Music Monday: May 15, 2023

Hi, everyone. Welcome to another edition of Music Monday.

Bruce quote 2023

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

On May 6, 1968 Columbia Records released “At Folsom Prison” by country legend Johnny Cash. It was the first live record of his career and both a critical and commercial success. It hit #1 on the country albums chart and #13 on the Billboard 200 Album chart as well.

The concert was held 55 years ago on January 13, 1968. The Man In Black was joined by guests June Carter (they did not marry until March 1968), Carl Perkins, The Statler Brothers, The Tennessee Three-guitarist Luther Perkins, bassist Marshall Grant and drummer W.S. “Fluke” Holland-along with Columbia staff producer Bob Johnston who pulled it all together to make the album complete. It was so successful Cash followed this record with another live prison album, At San Quentin, released in 1969. That hit the #1 spot on both the country & national album charts.

Today’s song was originally released in 1967 as a duet with Carter. It became a #2 hit that year and won the duo a Grammy Award in 1968 for Best Country & Western Performance, Duet. If you do not know how the story ends by now, Cash went on to become one of country music’s greatest artists. He continued collaborating with Carter, who became his wife & partner, for the next 35 years until her death on May 15, 2003. Cash died four months later on September 12, 2003.

When I breeze into that city
People gonna stoop and bow
All them women gonna make me
Teach ’em what they don’t know how

Folsom vinyl 2

Ad for Folsom Album

Top: The cover for the 1968 release. Bottom: The ad for the album which appeared in Cashbox Magazine in May 1968, courtesy of Johnny Cash’s website. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

 Johnny Cash & June Carter: “Jackson” ( Recorded live at Folsom Prison on January 13, 1968. Written by Jerry Leiber (credited under Gaby Rodgers, who was his wife & his occassional pen name) and Billy Edd Wheeler.

Stay safe and well.


Music Monday: February 28, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to this week’s edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

 (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

As we say goodbye to February 2022, let’s focus on the milestone birthdays celebrated this month for two of music’s most incredible talents. Singer/songwriter extraordinaire Carole King turned 80 on February 9 (born in 1942) and blue-eyed soul Doobie Brother Michael McDonald turned 70th on February 12 (born in 1952). Plus, February 26th marked the 90th birth anniversary for The Man In Black, Johnny Cash (born in 1932). It is impossible for me to pick just one of these icons to spotlight today, so I am going to do things a little differently this week and feature one track from each. You’re welcome.

Cash circa 1965

Johnny Cash circa 1965. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

All three artists hold special places in my heart & mind. The first concert I ever attended was The Doobie Brothers. I liked them before McDonald joined them, but with him their sound evolved into rock & soul fusion which I absolutely adored. King is the genius behind the best album by a female artist, not to mention the composer of so many hits I have lost track. Cash was one of my first introductions to classic country music courtesy of my grandmother’s love of the genre. These are some of the greatest moments in my varied & extensive musical history. And I am thankful for this soundtrack in my life single day.

King circa 1990.

Carole King circa 1990. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

For McDonald I was going to choose my favorite from his early Doobie Brother years-“It Keeps You Running“-but then I remembered the title track from his 1990 album which still makes me swoon more than 30 years later. I chose a song from King’s 1971 opus because those were the best of her career in my world. As for Cash, he could sing anything. And he did. But one of his signature songs is always my pick to start a listening party by him because they bring back some of the fondest memories of my life. But any track from any one of these icons would obviously be welcome. Their talent & music speaks for itself. Enjoy.

Mcdonald circa 2000

Michael McDonald circa 2000. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Johnny Cash: “Ring Of Fire” (1963, written by June Carter and Merle Kilgore).

Carole King: “Tapestry” (1971, written by Carole King).

Michael McDonald: “Take It To Heart” (1990, written by Michael McDonald and Diane Warren).

Stay safe & well.