It's undeniable that Johnny Cash had incredible stage presence. He performed all over the world and hosted his own show, The Johnny Cash Show, after all. He was such a talent, it should come as no surprise that there's something magical about mixing his iconic voice with Christmas lyrics.
Cash hosted multiple Christmas specials throughout his career and released several Christmas albums as well. The Johnny Cash Christmas Special aired on CBS in 1977 and it holds up as an incredible display of musical talent coming together for the holidays.
Cash hosts the show, which was filmed at the Grand Old Opry in Nashville. His special guests include Roy Clark, his wife June Carter Cash, The Carter Family, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison (while it's not a Christmas song, you better believe "Pretty Woman" makes an appearance), Carl Perkins and the Statler Brothers.
Multiple traditional holiday songs make an appearance on the Christmas show, including "O Little Town of Bethlehem," "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer," "Silent Night," and "White Christmas." Carl Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes" also found its way on the show making it a fun mix of classic hits and holiday favorites.
But one of the highlights of the entire show is when Cash, Lewis, Orbison, and Perkins get together to sing a classic gospel song in honor of Elvis Presley, "This Train is Bound for Glory." Cash leads the introduction of the song by saying that Elvis loved gospel music. The singers take turns leading different verses, blending country music and rock and roll on the classic gospel hit.
Do yourself a favor this holiday season and revisit this incredible performance. You can also watch the entire Christmas special below on YouTube and see Johnny Cash do the holidays right.
This article was originally published in November of 2019.
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