signed with them.

There is a great mixture of originals and covers, songs of religion and the toil of the working man, but a few songs really stand out.

Frankie’s Man, Johnny can almost be seen as a version of Cash himself, out on the road playing music far away from his wife and child.  It’s a Cash original and is about a guitar player with a wandering eye, only in a comic twist at the end, a redhead he falls for turns out to be the sister of his special lady.  She’s just checking up on him and making sure he treats her sister right.  After a couple slaps in the face from the sister, he’s back on the straight and narrow.

I Still Miss Someone is another Cash original about pining over the woman who broke your heart and the shadow it casts over everything you do.

Don’t Take Your Guns To Town is the stand out song of the album for me.  A bored farm boy thinks he’s grown up and become a man.  So he gets all dressed up and puts his gun belt on to go into town.  His mother warns him to leave the guns behind, but he laughs at her in youthful exuberance and thinks her warnings are silly.  In his own naiveté and hubris he ends up getting into a bar fight and dying.  The last words out of his mouth as life pours out of him are the echoes of his mothers warnings.

Pickin’ Time draws on Cash’s experience growing up in a share cropping family.  It’s all about the lean and poor times that last most of the year, until cotton picking time, which is the one time they are flush with money.

Listening to this album was like being back in the car with my dad.  There’s something comforting about that voice and the rhythm of the music which reminds me of all those great times when I was a kid.

The Fabulous Johnny Cash – 1958

1.  Run Softly, Blue River
2.  Frankie’s Man, Johnny
3.  That’s All Over
4.  The Troubadour
5.   One More Ride
6.  That’s Enough
7.  I Still Miss Someone
8.  Don’t Take Your Guns To Town
9.  I’d Rather Die Young
10. Pickin’ Time
11.  Shepherd Of My Heart
12.  Suppertime

 

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