“Hello my name is Johnny Cash”, that has to be one of the simplest, yet most recognized introductions in the world of country music. Countless thousands heard this phrase in person, and millions more have heard the phrase either on the radio, 8 track, Record, or CD. The man in black was a natural entertainer, equally at home in the finest concert halls or the prison cafeteria! Twice this week I have been accused of being a critic! I am not. I am a reviewer, and I have to give this DVD the absolute highest marks. It is a 90 minute documentary that has no commentary, and it does not need one. Based on footage from the late 60’s we see a really interesting side to this iconoclastic performer while on tour with his wife June Carter Cash.

The production team has done a fabulous job of seamlessly tying together concert footage with never before seen ‘home video’. It is hard to believe that in the early days he was his own tour bus driver! One of the most entertaining segments is taken from the Kraft Music Hall second annual country music awards ceremony in 1968. OK, I’ll translate, this was the forerunner of the Grand Ole Opry. His album ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ won ‘Album of the year’.

What I really liked about this DVD was that the songs are played in their entirety, often these documentaries just show snippets. All of the usual ‘suspects’ are included in the play list, Ring of Fire, Folsom Prison Blues, Jackson, etc. Johnny plays 22 songs, including several duets with June Carter Cash, also included are special guests Bob Dylan and Carl Perkins. This DVD is great value, and if you are a Johnny Cash fan one that you absolutely need in your collection. The street release date is July/17, so you can either head out to your local megamart and camp out till next Tuesday, or, you can order it through MVD.

Simon Barrett


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