While Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison, the 1968 album that made Cash a household word, spent only two weeks at No. 1, this 1969 follow-up topped the charts for 20 weeks. As with Folsom, the San Quentin LP had to be edited due to space limitations. Now, 31 years after the fact, the show can at last be heard in true perspective. All the original performances hold up, including the album's hit single: Shel Silverstein's "A Boy Named Sue," presented unbleeped for the first time. Equally impressive are the eight restored tracks and unexpurgated between-song patter. Cash's opening renditions of "Big River" and "I Still Miss Someone" are bracing. So are four closing songs teaming Cash with his complete performing troupe (the Carter Family, Carl Perkins, and the Statler Brothers). Their gospel performances ("He Turned the Water into Wine," "The Old Account," and an early version of "Daddy Sang Bass") are electrifying, as is a concluding medley featuring everyone. Cash is presented here at his roaring, primal best.
Few crooners can claim that name with as much authority as Johnny Mathis. Although his style may seem rather old fashioned to those who grew up on rock & roll, Mathis’s rich, vibrato-heavy voice and interpretative knack made him remarkably popular in the 1950s and ‘60s. This disc, which spreads 10 tracks, features “Chances Are,” “Wonderful! Wonderful!,” “(Where Do I Begin) Love Story,” and a slew of other Mathis classics. Longtime fans are sure to find many of their favorites, and newcomers to Mathis will find this a fine place to start.
"The First Time Ever (I Saw Your Face)" is an album by American pop singer Johnny Mathis that was released on May 10, 1972, by Columbia Records and continues in the tradition set by his recent studio releases of covering mostly current chart hits. It made its first appearance on Billboard magazine's Top LP's & Tapes chart in the issue dated June 10, 1972, and remained there for 15 weeks, peaking at #71.
As part of Columbia/Legacy's ongoing celebration of Johnny Cash's 80th Birthday in 2012, the label assembled a series of compilations under the rubric "The Greatest." The concept of this 14-track compilation is clear: it is a collection of duets Cash cut for Columbia between 1967 and 1985. Some of these cuts appeared on albums by other artists ("Girl from the North Country" is pulled from Bob Dylan's Nashville Skyline), some were not released at the time (his George Jones duet "I Got Stripes" was a bonus track on the 2002 reissue of Silver), some are pulled from Cash's TV show (the opening "I've Been Everywhere" with Lynn Anderson)…