Johnny Cash – With His Hot and Blue Guitar

ARTIST: Johnny Cash 220px-JohnnyCashWithHisHotAndBlueGuitar
TITLE: With His Hot and Blue Guitar
YEAR RELEASED: 1957
CHART ACTION: None (!)
SINGLES: Cry Cry Cry (#14 Country), Folsom Prison Blues (#17, #3 Country), So Doggone Lonesome (#4 Country), I Walk the Line (#17, #1 Country)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: The Wreck of the Old 97
LINEUP: Johnny Cash, Luther Perkins, Marshall Grant
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Debut long player by Cash collects his singles and other cuts he recorded for Sun in his early years.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: It’s hard to complain about an original album with the songs listed above, plus some other great country / rockabilly tunes done in the original Cash style with the Tennessee Two. I mean, I can’t complain about the songs.

What I can quibble about, almost 60 years in the future, is the sequencing. They bury the two best known and most popular songs on the second side, and lead off with a couple of the least representative cuts. I don’t know what Sam Phillips was thinking.

At any rate, the Sun recordings have been packaged and re-packaged a lot, even during the early 60’s, but this only misses Hey, Porter from his best early singles. Cash’s voice and presence is remarkable. You already knew he was going to be an all-timer.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: This was the first album Sun Records released. They were all singles before then.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No, but these songs are all floating around on other compilations.

GRADE: A-: Sequencing does matter when listening to an album all the way through, but the songs are great.

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