Johnny Cash - From Memphis to Hollywood: Bootleg Vol. 2
“You know folks, even without air conditioning, you can make your home several degrees cooler this summer, and for the summers to come, with Home Equipment Company’s Cool Glow awnings.” It’s hard to imagine an up-and-coming recording artist of today doing a radio show and reading an ad as Johnny Cash did back in the early fifties. On Saturday afternoons, the man we now know as “The Man in Black” did a live radio show on Memphis’ KWAM. In addition to advertisements for his sponsor, he solicited requests. “If we don’t know it, we’ll learn it.”
Columbia/Legacy released From Memphis to Hollywood: Bootleg Vol. 2 by Johnny Cash on February 22, 2011. The two CD set includes radio shows and demos from the 1950’s and more than a dozen previously unreleased tracks from the sixties. Vol. 2 is also available digitally.
Joe Manuel started the Saturday Night Jamboree in Memphis in 1953. The program was aired on KWEM radio and boasts that they “discovered and launched the careers” of Elvis, B.B. King, Howlin’ Wolf, Albert King, Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two, and many others. Listeners are treated to a sample of the radio show (this one from KWAM) and then twelve demos beginning with “I Walk the Line” in an octave higher than I recall. Cash may not have had the four octave range accredited to Roy Orbision (his companion of the “Class of ‘55” at Sun Records — along with Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins), but it is impressive and still attention-getting.
“Big River” and “Goodnight Irene” are included in a group of seven tracks from Sun all produced by Sam Phillips and Jack Clement.Continued on the next page