Johnny Cash

Marshall Grant: Bassist at the heart of Johnny Cash’s

With musicians who could scarcely play their cheap and battered instruments, took drugs and drank heavily, fired guns and made bombs, Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two sounds like a punk band from the mid-1970s, but they were the most seminal of the country groups from 20 years earlier. Marshall Grant played bass and can be heard on all their early records including the famed "Folsom Prison Blues" and "I Walk The Line". "We didn't work hard to get that boom-chicka-boom sound," he later admitted, "It was all we could play."

Million Dollar Quartet, Noel Coward Theatre, London

On 4 December 1956 the ultimate jam session took place. Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis gathered at the Sun studio of their mentor Sam Phillips to make music and conversation. What is remarkable is that there haven't been innumerable plays, films and TV documentaries about this seminal moment in pop history.

Album: Marty Stuart, Ghost Train

RCA's Studio B in Nashville was where Marty Stuart made his recording debut, aged 13, playing mandolin in Lester Flatt's band, so it's fitting he should return there for this rootsy traditional country outing, the best country album this year.

Album: Chip Taylor, Yonkers NY (Train Wreck)

Best known for writing a bouquet of diversely distinctive 1960s hits – "I Can't Let Go", "Angel of the Morning" and "Wild Thing" – Chip Taylor has led the kind of life that usually only happens in Hollywood films, including a stint as a professional gambler ultimately banned from Las Vegas casinos.

Album: Larry Jon Wilson, Larry Jon Wilson (1965)

An associate of the country outlaw generation that included Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark, Larry Jon Wilson's burly baritone burr brought tableaux like "Ohoopee River Bottomland" and "Sheldon Church Yard" to vivid life, but his refusal to compromise curtailed his Seventies career after just a few albums.

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