Johnny Cash Night – Post-session review

This session was everything that record club should be. Bill and Tom brought the records, Matt brought insight, a guitar and the first ever live performance to record club. And everyone listened, giving their undivided attention to two incredible albums. A very special night. “The power of music in action” as Terry commented on Twitter.

So, to the music…

In a recording career that spanned almost 50 years and with almost 100 albums to choose from (that excludes compilations), I don’t think any of us quite anticipated the emotional impact of hearing back-to-back the first and last albums Johnny Cash released in his lifetime would have.

Those bookends of The Man In Black’s musical life have become his most well-known, probably thanks to the combined success of both the biopic ‘Walk The Line’ (released in 2005) and the series of American Recordings albums released between 1994 and 2002. Johnny Cash With His Hot And Blue Guitar (from 1957) was not only Cash’s first album, but also the first album released on Sun Records, and was essentially a collection of his recordings for the label to date (Sun would continue to compile and reissue their Cash recordings for many years to come). American IV: The Man Comes Around, released in November 2002, found Cash revisiting songs he’d originally recorded in the 1960s and 70s alongside a mix of standards, classics and contemporary songs.

Both albums sounded full and powerful – the ‘boom-chicka-boom’ of the Sun recordings contrasting with the sparse atmospherics of American IV. The one constant being Cash’s voice, commanding attention throughout, and as Matt said “communicating directly so you can hear every word”.

We also had time to spin a few favourites from the big box of Johnny Cash records kindly brought along by Bill including a bootleg of a recording session with Bob Dylan (if you were listening carefully you’ll have heard Bob yodelling, much to the amusement of JC), Brett had an LP ready and waiting, and Tom got to share the hard-to-find single ‘The Chicken In Black‘.

A big ‘thank you’ to Bill, Tom and Matt for the music (and to Brett for his contribution) and thanks to everyone who came along and listened. Here are a few comments posted after the session:

My 1st record club night and what a night it was – Johny Cash’ Last – special and emotionally moving.

Silent, solemn, reverential, electric. Johnny Cash singing The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.

Hairs standing up on the back of your neck stuff. The power of music in action.

We’ll be back on Thursday 11th June for JUMP JAMAICA WAY – a voyage through Jamaica’s golden age of music with Rick Williams. See you there.


Cash Connections (part 1)a mix of songs covered by Johnny Cash and covers of songs he made famous
Depeche Mode – Personal Jesus
Eric Burdon & The Animals – Ring Of Fire
Beck – Rowboat
U2 & Johnny Cash – The Wanderer
Roy Hogsed – Cocaine Blues
Rolling Stones – No Expectations
Nick Lowe – The Beast In Me
Shel Silverstein – 25 Minutes To Go
Lefty Frizzell – The Long Black Veil
Tom Petty – I Won’t Back Down
Bob Marley – Redemption Song
Bruce Springsteen – Johnny 99
Kris Kristofferson – Sunday Morning Coming Down

Johnny Cash – With His Hot And Blue Guitar (Sun Records, 1957)


SIDE ONE: The Rock Island Line/I Heard That Lonesome Whistle/Country Boy/If The Good Lord’s Willing/Cry, Cry, Cry/Remember Me
SIDE TWO: So Doggone Lonesome/I Was There When It Happened/I Walk The Line/The Wreck Of Old ’97/Folsom Prison Blues/Doin’ My Time

Quiet Loner (live in the labour club): Let The Train Blow The Whistle/Folsom Prison Blues

Bob Dylan & Johnny Cash – The Dylan Cash Session (bootleg LP)


SIDE TWO: That’s Alright Mama/I Walk The Line/You Are My Sunshine/Ring Of Fire/Guess Things Happen That Way/”T” For Texas

Johnny Cash – The Chicken In Black (CBS, single, 1984)


Johnny Cash – American IV; The Man Comes Around (American Recordings, 2002. 2014 reissue)


