October 11, 1957 Sun Records (LP) 33rpm LP/SLP 1220 mono
JOHNNY CASH WITH HIS HOT AND BLUE GUITAR!
Yellow label. Have circle of musical notes and staff around the entire label, with excepted of the bar wherein "Memphis, Tennessee" appear. The letters SUN with sun rays pressed in light brown at the
top of the label.
Johnny Cash With His Hot and Blue Guitar
is the debut album of country singer Johnny Cash, released on October 11, 1957. The album contained four of his hit singles: "I Walk The Line'', "Cry! Cry! Cry!'', "So Doggone Lonesome'', and "Folsom Prison Blues''. It was re-issued on July 23, 2002
as an expanded edition, under the label Varese Vintage, containing five bonus tracks, three being alternate versions of tracks already present on the original LP. This was the first LP ever issued on Sam Phillips' Sun Records label.
Only five of the twelve songs came from his pen. He recorded a cover version of ''Rock
Island Line'' then a hit for Lonnie Donegan, and another train song, ''Wreck Of The Old 97'', that had been one of the first country million sellers some thirty years earlier for Vernon Dalhart. There was a token nod towards Hank Williams, ''I Heard That Lonesome
Whistle'', a revival of Stuart Hamblen/Ernest Tubb hit from 1950, ''Remember Me'', and a song from a very young Jerry Reed, ''If The Good Lord's Willing''. Cash even managed to sneak a religious song on the album, ''I Was There When It Happened''. It was a
varied collection and represented the only album that Cash specifically recorded for Sun - the other five were cobbled together after he left. It also carried no hint of what was to follow.
On the back cover, liner notes written by Sun's promotion assistant Barbara Barnes that read: ''Johnny Cash and his music are one- blending
to produce the kind of songs that bridge the gap from heart to heart. As Johnny says, ''There are three things you can't get away from. Loneliness, that certain kind of woman, and God''. And so the songs in this album echo the sincerity of Johnny's words and
the universal truth of his experience.
When it comes to loneliness,
you'd think Johnny Invented the word. Naturally endowed with a range, bit, hollow voice, Johnny's melancholy mood comes through strong on such blues ballads as his composition, ''So Doggone Lonesome'' or the old railroad folk song, ''I Heard That Lonesome
If there's an answer to man's loneliness, it's Woman.
A woman can change a man's life completely. This is what Johnny says - a hit teasingly - in ''I Walk The Line'' (another Cash tune). This record, on single release, hit the top in the country and western field and also made ''Top 20 in the Nation'' in the
pop field. Of course, you have to take the bitter with the sweet - hence, ''Cry, Cry, Cry''.
Coming to the third inescapable element, Johnny in this album sings one song of a spiritual nature. There's religious conviction in the strong, sensitive voice of Johnny Cash when he sings ''I Was There When It Happened''. Those
who know him say that Johnny's religion to him is a very real thing, source of the peace he sings of so knowingly.
How does a young man of 23 get to be so serious, so soon? In Johnny's case, it was a matter of facing hard, cold facts from childhood. Brought up on a 40-acre cotton farm at Dyess Colony, Ark., Johnny was one
of six children. The Cash family, though of necessity hard-working, always had time to sing together, and it was at home Johnny acquired his love of music.
At 18, Johnny enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. It was while serving ''three long, miserable years'' in Germany that he bought a guitar and taught himself to play. It went a long way in
combatting blues and boredom, and to Johnny it was fun to work out original melodies now and then.
Service life completed, Johnny enrolled in a Memphis radio school, determined to become an announcer. On an impulse, he went into Sun Records Company one day and rather shyly asked Sun Records President Sam Phillips to audition
That was perhaps the most fateful day in Johnny's life,
because he was immediately signed by Sun and his musical career was launched. That was in late '55, and one year later, Johnny was named the most promising country and western artist of the year separate polls.
Johnny writes nearly all his songs ''when I'm on the road, feeling homesick.... When an idea comes into my
head, I jot it down. Later at home, I fish out maybe 40 or 50 scraps of paper and see what I've got''.
Backing up Johnny are two long-time friends, electric guitarist Luther Perkins and bass player Marshall Grant. They supply a strong country beat that never lags.
To hear Johnny Cash Album is to know Johnny Cash - the man, the lonely dreamer with a stubborn streak of realism which makes
for strong and unforgettable conversation in song''.
Side 1 SU-119
Rock Island Line
Heard That Lonesome Whistle
If The Good Lord's Willing
Cry! Cry! Cry!
Original Sun Recordings
Side 2 SU-120 Contains
So Doggone Lonesome
I Was There When It Happened
I Walk The Line
Wreck Of The Old '97
Doin' My Time