Album: Johnny Cash, Bootleg Vol 2: From Memphis to Hollywood (Sony)

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The Independent Culture

The most rewarding part of this double-disc is the first quarter.

Not that the hissy old demos and rarities on the rest of the collection are without their charms. But it's the opening section which really whisks you back to another age.

A Saturday-afternoon broadcast for Memphis radio station KWEM, it captures the Man in Black trying to do something real and eternal while being obliged to play along with the shabbiest aspects of American capitalism. Between songs Cash, sounding about as comfortable as Hank Hill giving Bobby a birds-and-the-bees talk, recites commercial announcements for a local business. Anyone who's bought the Walk the Line-cemented image of Cash the middle-finger rebel will never think of him the same way after hearing him say, "Our aluminium screens are completely rust-proof and bug-proof..."