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.

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Saturday, January 4, 2020

Johnny Cash on post-Sam Phillips Sun

Johnny Cash - Get Rhythm (1969), Sun 1103

This is just an oddity in Johnny Cash's discography and not a very interesting one to be sure but I thought someone might like it or find it just enjoying.

This is a reissue as you might expect. Sam Phillips sold the Sun record label on July 1, 1969, for 1.000.000 $ (yes, one million) to Shelby Singleton, who had earlier success in the record business with his Plantation label in Nashville. Shortly after acquiring Sun, Singleton began re-releasing old Sun sides from the 1950s and 1960s, including this Johnny Cash classic. It was originally recorded by Cash (vocals/rhythm guitar) and his fellows Luther Perkins (electric lead guitar) and Marshall Grant (bass) on April 2, 1956, at the Sun Studio in Memphis with Sam Phillips taking seat behind the glass, engineering and producing the session. 

Cash had written the song after seeing a shoe shine boy working on the streets of Memphis. An earlier demo had been recorded by Cash in late 1954 or early 1955 with just his acoustic guitar. With its fast rockabilly beat, the song was initially intended for Elvis Presley but when Presley switched to RCA-Victor, Cash recorded the song himself.

"Get Rhythm" became the flip side of Cash's first no.1 country chart hit, "I Walk the Line" (originally Sun 241) but did not enter the charts itself at that time. When Shelby Singleton dug out the old Sun masters, he paired it with Cash's original recording of "Hey Porter" and released it in October 1969 on Sun #1103. Interestingly, Shelby Singleton edited the tape and added fake applause to "Get Rhythm" (to "Hey Porter" not to unknown reasons) to pretend it was a live recording. He did this possibly as Cash was riding high on the charts with his two Columbia live albums "At Folsom Prison" (1968) and "At San Quentin" (1969). However, this proved to be a clever business strategy as the single reached #23 in Billboard's country charts and also, first on November 15, 1969, peaked #60 at Billboard's Hot 100.

1 comment:

Apesville said...

also Castaway's (TN) 45 - 1000 : Smoochie - It's All Your Fault