These 17 songs are offered with no information, but they are, in fact, some of the cornerstone songs and recordings of Johnny Cash's long and remarkable career. Set opener "Hey, Porter!" for instance, was his first recording for Sam Phillips and Sun Records.
Many of these songs have become American classics--"I Walk the Line," "Get Rhythm," and "Folsom Prison Blues" being three instantly recognizable numbers. "Luther Played the Boogie" pays tribute to Luther Perkins, who was part of Cash's first band and instrumental in shaping his combo sound (Perkins perished in a fire less than a decade after his seminal recordings first appeared). This is another in the numerous sets which serve as helpful introductions into Cash's voluminous output--THE SUN YEARS, THE ESSENTIAL JOHNNY CASH (1955-1983), and THE VINTAGE YEARS (1955-1963) being three more.