Saturday, November 1, 2008

#8: The Carter Cash Cache

Playlist for Sunday, November 2, 2008
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Steve Mason

Johnny Cash's band THE TENNESSEE THREE, fronted by Bob Wooten, were scheduled to perform at the River Run Centre in Guelph, Ontario on Wednesday, November 5, 2008. Johnny Cash performed with the same band throughout his career. When original guitar player, Luther Perkins (who developed that famous Johnny Cash boom-chicka sound), died in a house fire in 1968, he was replaced with Bob Wooten who played with Cash up until 1997. Today's program was meant to complement the Wednesday night concert, which has since "due to unforseen circumstances" been canceled. Still, some great music here (the whole history of country music, even).

1. Wake Up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt & His Texas Ramblers

2. Keep On The Sunny Side - The Carter Family
Their signature song. The history of commercial country music, to a large degree, starts with Ralph Peer's famous 'Bristol Sessions' that took place in Bristol, Tennessee in August 1927. Both The Carter Family (A.P. Carter, his then wife Sarah, and her cousin Maybelle) and Jimmie Rodgers answered the newspaper ads and showed up to audition to record for the Victor company. Peer, who had been working for Okeh since 1923, offered to switch to Victor in 1926 but Victor declined because they couldn't afford the salary that Okeh had been paying him. Realizing that the real money lay in copyright control, Peer told Victor that he'd be happy to accept a salary of $1/year if he could have the copyright share of material he recorded. Victor obliged. Song authorship at that time was like strip mining. There were lots of public domain songs floating around, waiting for someone to nail down a version that they could lay claim to as their own. A.P. Carter was, not so much an author, as an excellent selector of repertoire. It's a deep and rich heritage of songs that bears his name. But Peer's demand that his artists produce "original" and "copyrightable" material did foster a demand for songwriting that helped to foster an industry of country music.

3. Wildwood Flower - The Carter Family
Likely THE definitive moment in Maybelle Carter's famously influential melody on the low strings, strum on the high strings, flatpicking guitar style. Carter picking, we call it now.

4. No Depression - The Carter Family
This song was resurrected by the band, Uncle Tupelo, on their famous 1990 debut album. The title No Depression had a whole other implication in 1990, and the Uncle Tupelo album helped to instigate an "alternative"country phenomenon. The Alt. Country Magazine, No Depression also took it's title from the Carter Family song, The Uncle Tupelo album, and from an early online chatroom discussion about Alternative Country Music and commenced publishing in

5. Trail Of The Lonesome Pine - The Carter Sisters
Helen, Anita, and June Carter with their mother Maybelle.

6. Thirty Days (live) - June Carter
7. Big Iron (live) - June Carter
8. Gotta Travel On (live) - June Carter
9. Ring Of Fire - June Carter Cash
Thirty Days, Big Iron, and Gotta Travel on are all excerpted from June Carter's appearances at Shreveport, Louisiana's "The Louisiana Hayride" a contender of Nashville's "Grand Ole Opry" as a hotspot in the history of country music.

10. Folsom Prison Blues - Johnny Cash
11. I Walk The Line - Johnny Cash
Two songs from Johnny Cash's early Sun Records recordings, 1955 and 1957. That's Luther Perkins on the guitar, the sound of a legend being born.

12. Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone? - June Carter Cash (with Johnny Cash)
From June Carter Cash's Wildwood Flower Album which was recorded previous to her death (from heart surgery complications) in May 2003 and released shortly thereafter. Johnny Cash met June backstage at the Grand Ole Opry in 1950. He proposed marriage to her onstage, 18 years later, during a performance in London, Ontario in 1968. The two of them had been married for 35 years, when Johnny sang with her on this track.

13. I'm Free From The Chain Gang Now - Johnny Cash
The final track from the fifth and final album of the "American Recordings" series that Johnny Cash recorded with Rick Rubin for his label of that name. Johnny died on Sept 12, 2003, just a few months after June passed away. American V: A Hundred Highways was released in 2006.

14. Black Cadillac - Roseanne Cash
15. Radio Operator - Roseanne Cash
Roseanne Cash was Johnny's first daughter with his first wife, Vivien Liberto. Roseanne was born in May 1955, a year into the marriage. Her album, Black Cadillac, released in 2006 features songs themed around the death, legacy, and abscence of her father.

16. World Without Sound - Roseanne Cash
"Who do I believe in this world without sound/Who do I believe when they put you in the ground".

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