Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Rare early Johnny Cash images & audio released


If you thought that everything worthwhile connected with Johnny Cash has already been uncovered, Germany's Bear Family label has just come up with something new for the discerning collector who has seen and heard it all. Timed to coincide with Cash's 80th birthday celebrations, Unseen Cash From William Speer's Studio packages a collection of previously unpublished early photos of the then promising Sun Records signee with a one-sided 180 gram LP (or digipak CD) containing just over 25 minutes of rare live recordings of our man on-stage in 1957 and 1959.

Here's the scoop on the photos: In 1955, Sun Records boss Sam Phillips sent Johnny Cash to a local Memphis photographer, William Speer for a promo shoot. Speer who also took some classic early shots of Sun star Elvis Presley, was an innovative craftsman, influenced by Hollywood portrait photographers who were playing with light and shade in a dramatic new way. A few of the photos Speer took of Cash between 1955 and 1958 were circulated back in the day but the rest remained unpublished until someone connected with Bear Family turned them up.

Realizing that the photos hadn't already been commercially exploited by another label – and that the 80th anniversary of Cash's birth was coming up on February 26, 2012 – Bear Family came up with a novel plan to restore and package the images in a 16-page LP-sized hardcover book, accompanied by a one-sided LP of rare live audio recordings (from Country Style USA and Country Music Time) with a portrait of Cash etched onto the flipside. For those who don't have a turntable and/or aren't bothered by the notion of viewing seriously scaled-down versions of Speer's striking images, there's also a digipak CD available with a 28-page booklet.



Unseen Cash From William Speer's Studio (Bear Family)
Country Style U.S.A. #18
Stay All Night, Stay A Little Longer 
There You Go 
Give My Love To Rose 
CAROLEE COOPER: White Silver Sands
Home Of The Blues
Stay All Night, Stay A Little Longer (&
CAROLEE COOPER & CHARLIE APPLEWHITE)

Country Music Time #141
Intro 
I Got Stripes 
Pickin' Time 
JOHNNY WESTERN: Ten Years 
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot 
Outro

1 comment:

  1. For those who don't have a turntable and/or aren't bothered by the notion of viewing seriously scaled-down versions of Speer's striking images, there's also a digipak CD available with a 28-page booklet. snabblån

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