Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, and more pay tribute to Elvis Presley with special Christmas performance
The iconic image of The Man in Black, Johnny Cash may not be the first thing that comes to mind while thinking about Christmas but the famed country star has had some of his most memorable moments surrounded by fairy lights and covered in tinsel.
The singer’s famous Johnny Cash Show would often see the ‘Ring of Fire’ star hosting some famous musical faces—and Christmas time would be no different. One particular Johnny Cash Christmas Special, in 1977, would see Cash alongside Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis perform a special tribute to Elvis Presley, who had died earlier that year.
The whole episode is a rootin’ tootin’ show full of festive fun and it is well worth watching the whole way through for a bit of Christmas cheer. The show, which was shot at the Grand Old Opry in Nashville, featured a host of notorious country folk stars including his wife June Carter Cash, The Carter Family, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Roy Clark, Carl Perkins, and the Statler Brothers.
In what is a heady combination of rock and roll classics, the episode sees Orbison’s ‘Pretty Woman’ and Parkins’ ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ bringing a welcome bop to proceedings—as well as a few festive favourites. There are renditions of ‘O’ Little Town of Bethlehem’, ‘Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer’, ‘Silent Night’ and ‘White Christmas’.
Yet the real heartwarming moment arrives when Cash, Orbison, Lewis, and Perkins come together to pay tribute to Elvis Presley. After a short introduction from Johnny Cash explaining Presley’s love for gospel music, the singers perform choral classic ‘This Train is Bound for Glory’. They each take a turn to lead verse and deliver a holistic, heartening and warming homage to one of their friends and icons of rock and roll.
Watch the full show below and find Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, and Jerry Lee Lewis pay tribute to Elvis Presley with the performance of ‘This Train is Bound for Glory’ below that.