Bootleg, Volume 2 of Johnny Cash is a wonderful release

JOHNNY CASH
Bootleg, Volume 2:
From Memphis to Hollywood
Columbia/Legacy (88697 60051 2)
✩✩✩✩✩

By Gillian G. Gaar

This two CD set follows 2008’s “Personal File: Bootleg Vol. 1,” and, like that release, digs deep into Cash’s archives to serve up plenty of previously unreleased material.

The first CD has a radio performance recorded on May 21, 1955 in West Memphis, Arkansas (later broadcast on August 5 of that year), 23 early demos, and seven outtakes from Cash’s Sun Records days (the outtakes and all but one of the demos are previously unreleased). He’s terribly earnest during the radio show, especially when he’s plugging the show’s sponsor, the Home Equipment Company. The demos are fascinating; “I Walk The Line” is slow and steady, still being carefully worked out, and there are also demos for songs later recorded by other artists (“You’re My Baby” was recorded by Roy Orbison, “Rock and Roll Ruby” by Warren Smith).

The second CD moves into the ‘60s, when Cash was signed to Columbia Records, and his confidence is obvious from the first track, “All Over Again.” This CD covers the work Cash did for film and TV, including “Shifting, Whispering Sands,” recorded with “Bonanza” star Lorne Greene, and “Come Along and Ride This Train,” from his own program, “The Johnny Cash Show.” About half of the CD consists of non-album tracks that have not previously been released in the US.

A great addition to your Cash collection.

Leave a Reply