LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Rarely seen performances by Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, Roy Orbison, Joni Mitchell and a slew of other superstar acts have been unearthed for “The Best of the Johnny Cash TV Show,” a two-disc DVD set due in stores September 18.
The series, which ran from the summer of 1969 to March 1971, captured Cash at the height of his popularity, and provided an invaluable national showcase for an astonishing array of singer/songwriters of all genres.
Other performers on the Sony release include Neil Young, Stevie Wonder, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, Linda Ronstadt, Ray Charles, Glen Campbell, Derek and the Dominos, Pete Seeger, Louis Armstrong, Tammy Wynette, George Jones, James Taylor, Kris Kristofferson, Charley Pride, and Creedence Clearwater Revival.
The package boasts 66 performances in all, with Cash often collaborating with his guests. Duet partners include Dylan on “Girl from the North Country,” Orbison on “Oh, Pretty Woman,” Haggard on “Sing Me Back Home,” Mitchell on “Long Black Veil,” Armstrong on “Blue Yodel #9.” and Chet Atkins on “Recuerdo De La Alhambra.” Cash also performs with his wife, June Carter Cash, and the Carter Family on many tunes.
To the occasional unease of ABC, which broadcast the show, Cash often sang religious tunes, such as “Were You There (When They Crucified My Lord)?,” and “Silent Night.” Such forays are largely missing from the DVD, as are clips of guests such as Jose Feliciano, the Monkees and the Guess Who.