We'd like to share this special version of 'Old Rugged Cross' with you on this Easter Day.
Johnny decides to do this version in the middle of the show without the band knowing. It was taped in Des Moines in 1984.
'Sometimes I have to do what I feel like doing. When I came out of the intensive care, I found myself (give me the key of E Earl), I found myself singing this song. And I had my eyes closed. And it reminded me of a time I did this song for as person who is afflicted. And to do this song with some of the language with the language of the deaf, adds another element to it and I thought of this song as I was singing it to myself with my eyes closed that first day out of intensive care. On a hill.....'
In 1987 or early 1988, Johnny Cash entered a studio in Hollywood, California and cut several songs for a Peter Bogdanovich comedy called Illegally Yours, which starred Rob Lowe and Colleen Camp. All songs, including tracks titled "One Wish" and "Lady of Love" remain officially unreleased. It appears that Cash cut at least three different versions of a song called "Love is a Gambler" for the film. Two versions appear in in the film--one during the opening credits, the other during the closing credits.
A third version, recorded as a duet between Cash and his daugther Rosanne Cash (who earned three much-deserved Grammys this year for her amazing Americana album, The River and the Thread), was actually the very first version recorded! Johnny and Rosanne cut the song hoping for a hit record, rather than a movie theme. Even after being produced by the great muse Jack Clement, in Nashville, the song remained unreleased. This rare duet has finally surfaced.
Thanks to Earl Poole Ball and Peter Bogdanovich, you can now hear a very young Rosanne and her father rocking together on what should be considered a classic Cash tune.
Recording Date: 1987-1988
Location: Nashville, TN.
Produced by Jack Clement.
Initial recording engineer: David Ferguson.
Written by Earl Poole Ball and Peter Bogdanovich.
Vocals: Johnny Cash, Rosanne Cash.
Piano: Earl Poole Ball.
Remaining musicians unknown, possibly Jim Soldi, Kerry Marks on guitar, Kenny Malone on drums.
Remastered by Gary Hickenbotham at Fire Station Studios, San Marcos, TX.
The Johnny Cash Infocenter is proud to bring the demo recording of Johnny Cash singing Bob Dylan’s “Man Gave Name to all the Animals” to the light. The song originally appeared on the gospel-flavored 1978 Dylan album, Slow Train Coming. Johnny Cash recorded it for his 1981 CBS Christmas television special. While the version of the song featured in the Christmas special has surfaced on the internet, the demo recording presented has yet to be official unearthed. The program it was intended for, titled “Christmas in Scotland,” filmed Johnny Cash with his son John Carter-Cash walking around a zoo, and as the song played, elder Cash pointed out different animals.
The demo session took place on September 30, 1981 at Columbia’s Studio A in Nashville. Bill Walker produced. These are the actual Columbia safety reels - dubbed straight from the 2-inch master tapes. As you can see in the pictures, they are Ampex tapes and they did suffer from “sticky tape syndrome”. Ampex tapes in the late 70s and early 80s were prone to absorb humidity from the air, so part of the binder would stick to the tape heads when played. To fix the problem the tapes are dried in a sort of oven for many hours to remove the humidity, and can then be played without damaging the tapes.
There were probably three tapes altogether, but tape number one was given to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Tapes two and three are within close reach of The Infocenter. The tapes were transferred by a professional sound studio. The tapes came from Bill Walker’s personal file.
Vocals: Johnny Cash Backing Vocals: Possibly June Carter-Cash, John Carter-Cash, Carlene Carter. Musical Director: Bill Walker Remaining musicians unknown