johnny cash

Johnny Cash: The Mercury Records Years 1986-1991

By Harvey Kubernik © 2020  

Johnny Cash in the mid-1980s found himself between record labels. 

Mercury Records in Nashville snatched up the country legend after his 30 year run with the Columbia Records label. Cash subsequently

Courtesy of Mercury/UMe

released a string of six albums on Mercury in five years. 

    While the mid ‘80s to early ‘90s saw Cash, who was still touring heavily, a bit creatively adrift, but he never stopped making music and going into the studio. He signed a deal with Mercury Records at the urging of music business executive, Steve Popovich, after Columbia Records dropped him from the label.   

   Cash’s work issued from 1986 to 1991, were a diverse collection that included a notable reunion with fellow Sun Records alumni Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins, star-studded collaborations with Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney, Glen Campbell, Waylon Jennings, Emmylou Harris, Hank Williams Jr. and others, inspired takes on songs from Elvis Costello, Guy Clark and Harry Chapin, the Man in Black revisiting his classic hits, and some tunes written by Cash. Cash’s stint with Mercury has never been revisited—until now. Continue reading


By Harvey Kubernik © 2019 

The 5 CD deluxe box set edition of COUNTRY MUSIC – A Film By Ken Burns (The Soundtrack)  (Legacy Recordings, a division of

Album Cover Courtesy of Columbia/Legacy Records

Sony Music Entertainment, in association with Universal Music Group ), which chronicled the diverse roots, evolution and stylistic diversity of 20th century American country music is the companion to the 8-part (16.5 hour) documentary which premiered during September on PBS-TV. 

The collection and television broadcast further reinforced the influence and impact of this musical genre that continues to inform pop, rock, jazz artists and Americana catalogues.       

COUNTRY MUSIC – A Film By Ken Burns (The Soundtrack) followed the 2006 2-disc DVD set of The Best of the Johnny Cash Show, hosted by Kris Kristofferson distributed by CMV/Columbia Legacy, a division of Sony BMG Music Entertainment. 

The Johnny Cash Show debuted on June 7, 1969 and ran until March 31, 1971 which exposed the Cash invited country, pop, jazz and rock artists to new ears.  Continue reading


Johnny Cash Live At San Quentin Album

Johnny Cash “A Boy Named Sue”
The Johnny Cash Show Television Series
New Book The Man Who Carried Cash:  Saul Holiff, Johnny Cash and the Making of an American Icon

By Harvey Kubernik ©  2018

“A Boy Named Sue,” written by humorist, poet, and singer/songwriter Shel Silverstein became a popular hit record during 1969 by Johnny

Courtesy of Sony Music


On February 24, 1969, two days before he turned 37, Cash recorded the song live in concert at California’s San Quentin State Prison for his Johnny Cash At San Quentin album produced by Bob Johnston, issued on Columbia Records June 26, 1969.

Born Sheldon Allan “Shel” Silverstein in Chicago in 1930, Silverstein was known for his cartoons, songs, children’s books and contributions to Playboy magazine.  

During 1969 Silverstein’s own recording of “Boy Named Sue,” a 45 RPM on the LP Boy Named Sue (And His other Country Songs),was produced by Chet Atkins and Felton Jarvis.     

It has been said that Silverstein’s inspiration for the song’s title came from a man named Sue K. Hicks, who was a judge in the state of Tennessee. Silverstein heard Hicks speak at an event, and was intrigued by the name of Sue for a man. Apparently it was the father of Sue Hicks who   named the boy after his mother, Susanna Hicks, who died during hospital birth. Continue reading

Johnny Cash: Ten Years After

Harvey Kubernik interviews filmmaker Jonathan Holiff on his documentary My Father and the Man In Black.

Harvey Kubernik interviews author Robert Hilburn on his definitive biography JOHNNY CASH: THE LIFE;

Inducted into both the Country Music Hall of Fame and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, winner of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and a Kennedy Center Honor, Johnny Cash on September 12, 2003 left the physical planet at the age of 71. His status in the last decade has only grown as a musical, spiritual, literary and retail influence. Cash and I have the same February 26th birthday.
The 2005 biopic on his life Walk The Line grossed more than $300 million and his posthumous albums have totaled over $130 million.
In 2006 his final studio album, American V: A Hundred Highways, went to #1 on both the Pop and Country charts.
In the summer of 2013 the U.S. Post Office selected Johnny Cash as one of the three musicians chosen to inaugurate the new Music Icons stamp series.
“It just truly embodies my father’s spirit, who he was,” his son John Carter Cash said. “It’s different. That’s one thing: It stands out to me as being unique. It’s very commanding when you see the stamp.” Continue reading

Record producer Bob Johnston on Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash

Record producer Bob Johnston on Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash 

Johnny Cash on Bob Dylan 

June 17th 40th Anniversary of Bob Dylan’s Epochal “Nashville Skyline” album 

By Harvey Kubernik c 2009 

” With ‘Nashville Skyline’ Dylan continued to box himself into the arena of the Beatles and, in particular, the Rolling Stones and show us all not only how good he was at the same game, but how to change and improve it.” —— Andrew Loog Oldham, record producer, author, and DJ, currently heard on Little Steven’s Underground Garage” broadcast on the Sirius/XM Satellite Radio network.

June 17, 2009 marked the 40th anniversary of the original Columbia Records release of Bob Dylan’s delightful “Nashville Skyline” album produced by Bob Johnston. Continue reading