Johnny Cash singing ’12 Days of Christmas’ on The Johnny Cash Show, 1970
Many of us these days are sadly not as familiar with the late, great Johnny Cash as they should be. They get caught up in the mystery of the man and forget his more jovial moments. So we thought we’d get a little festive and enjoy his brilliant performance of ’12 Days of Christmas’ from 1970.
More often than not people today can confuse the expertly played Joaquin Phoenix depiction of Cash in the biopic Walk The Line, but what many people forget is that Cash was a family man as well as ‘The Man in Black’. This was best shown in his charming, network-friendly TV programme ‘The Johnny Cash Show’.
Running from 1969 to 1971, the show was Cash’s way of ‘cashing’ in on the fame that had come his way after the huge success of his two live albums. ABC reportedly offered him an hour-long pilot as “a summer replacement for its Saturday night variety extravaganza The Hollywood Palace.” Although Cash was offered a large degree of freedom he still had to keep the network and advertisers happy by hosting some of Hollywood’s royalty, like Bob Hope, Kirk Douglas, and Peggy Lee to name a few.
The show offered up some incredible moments for Johnny Cash fans often involving his wife June Carter, the Carter Family, The Statler Brothers, Carl Perkins, and The Tennessee Three. But one particularly brilliant moment comes with Johnny performing the classic song ’12 Days of Christmas’.
However incredible Cash’s voice is on this performance, and it really is, the main reason we love it is that it serves as a reminder of the brilliantly cheesy state of TV shows in the ’70s.