A few weeks ago, I wrote about Johnny Cash’s Christmas special from 1976. The following year, Johnny came back to release another special, one which once again featured Johnny and June and a collection of their friends. This one is also now available from Shout! Factory and is the perfect alternative to watching The Santa Clause (any of them).
As with the one from 1976, the show features Johnny and June interacting and celebrating with family and friends. But where as the previous year primarily included other performers from the country music scene, the 1977 show brings together alumni from Johnny’s years at Sun Records, including Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis, who sing some of their own material (Orbison’s Pretty Woman, Perkins’ Blue Suede Shoes, and Lewis’ Whole Lot Of Shakin’ Going On) and team up with Johnny on others. Besides including numbers from these acts, Johnny shares his feelings for and some personal memories about these entertainers with whom he use to tour and record with. There are also some recollections of Elvis (who had died two months before), as well as a song dedicated to him (This Train Is Bound For Glory).
Compared to the previous year’s special, this one feels a lot more genuine. Johnny’s memories in particular feel less scripted and more intimate. And as far as the guests go, the 1977 line-up would completely kick the ‘76 crew’s arse from here to the barn and back. If you’re looking to get that last gift for someone, I would absolutely recommend this DVD as the perfect stocking stuffer.
Johnny Cash & Roy Clark – Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer : Johnny Cash Christmas Special 1977
Carl Perkins – Blue Suede Shoes : Johnny Cash Christmas Special 1977
Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, & Carl Perkins – This Train Is Bound For Glory : Johnny Cash Christmas Special 1977