SIDE ONE: The Man Comes Around/Hurt/Give My Love To Rose
SIDE TWO: Bridge Over Troubled Water/I Hung My Head/First Time I Ever Saw Your Face/Personal Jesus
SIDE THREE: In My Life/Sam Hall/Danny Boy/Desperado
SIDE FOUR: I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry/Tear Stained Letter/Streets Of Laredo/We’ll Meet Again


Ballad Of A Teenage Queen (from ‘Ballad Of A Teenage Queen’, Hallmark Records)
The Troubadour (from ‘The Fabulous Johnny Cash’, CBS, 1958)
Tennessee Flat-Top Box (from ‘Old Golden Throat’, CBS, 1968)
Out Among The Stars (from ‘Out Among The Stars’, Columbia, 2014)
Pick A Bale Of Cotton (from ‘Forty Shades Of Green’ EP, CBS, 1963)

Greatest Hits Vol. 1 (CBS, 1967)
SIDE TWO: Ring Of Fire/It Aint Me, Babe/The Ballad Of Ira Hayes/The Rebel – Johnny Yuma/Five Feet High And Rising/Don’t Take Your Guns To Town

Cash Connections (part 2)
Bob Dylan – It Ain’t Me Babe
Hank Williams – I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry
Hamell On Trial – Folsom Prison Blues (live)
Elvis Costello – The Big Light
Lonnie Donegan – Pick A Bale Of Cotton
Bonnie Prince Billie – I See A Darkness
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – The Mercy Seat
John D. Loudermilk – Bad News

Listen to digital highlights here (or on the player below).

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May’s Record Club: JOHNNY CASH NIGHT

JohnnyCashPosterResizeWe’re back on Thursday 14th May for Johnny Cash Night, or to give it its full title: The First And Last: Johnny Cash – The Man In Black On Vinyl. But that’s a bit too long for tweeting!

Why ‘first and last’ you may ask? Well, put simply, we’ll be playing the first and last albums that Johnny Cash released in his lifetime. 45 years apart, and both containing many of the songs he’s now probably most well-known for. Those albums are ‘Johnny Cash With His Hot And Blue Guitar‘, released on Sun Records in 1957, and ‘American IV: The Man Comes Around‘, the fourth of his Rick Rubin-produced albums for the American Recordings label, released in 2002.

hotblueamericanivIn all honesty, we were spoilt for choice. JC released somewhere in the region of 90 albums in that 45 years, spanning country, gospel, protest songs, film soundtracks, Christmas songs, live recordings and collaborations with other singers and musicians. Plus, since his death in September 2003, there have been several collections of previously unreleased material make their way out.

We’ll have a few other treats and surprises along the way, including outtakes from a recording session with Bob Dylan in 1969, songs by artists that inspired Cash and, if all goes to plan, The Chicken In Black!

It’ll be a night to remember. I hope you can join us.


Thursday 14th May, 8-11pm
Glossop Labour Club, Chapel Street, Glossop, SK13 8AT

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Sun goes down…

It’s certainly no undestatement to say that without Sam Phillips and Sun Records, the course of music history would be very different indeed. For much of the 1950s, he was responsible for discovering, recording and releasing a huge amount of seminal music, leaving a legacy that still proves massively influential to this day. Our session dedicated to Sun and curated by rock & roll historian Bill Jubb, was a clear demonstration of this.

My thanks to Bill for putting together an informative and entertaining session that broke away from our usual ‘full albums’ format to explore the output of the label (and studio), the stories behind the people involved and of course the music. It was also fascinating to hear Bill’s personal account of how he discovered rock & roll music as a youngster in the 1950s and the impact it had on his life.

Lots of positive comments about the session, typified by this from Tom on Twitter:

“Brilliant night . Bill was an absolute star could of listened to him all night. Best one so far”


My thanks also to Steve, Bernard and Jonathan for bringing along records with a Sun connection (albeit quite loose in some cases – we had to get Frank Sidebottom in somehow!); to Matt for sharing the story of his encounter with Carl Perkins and for Johnny Cash Roulette (you had to be there); to Dave for the photos; and finally to everyone who came along – another great turnout!


We’ll be back on Thursday 8th May for an evening with Last Shop Standing author Graham Jones. The session will also feature a quiz from The Radio Shed and if you’ve braved the crowds for Record Store Day, this will be your chance to share what you bought. Full details soon.


Billy Lee Riley – Red Hot/Pearly Lee/Flying Saucer Rock & Roll/She’s My Baby (EP, Charley, 1977)
Bill Justis – Raunchy & Other Great Instrumentals (Sun Record Company, 1969)
Side One: Raunchy/College Man/The Stranger/Wild Rice/Cattywampus/Flip, Flop And Bop
Side Two: Scroungie/The Midnight Man/Summer Holiday/Cloud 9/Flea Circus
Charlie Rich – Don’t Put No Headstone On My Grave/Goodbye Mary Ann (Don’t Put No Headstone On My Grave, Zu Zazz, 1986)


Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats – Rocket 88 (The Sun Story, Rhino, 1987)
The Prisonaires – Walking In The Rain (The Sun Story, Rhino, 1987)
Rufus Thomas – Bear Cat (The Sun Story, Sun Records, 1974)
Elvis Presley – Blue Moon of Kentucky/I’ll Never Let You Go Darlin’/Mystery Train/I Forgot To Remember To Forget (alternate takes, Good Rockin’ Tonight, Bop Cat, 1974)
Carl Perkins – Blue Suede Shoes/Honey Don’t (The Sun Years, Sun Records, 1982)
Johnny Cash – Folsom Prison Blues/Hey Porter (Original Golden Hits, Sun Records, 1969)
Jerry Lee Lewis/George Klein – The Return of Jerry Lee (Good Rockin’ Tonight, Bop Cat, 1974)

GRC Project 10

Various – Rockabilly Rules OK (Charley, 1978): Charlie Feathers – Tongue Tied Jill/Billy Lee Riley – Red Hot/Ray Harris – Lonely Wolf
Ricky Nelson – My Babe (London, 1958)
Buddy Holly – I’m Gonna Love You Too (Coral, 1958)
The Cramps – Gravest Hits (Illegal Record, 1979): Lonesome Town/Domino
Frank Sidebottom – My Elvis Medley (Medium Play EP, In Tape, 1990)

The Million Dollar Quartet – The Complete Million Dollar Session (Sun Records, 1987)
Side 3: Don’t Be Cruel/Paralysed/Don’t Be Cruel/There’s No Place Like Home/When The Saints Go Marching In
Side 4: I’m Gonna Bid My Blues Goodbye/Crazy Arms
Various – Good Rockin’ Tonight (Bop Cat, 1974): Jerry Lee Lewis – Great Balls Of Fire (alt. take)/Billy Lee Riley – Rock With Me Baby/Billy Lee Riley – Trouble Bound

Johnny Cash – Jackson (The Best of Johnny Cash, Reader’s Digest box set, 1973)

Listen to digital highlights here.

April’s Record Club: Sun Records & The Million Dollar Quartet with Bill Jubb


On Thursday 10th April, Glossop Record Club regular and rock & roll historian Bill Jubb takes the helm for a session dedicated to Sun, the Memphis record label and recording studio that launched the careers of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and many more, along with also being the birthplace of rock & roll.


The label was a melting pot of styles – rockabilly, country, blues, gospel, R’n’B – with a roster of white and black artists. In the session, Bill will take us through the history of the label with key records from Sun’s 1950s heyday, with particular attention being paid to the legendary ‘Million Dollar Quartet’ impromptu jam session, when Presley, Cash, Perkins and Lewis all happened to be in the studio at the same time on a Tuesday in December, 1956. Studio enginer ‘Cowboy’ Jack Clement ran a tape on the session, bootlegs of which appeared in the early 1970s with the first of many official releases appearing in 1981.

We’ll also hear music from Presley, Cash, Perkins and Lewis on their own, plus Rufus Thomas, Roy Orbison and Charlie Rich amongst others. All on vinyl, of course.


