ARTIST: Johnny Cash
TITLE: The Fabulous Johnny Cash
YEAR RELEASED: 1958
CHART ACTION: #19
SINGLES: Don’t Take Your Guns to Town (#32, #1 Country), Frankie’s Man, Johnny (#57, #9 Country)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: I Still Miss Someone
LINEUP: Johnny Cash, Luther Perkins, Marshall Grant, Don Helms, the Jordanaires, Morris Palmer, Marvin Hughes. Buddy Harman drummed on three tracks.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: First Columbia album has two big hits and several other great tracks, and doesn’t feel like just a collection of sessions.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: After spending time at Sun Records, and recording singles that were later compiled into albums, Cash and Columbia records had a focused set of sessions in the summer of 1958 that resulted in this album.
The Tennessee Two was now augmented with a drummer (either Palmer or Harman) and other session players. These additions opened up the sound and the possibilities of Cash’s music. Another big addition was the Jordanaires, the singing group that also backed up Elvis Presley. Having backing vocals also made Cash’s songs pop.
The album on had five Cash originals, with the others from all kinds of country writers. But the two hits and the great “I Still Miss Someone” were all from Cash’s pen. This is a really good representation of the best in country music at the time, and established Cash as a true star.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The album Hymns of Johnny Cash was also recorded at the same time as these sessions (for the most part).
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, some bonus singles and outtakes are available.
GRADE: A: It’s a short album, but man, it sounds great and Cash is on top of his game.