Man In Black: Live in Denmark 1971 (Sony/Legacy) 

By the time America departed the turbulent '60s, Johnny Cash was on top of the world. In '68 he played Folsom Prison, and a year later he was given his own network television show (notable for Bob Dylan's appearance on the premier episode). Live in Denmark 1971 moves Cash's TV show to Europe, with a sparse stage set seemingly influenced by Hee Haw. But instead of Hee Haw Honeys, Junior Samples, and a suspendered Grandpa Jones, we get the Carter Sisters, the Statler Brothers, and Carl Perkins in a baby-blue vest and unfortunate toupee. (This is 1971, after all.)

Whether due to indifference or bad camera work (more likely), the Man in Black repeatedly turns his back on the filming as he plows through such favorites of the day as "A Boy Named Sue," "I Walk the Line," and a duet with June Carter Cash of "If I Were a Carpenter." The all-hands-on-deck gospel finale, "Children, Go Where I Send Thee," brings the show to a rousing conclusion. But while these performances are certainly of interest, they 're hardly legendary. Then again, this is an hour of Danish television, not an American prison.

More by Rob Trucks


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