Sun Records still continues to exert an influence on music to this day, with Jack White’s Third Man Records recently embarking on a reissue series of 7″ singles, and the events of the Million Dollar Quartet jam being turned into an international stage musical.

Have a listen to this mix of Sun classics to get you in the mood for the session.

Thursday 10th April, 8-11pm.
Glossop Labour Club, Chapel Street, Glossop, SK13 8AT.

Finally, with Record Store Day just around the corner, author of Last Shop Standing, Graham Jones, comes to Glossop Record Club on Thursday 8th May to share his entertaining tales of UK record shops and the dodgy dealings of the music industry. He’ll also be playing one of his favourite albums in full. The Radio Shed will host a quiz, with music goodies up for grabs, and if you’re one of the dedicated types who’ll be making an early morning trek to brave the queues for Record Store Day, this will be your chance to share the precious hard-won vinyl you’ve picked up. That will include me! Full details next month.


March’s Record Club: Merseybeat with Steve Roberts


Glossop Record Club returns in March for the first of three consecutive sessions helmed by guest curators.

On April 10th, rock & roll historian (and a familiar face at GRC sessions) Bill Jubb hosts an evening centred on the legendary impromptu ‘Million Dollar Quartet’ session at the studios of Sun Records in Memphis featuring Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins. And on May 8th, author of Last Shop Standing Graham Jones will be sharing his tales of the UK music industry and record shops.

But before all that, on Thursday 13th March, Glossop-based singer-songwriter Steve Roberts presents Merseybeat, an evening of music from Liverpool including a landmark album by The Beatles and a lost classic by Rockin’ Horse. There’ll be records by other Liverpool bands too from the 1960s to the present day (get looking through your records to see what you can bring) and quite possibly a lively debate on what constitutes Merseybeat post-1960s.


Here are a few words from Steve about the session:

Merseybeat was a sound that changed the world, or, at the very least, the music industry. The sound was prominent for merely three years or so in the 1960s, and the band that defined it were also the band that killed it off. The Beatles.

They killed it with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (although Revolver in 1966 had already caused a wounding), an album that at the time was as revolutionary as the band’s initial impact. Music was now an art form treated with the same deference as Monet or Henry Moore. Sgt. Pepper is a colourful blast of invention and soundscapes, wordplay and mad imagination. All recorded on a 4 track tape machine in the first half of 1967.

Musicians back in Liverpool found it hard to adapt in this new musical landscape and fell from public consciousness, but they never stopped playing music. In fact many of them still do so 50 years later.

One of Liverpool’s unsung musical heroes is Jimmy Campbell. A maverick in any sense, his is a tale of missed opportunities and a reckless life. Well-known on the local scene throughout the ‘60s with The Kirkbys and The 23rd Turnoff, in 1971, along with Billy Kinsley of The Merseys, he formed Rockin’ Horse with the specific intention of playing a simpler music – of going back to the cellars and dance halls and reviving Merseybeat. The album Yes It Is was of course doomed to failure, but it is a wonderful slice of power pop packed with melody and wit. Billy continued to find success with Liverpool Express in the ‘70s, while Jimmy dropped completely off the radar with only a couple of ignored solo albums to show for it. He died in 2007.

Merseybeat defined Liverpool as much as country and western did Nashville or jazz in New Orleans, and for a short while it ruled the world.


We’ll be listening to both albums in full alongside music by other Liverpool acts – from the original Merseybeat boom of the 1960s, the city’s re-emergence as a musical force in the 1980s, to the Britpop era in the 90s and beyond. Here are a few choice names to get you going… The Big Three, The Searchers, Deaf School, Echo & The Bunnymen, The La’s, The Real People, Cast, Shack, The Coral… That’s not even the tip of the iceberg.


Merseybeat with Steve Roberts
Thursday 13th March, 8-11pm.
Glossop Labour Club, Chapel Street, Glossop, SK13 8AT.

Click here for venue and travel details.