Monday, August 23, 2010

Missing Johnny

Tonight -- well, I guess last night now -- I was watching the first disc of a two-DVD set, the Best of the Johnny Cash Show.

And I found myself desperately missing Johnny Cash. I found myself desperately missing an age when The Johnny Cash Show was possible on network television -- this, remember, in an age when you only had NBC, CBS and ABC (and, if you were fortunate, NET . . . the forerunner to PBS).

THE JOHNNY CASH SHOW wasn't about country music, though Cash was a country giant . . . and featured plenty of his contemporaries. The real star of the show was music itself -- all kinds of it, categories and neat little formatic boxes be damned.

OK, SEEING Eric Clapton, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash all on stage at the same time may have made me cry a little.

Bridges. Between past and present. Between whole genres of music. That was the essence of Cash. Here's another bridge . . . a big one, an important one:

MY GOD. Making history . . . by paying tribute to musical history.

Now, let's close it out with this gem. This is the
ABC Television Network, the time is . . . June 7, 1969.

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