Saturday, December 11, 2010

Johnny Cash and friends: Twelve Days of Christmas

From the early days of television until the mid-1980s, Christmas variety shows, in the spirit of the classic Hollywood musicals, were common TV fare. After ABC cancelled The Johnny Cash Show, Cash presented an annual Yuletide special every December until 1986--I remember watching a few of them, although his 1981 show from Scotland was probably the last one I viewed.

I believe this clip of The Man in Black and friends performing "The Twelve Days of Christmas" comes from the mid-1970s. I can't identify everyone in the video, but that's Johnny's brother Tommy singing "eleven pipers piping," the Carter Family singers elevating "five golden rings," the Statler Brothers crooning "four calling birds," June Carter Cash singing "three French hens" and Johnny giving "two turtle doves" the baritone they never thought they had.

As you'll see when Cash opens the show, he was a deeply religious man.

Related posts:

Arlo Guthrie and Johnny Cash: Alice's Restaurant
Johnny Cash and June Carter: Jackson
My Mississippi Manifest Destiny: Johnny Cash's boyhood home
Johnny Cash: Hurt
Johnny Cash: The Big Light
Johnny Cash - Ballad Of John Henry's Hammer
Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson: Sunday Morning Coming Down
Johnny Cash: Without Love

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