Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Happy Birthday to the Man In Black

Starday SLP 264 - Big "D" Jamboree 

Happy Birthday to the Man in Black. Johnny lived next door to Don Pierce out at the lake in Hendersonville. I have fond memories of riding past Johnny's house with Don in his boat, hearing how they had each used the same architect (Braxton Dixon) and had in fact very similar homes. When Johnny would occasionally become too ill, Don would often set him up (ie, lock him up) in his guest cottage and take care of him until he got cleaned up. On one occasion, Johnny sobered up and before he left he gave to Don an animal hide and wrote on the back of it, "To Don Pierce, the only man I'd ride the river with." It was written in red ink, but Johnny swore to Don he had written it with his own blood. I remember Don showing it to me the first time I went to his house. It was one of Don's proudest possessions. In the mid-'60s Starday leased and issued a few Johnny Cash recordings on LP compilations, and of course there were several Cash soundalike records on the Dixie label in the late '50s (courtesy of folks like Benny Barnes, Sleepy LaBeef, and others), but my favorite Johnny Cash moment on Starday comes from the "live" Big "D" Jamboree LP (SLP 264). Here, Starday recording artist Frankie Miller kills time by doing some artist impressions, including a very funny one of "Johnny 'moneybags' Cash" himself. 

Check it out here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3M1DnQmIPA&feature=youtu.be

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