Welcome to Mellow's Log Cabin. This blog's purpose is to supply information on a diversity of American southern music - ranging from country, blues, old-time and folk to R&B, rock'n'roll and rockabilly. I regularly present my research results about artists, labels, shows and also give guest writers a chance to publish their texts here on occasion.


• Jack Turner recordings available here.
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• Thanks to Bob more info on Bill Harris.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Johnny Cash on Sun, Pt. I

Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two - It's Just About Time (Sun 309), 1958

Every aspect of Johnny Cash's long and colorful career has been document well enough. Nevertheless, I listen to him frequently and I think, nobdy can say anything against a Cash song here and there.

"It's Just About Time" was recorded during a period when Cash was still under contract with Sun but was desillusioned with the label. Attention was now given to Jerry Lee Lewis and in late 1957, Cash signed with Columbia. Sun's owner and producer Sam Phillips tried to gather as much Cash recordings as possible then because he planned to release new material during the next years. 

Cash's 1958 sessions produced a large amount of songs written by other Sun artists, such as Jack Clement, Bill Justis and Charlie Rich. It was Clement who produced those sessions and took the Cash sound into a pop oriented direction with most songs being overdubbed with vocal choruses. It were those overdubbs that ruined most of the recordings. Clement reportedly later admitted his mistake but the damage was already done. It was the true simplicity that made Cash's (and the Tennessee Two's) sound that unique.

During his last session at Sun on July 17, 1958, Cash and his band recorded Jack Clement's "It's Just About Time" and the Charlie Rich composition "I Just Thought You'd Like to Know", among other tunes as well. The line-up constisted of Cash on vocals and rhyhtm guitar, Luther Perkins on lead guitar, Charlie Rich on piano, Marshall Grant on bass, and an unknown drummer with an later overdubbed chorus. Both songs were released on Sun #309 on November 12, 1958. Although "I Just Thought You'd Like to Know" was the top side, it was the typical melodic Clement song that eventually reached C&W #30 and Pop #47.

Billboard November 24, 1958, pop review
At that time, Cash was already with Columbia and had released "All Over Again" b/w "What Do I Care" (Columbia #4-41251) in September 1958, his first hit record for the label. Although Cash still wrote the same great, profound songs and performed with the same band, he never sounded like he did on Sun.

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