Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Johnny Cash Christmas

A little over a year ago I wrote about two DVDs that Shout! Factory was putting out for the holidays: the Johnny Cash Christmas specials from 1976 and 1977. This year, they've come back strong and have released Johnny's Christmas specials from 1978 and 1979. As with the previous years, Johnny has an all-star support cast of musicians and comedians to help him bring the holiday cheer.

The 1978 special was taped in Los Angeles (as opposed to Tennessee as the first two were), and definitely takes on a Hollywood sparkle to it. His special guests including singers Kris Kristofferon and Rita Coolidge, and comedian Steve Martin. Of course June makes appearances as well as their six daughters for a family finale of Silent Night (listen to it below).

In 1979, Johnny thankfully returns to Nashville, and returns to his home town of Dyess, Arkansas. His father Ray and his older brother Roy make appearances during the show, and his musical guests this year included Anne Murray and Tom T. Hall. Andy Kaufman (who appears as his character Latka Gravis from the TV show Taxi) plays the part of the comic relief, though personally I don't find his sketches all that enjoyable.

If you didn't get the first two from last year, and you (or that special person you're getting them for) is a real Cash fan, you can get all four of them in one specially priced box set. That's four hours less that you have to watch all those horrendous made for TV Christmas movies.

Johnny Cash & Anne Murray - That Christmasy Feeling : The Johnny Cash Christmas Special 1979

Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash - If I Were A Carpenter : The Johnny Cash Christmas Special 1979

Visit the Shout! Factory website.

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