Johnny Cash – Strawberry Cake (1975)

FrontCover1John R. Cash (born J. R. Cash; February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and actor. Much of Cash’s music contained themes of sorrow, moral tribulation, and redemption, especially in the later stages of his career. He was known for his deep, calm bass-baritone voice, the distinctive sound of his Tennessee Three backing band characterized by train-like chugging 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”.

Born to poor cotton farmers in Kingsland, Arkansas, Cash rose to fame in the burgeoning rockabilly scene in Memphis, Tennessee, after four years in the Air Force. He traditionally began his concerts by simply introducing himself, “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash,”[c] followed by “Folsom Prison Blues”, one of his signature songs. Alongside “Folsom Prison Blues”, 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 called “Jackson” (followed by many further duets after their wedding), and railroad songs such as “Hey, Porter”, “Orange Blossom Special”, and “Rock Island Line”. During the last stage of his career, he covered songs by contemporary rock artists of the time; his most notable covers were “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails, “Rusty Cage” by Soundgarden, and “Personal Jesus” by Depeche Mode.

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Cash is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 90 million records worldwide. His genre-spanning music embraced country, rock and roll, rockabilly, blues, folk, and gospel sounds. This crossover appeal earned him the rare honor of being inducted into the Country Music, Rock and Roll, and Gospel Music Halls of Fame.

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Strawberry Cake is a live album and 53rd overall album by country singer Johnny Cash, released on Columbia Records in 1976. The album includes numerous pieces of between-song stage banter. The album includes several of Cash’s most well-known early songs, such as “Big River”, “I Still Miss Someone” and “Rock Island Line”, as well as a number of more obscure compositions, some of which were performed by Cash for the first time; this includes “Strawberry Cake” and “Navajo”. The title track was released as a single, but did poorly on the charts, peaking at No. 54.

The concert was held and recorded at the London Palladium on September 21, 1975. An IRA bomb threat warning was given as June Carter Cash started to sing “The Church in the Wildwood” meant the theatre had to be evacuated but the show continued after the building was searched. The bomb threat announcement and the subsequent evacuation order is included on the recording and is, in fact, a “hidden” track and is not listed on the record sleeve or CD cover. Later, prior to the performance of “Destination Victoria Station,” June Carter Cash is heard joking that the threat might have been made because she was about to sing.

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Track 7 is mislabelled on the sleeve as “Dialogue” but is, in fact, a comedic a capella duet performance by Cash and June Carter Cash of “Another Man Done Gone”, a song Cash had recorded for Blood, Sweat and Tears. Prior to performing “Rock Island Line”, a song Cash recorded for Sun Records, singer Lonnie Donegan, who had a major US hit with the song, is introduced in the audience. (wikipedia)

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Personnel:
June Carter Cash (vocals, guitar)
Johnny Cash (vocals, guitar)
Marshall Grant (bass)
Jerry Hensley (guitar)
W.S. Holland (drums)
Larry McCoy (piano)
Bob Wootton – electric guitar
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The Carter Family (background vocals)

MCTracklist:
01. Big River (Cash) 3.06
02. Dialogue 0.38
03. Doin’ My Time (Skinner) 2.32
04. Dialogue 0.19
05. I Still Miss Someone (Cash/Carter) 2.55
06. Dialogue 0.42
07. Another Man Done Gone (mislabelled as “Dialogue”) (Tartt/Hall/J.Lomax/A.Lomax 1.11
08. I Got Stripes (Cash/Williams) 2.06
09. Dialogue (introduction of June Carter Cash) / The Church In The Wildwood (not listed on sleeve; interrupted by evacuation announcement) 1.40
10. The Church In The Wildwood / Lonesome Valley (Carter) 2.56
11. Dialogue 1.19
12. Strawberry Cake (Cash) 3.05
13. Dialogue (introduction of Lonnie Donegan 0.43
14. Rock Island Line (Leadbelly) 3.23
15. Navajo (Cash) 2.58
16. Dialogue 1.09
17. Destination Victoria Station (Cash) 2.46
18. The Fourth Man (Smith) 2.33

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