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From the liner notes:
One of the most renowned and talented of balladeers, the Fabulous Johnny Cash once again offers a fine collection of originals and classics.
He begins his program with Lost on the Desert, a hair-raising tale of an escaped convict seeking the cache he buried before capture; but the sun scorched sky, the Devil and his own conscience baffle his desperate search. In Accidentally on Purpose Johnny offers an ironic glimpse of a jilted young suspects that his former sweetheart married another out of sheer spite. In the Jailhouse Now, by Jimmy Rodgers, is an outstanding example of the narrative bailad form. Mr. Lonesome tells how it feels to have a severe case of the blues, while You Won’t Have Far to Go expresses the sentiments of a gambling man who gambled at love–and lost. In Them Old Cottonfields Back Home, which closes the first half of the program, is a widely known, poignant ballad
Johnny begins the second portion with Delia’s Gone, a moving account of man haunted by his murdered sweetheart’s memory even as he drags his ball and chain, and then changes pace with I Forgot More Than You’ll Ever Know, a betrayed lover’s lament over a fickle lady-friend who succumbed to the lure of the town’s pleasures suggested by the honky-tonk piano in the background. You Remembered Me is another Johnny Cash original about a man who “believed that promises were made to break apart,” while I’m Free From the Chain Gang Now presents is vivid terms the problems facing an ex-convict who must try to regain his former, respected position in society. “Let Me Down Easy, tell me a lie,” entreats a deceived lover in the next song. Johnny concludes his program with his own Sing It Pretty, Sue, the admonition of a bereaved sweetheart who has lost his beautiful, talented “Sue” to the glamor of show business.
Whether singing country ballads, hymns or any kind of song, Johnny Cash has proved himself one of our most versatile artists. He comes naturally by his feeling for the ballad, having heard many of them in his hometown of Dyess, Arkansas, and having himself sung many of them to entertain his family and friends. As he gained experience, he also gained confidence in his singing and playing, and began to compose songs himself. When he took some of his work to record companies, his potential was recognized at once, and indeed his first songs, I Walk the Line, What Do I Care, All Over Again and Don’t Take Your Guns to Town, were all huge successes. Since that time, he has appeared as a member of the cast of the Grand Ole Op’ry, and worked with other important stars such as Marty Robbins, Carl Perkins and Ray Price. When he is not traveling, Johnny lives in Casitas Springs, California with his charming wife and their four young daughters.
In The Sound of Johnny Cash, Johnny is heard at his finest, singing songs of outstanding interest in his inimitable and uniquely expressive style.