Columbia / Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, announce the upcoming release of two essential live albums from the legendary Johnny Cash: Johnny Cash’s Man In Black: Live In Denmark 1971 and Koncert v Praze (In Prague-Live).
For the first time ever as a CD and digital audio release, Johnny Cash’s Man In Black: Live in Denmark 1971 will be released on Friday, December 4th. Previously commercially available only as a DVD (released in 2006), the audio portion of Johnny Cash’s Man In Black: Live in Denmark 1971 can finally be enjoyed by connoisseurs for the first time as a full-length album on November 27th. A special 2 LP set, pressed on red and white vinyl (the colors of the flag of Denmark), is being released exclusively to independent record retailers in celebration of Record Store Day Black Friday 2015.
American musical icon Johnny Cash was at a career highpoint and in the middle of a successful tour of Scandinavia in 1971 when he was asked to star in his own concert special for Danish television. Lensed before a live audience on a Danish TV sound stage, Man In Black: Live in Denmark 1971 captures the essence of a Johnny Cash show of the era, showcasing performances with his touring companions–the Tennessee Three (his backup band) June Carter Cash, the Carter Family, Carl Perkins, and the Statler Brothers–on a setlist of hits, classics and songs-of-the-day including “A Boy Named Sue,” “Sunday Morning Coming Down,” “I Walk the Line,” “Folsom Prison Blues” and more as well as solo selections–“Blue Suede Shoes” (Carl Perkins) and “Flowers on the Wall” (the Statler Brothers)–and duets–“Darlin’ Companion,” “Help Me Make It Through the Night” and “If I Were a Carpenter” (Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash), the song that won the couple the 1971 Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.
Also for the first time ever, Johnny Cash’s historic Koncert v Praze (In Prague-Live)–recorded on-stage in Czechoslovakia in April 1978 and documenting the first time any major American country or popular music artist performed behind the Iron Curtain will be available worldwide as a stand-alone CD on Friday, February 5, 2016.
Koncert v Praze (In Prague-Live) was recorded live at the Sportovni hala in Prague on April 11, 1978. Cash was invited to perform by the Czechoslovakian government–who acted as agents, promoters and managers for the four shows in Prague–Johnny Cash and his entourage of 19 secured work permits and set off from Berlin in a small “school bus,” provided by the Czech government, to find out how audiences inside the Soviet bloc would respond to American music. The result, according to the United States ambassador, did more for U.S.-Czech relations in four concerts than he could have accomplished in four years.
Koncert v Praze (In Prague-Live) was first (and only) released on vinyl in Czechoslovakia in 1983, pressed on the local classical label Supraphon. American Johnny Cash fans became aware of Koncert v Praze (In Prague-Live) when it was issued in the U.S. as part of the deluxe box set Johnny Cash: The Complete Columbia Album Collection in 2012. While a limited edition 12″ LP edition was pressed on 180-gram red translucent vinyl for Record Store Day 2015, Koncert v Praze (In Prague-Live) is being released worldwide for the first time as a stand-alone CD on February 5, 2016.
Koncert v Praze (In Prague-Live) features Johnny Cash performing 11 songs from his catalog–including “Ring Of Fire,” “Big River,” “Hey Porter,” and other Cash hits–with backing from the Tennessee Three and vocals from the Carter Family.
While in Prague, Johnny played to more than 40,000 audience members over the course of four shows (which sold out in two days). Those historic performances helped provide a turning point in the thawing of the Cold War. For Johnny Cash, not knowing what to expect from an Eastern European audience, the prospect of playing behind the Iron Curtain was daunting. Were they familiar with him, his songs, or American country music? For the standing room only audiences in Prague–who’d heard his music on Radio Free Europe and smuggled Johnny Cash records across their borders–the chance to see America’s legendary Man in Black perform was not only a once in a lifetime opportunity, it was a liberating transformative experience.
The iconic Johnny Cash had been a symbol of nonviolent rebellion and freedom to countless fans around the world; in a time and place where thoughts and actions were strongly policed, Czech natives could finally see Johnny Cash and his band and experience the Western democratic freedoms they embodied.
On October 6th of this year, Johnny Cash was inducted into the Music City Walk of Fame on Nashville’s Music Mile. The Music City Walk of Fame is a landmark tribute to those from all genres of music who have contributed to the world through song or other industry collaboration and made a significant contribution to the music industry with connection to Music City. Music City Walk of Fame induction ceremonies are free and open to the public at Walk of Fame Park in downtown Music City.
- A Boy Named Sue – Johnny Cash
- Sunday Morning Coming Down – Johnny Cash
- I Walk the Line – Johnny Cash
- Blue Suede Shoes – Carl Perkins
- Matchbox – Carl Perkins
- Me and Bobby McGee – Johnny Cash
- Guess Things Happen That Way – Johnny Cash
- Bed of Roses – The Statler Brothers
- Flowers on the Wall – The Statler Brothers
- Folsom Prison Blues – Johnny Cash
- Darlin’ Companion – Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash
- If I Were a Carpenter – Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash
- Help Me Make It Through the Night – Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash
- Man in Black – Johnny Cash
- Introduction to The Carter Family
- A Song to Mama – The Carter Family
- No Need to Worry – Johnny Cash, The Carter Family & The Statler Brothers
- Rock of Ages – Johnny Cash, The Carter Family & The Statler Brothers
- Children, Go Where I Send Thee – Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, The Carter Family & The Statler Brothers
- “Ring Of Fire”
- “Folsom Prison Blues”
- “I Still Miss Someone”
- “Big River”
- Cowboy Medley: “I Ride an Old Paint” / “Streets Of Laredo”
- “Sunday Morning Coming Down”
- “I Walk the Line”
- “Last Date”
- “City of New Orleans”
- Railroad Medley: “Hey Porter” / “Wreck Of the Old ’97” / “Casey Jones” / “Orange Blossom Special”
- “Wabash Cannonball”
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.