Mac Wiseman

Johnny's Cash and Charlie's Pride

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Johnny Cash and Charley Pride were two of the torch-bearers for hard country music at the onset of the '70s, so it makes a certain amount of sense to lump them together as Mac Wiseman did with his tribute album Johnny's Cash and Charley's Pride. It's more likely that the concept was inspired by the novelty song "Johnny's Cash and Charley's Pride," which gave Wiseman his last Top 40 hit. That song is included alongside ten others that were hits for Pride or Cash, mostly big ones like "Ring of Fire" where Cash is concerned, but a couple of non-hits among Pride's songs. Charley Pride had been a hitmaker for only a few years at the time Wiseman recorded his tribute, which shows how quickly he attained the status of country music superstar. Wiseman performs the songs in a contemporary country music style -- not bluegrass -- with a mixture of electric and acoustic instruments that includes a Hawaiian steel guitar. Wiseman's distinctive tenor voice is in fine form and lends a unique character to songs that are otherwise strongly identified with other artists. Jack Clement, who wrote two of the Johnny Cash songs in the set, produced the album, so Johnny's Cash and Charley's Pride represents a entertaining coming together of several big names in country music.