Johnny Cash had just married a woman from Texas named Vivian Leberto and moved to Memphis when he formed a little country trio with guitarist Luther Perkins and bassist Marshall Grant, and eventually they wrangled an audition with Sam Phillips at Sun Records in Memphis. Cash auditioned with gospel songs, and Phillips was under-impressed, but when Cash returned another time with the song "Hey Porter," Phillips signed him to the label and the rest, well, is history. Cash would never be quite as edgy and restless as he was on those first sides with Sun Records, a dozen of which are collected here, including two of Cash's signature songs, "I Walk the Line" and his first recorded version of "Folsom Prison Blues" (not the live version that was a hit for Columbia Records in 1968, but every bit as good). These are the tracks that got Cash's career rolling, and since he never really changed his approach as a singer through the years, they still hold up very, very well.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett