In 1967 Baron Wolman was a young freelance photojournalist living in San Francisco when he helped start Rolling Stone magazine. In December of that year, he photographed Johnny Cash and June Carter performing at a small venue just south of the city called the Circle Star Theatre. One of his shots captured a moment when a dapper Johnny, seated alone backstage before the show, seemed completely lost in thought. “Watching Johnny before he went on,” recalls Baron, “I was concerned that he was not at all in the mood to perform.”
The reason for Johnny’s far-off stare in that photo remained a mystery, even to the photographer. Forty years after taking this shot in San Carlos, Baron solved the riddle of what had captivated the singer’s attention: he was looking at June Carter, whose reflection was captured in the dressing room mirror. They were engaged at the time and wed a few months later.
Johnny Cash at the Circle Star Theater in San Carlos, California in 1967. Photo by Baron Wolman. Courtesy of Rock Paper Photo.
Baron Wolman has photographed the biggest names in music including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead, but for him this portrait stands out. “I am quite fond of this particular backstage photo I made of Johnny – his body language, the seated pose, the look in his eye, that fake wood background, the grain of film I was using that night.”
Baron Wolman’s photographs from that club date are two of the beautiful images we have assembled from the Rock Paper Photo collection of Fine Art prints, prepared especially for JohnnyCashOnline.com. There also are gems from the Columbia Records Archive, spanning the years from 1958, shortly after the singer signed with the label, to 1975.
The Columbia Archive prints, also available for sale from Rock Paper Photo, include location shots of Johnny holding his guitar emblazoned with his name written in script across its neck, and performing at a press party in Nashville the following year. Other highlights include classic portraits shot on a farm in San Antonio, also in 1959. Images from this set appeared on Now, There Was A Song! released the following year.
Johnny Cash performing at a hotel press party in Nashville, Tennessee in February 1959. Photo from the Columbia Records Archive. Courtesy of Rock Paper Photo.
Johnny Cash in San Antonio, Texas in May 1959. Photo from the Columbia Records Archive. Courtesy of Rock Paper Photo.
Among the historic recording sessions captured in the collection photos are October 1959 and July 1975 dates at Columbia’s 30th Street Studios in New York. In one shot from the later session, Johnny stands at the microphone with his arms enveloping June Carter Cash.
Johnny Cash at the Columbia Records 30th Street Studios in New York City in October 1959. Photo from the Columbia Records Archive. Courtesy of Rock Paper Photo.
June Carter Cash & Johnny Cash at the Columbia Records 30th Street Studios in New York City in July 1975. Photo from the Columbia Records Archive. Courtesy of Rock Paper Photo.
Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash at the Columbia Records 30th Street Studios in New York City in July 1975. Photo from the Columbia Records Archive. Courtesy of Rock Paper Photo.
All photos in the Rock Paper Photo collection are available as museum-quality prints, produced on archival paper and sold with Certificates of Authenticity. Many prints are offered in numbered limited editions. Gallery framing is also available.
For a limited time, you also have a chance to win one of these amazing Rock Paper Photo prints! Simply LIKE the Legacy Recordings Facebook page and enter for a chance to win this print from the Columbia Records Archive, which shows Johnny Cash in a hotel in August 1958. Valued at $500, this unframed 16×20 print is one of only 200 available for sale:
Courtesy of Rock Paper Photo.