Johnny Cash – With His Hot and Blue Guitar (1957)

FrontCover1.jpgJohnny Cash with His Hot and Blue Guitar! is the debut album by American recording artist Johnny Cash, released on October 11, 1957. The album contained four of his hit singles: “I Walk the Line,” “Cry! Cry! Cry!,” “So Doggone Lonesome,” and “Folsom Prison Blues.” It was re-issued on July 23, 2002 as an expanded edition, under the label Varese Vintage, containing five bonus tracks, three being alternate versions of tracks already present on the original LP. In 2012, Columbia Records reissued the album with 16 additional non-album Sun tracks as part of its 63-disc Johnny Cash: The Complete Columbia Album Collection box set.

This was one of the first albums ever issued on Sam Phillips’ Sun Records label.

Cash auditioned for a place on the music label Sun Records in 1955, but failed to impress its founder Sam Philips after presenting himself as a gospel singer. Cash was told to come back with a more commercial sound, as gospel wouldn’t sell. He returned with the songs “Hey Porter!” and “Cry! Cry! Cry!” and subsequently released them as his debut single on Sun Records in July 1955. On the recording, he was backed by Luther Perkins on guitar and Marshall Grant on bass, dubbed “The Tennessee Two” by Philips. (“Hey Porter” was not included on the original Sun album, but was included in later reissues by other labels.)

JohnnyCash01“Cry! Cry! Cry!” became a commercial success, entering the country charts at number fourteen.

His second single, “Folsom Prison Blues”, was released in December 1955 and reached the country Top Five in early 1956.

His final single on With His Hot and Blue Guitar, “I Walk the Line”, continued his success, reaching number one on the country charts and staying there for six weeks, eventually crossing over into the pop Top 20. (by wikipedia)

Johnny Cash’s first album, released on Sun in 1957, is a little more folkloric and traditional than what he put on most of his singles, though not pronouncedly so. In fact, four of the tracks (“I Walk the Line,” “Cry! Cry! Cry!,” “So Doggone Lonesome,” and “Folsom Prison Blues”) had already been hit singles. For the rest of the set, Cash drew on some older folk (“Rock Island Line,” “The Wreck of the Old ’97”), country (“[I Heard That] Lonesome Whistle,” “Remember Me [I’m the One Who Loves You]”), prison (“Doin’ My Time”), and spiritual (“I Was There When It Happened”) songs. Filling out the set is a good, rollicking Cash original, “Country Boy,” and a rather sassy tune by the young Jerry Reed, “If the Good Lord’s Willing.” It’s a good, solid record that’s very much in the mold of his classic early Sun sound, with spare accompaniment that nevertheless often approaches a rockabilly-country bounce. (by Richie Unterberger)


Johnny Cash was a proven hit-maker before this debut LP was released, based on the success of several hit singles. Those essential early Cash hits like “I Walk the Line” and “Folsom Prison Blues” appear here, but perhaps the most impressive part of this album is Cash’s ability to adapt a variety of traditional musical styles (including country, folk, and gospel) to his own simple yet irresistible style, as exemplified by some of the less famous tracks included. Traditional songs like “Rock Island Line” and “Wreck of the Old ’97” find new life in Cash’s signature chugging rhythm and deep, confident voice. The album is pure, honest Johnny Cash; no strings or horns, no complex production, just Johnny and the Tennessee Three — as it should be. (by Kenneth Bridgham)

AlternateFrontCoversAlternate frontcovers

Johnny Cash (vocals, guitar)
The Tennessee Two:
Marshall Grant (bass)
Luther Perkins (guitar)


01. The Rock Island Line (Traditional) 2.12
02. I Heard That Lonesome Whistle (Davis/Williams) 2.26
03. Country Boy (Cash) 1.52
04. If The Good Lord’s Willing (Reed) 1.44
05. Cry! Cry! Cry! (Cash) 2.25
06. So Doggone Lonesome (Cash) 2.35
07. Remember Me (Hamblen) 2.02
08. I Was There When It Happened (Davis/Jones) 2.14
09. I Walk The Line (Cash) 2.42
10. The Wreck Of The Old ’97 (Traditional) 2.05
11. Folsom Prison Blues (Cash) 2.52
12. Doin’ My Time (Skinner) 2.39
13. Hey Porter (Cash) 2.15
14. Get Rhythm (Cash) 2.16
15. I Was There When It Happened (unreleased alternate version) (Davis/Jones) 2.19
16. Folsom Prison Blues (unreleased alternate version) (Cash) 2.34
17. I Walk The Line (unreleased alternate version) (Cash) 2.41



Johnny Cash (February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003)


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1 thought on “Johnny Cash – With His Hot and Blue Guitar (1957)

  1. … und vor diesem ersten Album, mit dem seine Weltkarriere begann, war er drei Jahre in Landsberg/Airbase stationiert und fischte angeblich als Erster im Westen die Nachricht von Stalins Tod aus dem Äther…
    Und angeblich hat er in dieser Zeit überhaupt erst so richtig gespürt, daß er ein Musiker ist!!!
    Landsberg am Lech hat eine Geschichte mit Johnny Cash!


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