Country Music Master Class by Johnny Cash with June Carte, John Schneider and the Carter Family singing some of their greatest hits. Live at Wembley, London, in 1986. That´s Country!
John R. Cash is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 90 million records worldwide. Although primarily remembered as a country music icon, his genre-spanning songs and sound embraced rock and roll, rockabilly, blues, folk, and gospel. This crossover appeal won Cash the rare honor of being inducted into the Country Music, Rock and Roll, and Gospel Music Halls of Fame.
Cash was known for his deep, calm bass-baritone voice; the distinctive sound of his Tennessee Three backing band, which is characterized by train-sound guitar rhythms; a rebelliousness coupled with an increasingly somber and humble demeanor; free prison concerts; and a trademark, all-black stage wardrobe, which earned him the nickname "The Man in Black." He traditionally began his concerts by simply introducing himself, "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash,"[c] followed by his signature song "Folsom Prison Blues".
Much of Cash's music contained themes of sorrow, moral tribulation, and redemption, especially in the later stages of his career. His other signature songs include "I Walk the Line", "Ring of Fire", "Get Rhythm", and "Man in Black". He also recorded humorous numbers like "One Piece at a Time" and "A Boy Named Sue"; a duet with his future wife, June Carter, called "Jackson" (followed by many further duets after their marriage); and railroad songs including "Hey, Porter", "Orange Blossom Special", and "Rock Island Line". During the last stage of his career, Cash covered songs by several late 20th-century rock artists, notably "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails and "Personal Jesus" by Depeche Mode.
In 1986, the year of this Wembley Show, Cash returned to Sun Studios in Memphis to team up with Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins to create the album Class of '55; according to Hilburn, Columbia still had Cash under contract at the time, so special arrangements had to be made to allow him to participate. Also in 1986, Cash published his only novel, Man in White, a book about Saul and his conversion to become the Apostle Paul. He recorded Johnny Cash Reads The Complete New Testament in 1990.
Impresario Mervyn Conn was responsible for staging the International Festivals of Country Music at the Wembley Arena, in London, for 23 years. The first festival was in 1969 with the final curtain falling in 1991.
1986 line up
Rex Allen Jnr., Carroll Baker, June and Carlene Carter, Johnny Cash, Guy Clark, Lacy J. Dalton, The Drifting Cowboys, Johnny Duncan, Exile, Barbara Fairchild, Janie Fricke, Mark Gray, George Hamilton IV, Jeff Hanna, Becky Hobbs, George Jones, Bill Monroe, The Moody Brothers, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Marie Osmond, Vernon Oxford, Rattlesnake Annie, Johnny Russell, John Schneider, Connie Smith, Margo Smith, Jerry Jeff Walker and Gene Watson.