Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wednesday Cash Coverstravaganza: Happy Birthday, Mr. C!

It's been a really long time since I've done one of these but, as it happens, it would have been Johnny Cash's 82nd birthday today. AND, as it also happens, it's Fats Domino's 87th birthday today so to celebrate we're looking at a couple of covers. Considering the frequency with which rock-roll's pioneers covered each other I thought this would be an easy one -- find Johnny Cash covering Fats Domino and we're all good, right? If he did I couldn't find it. So then I looked at the Million Dollar Quartet session -- featuring Cash, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis -- thinking there had to be something there. Again, nothing but I did groove to multiple versions of "Kansas City" by Domino and Perkins among others (over 300 covers and counting).

As it turns out I needed to look a little further back than the 50s and a little further South than Missouri. Being that Domino's hometown of New Orleans is currently in the throes of Mardi Gras celebrations it seems appropriate that the song I found that they both covered is "When The Saints Go Marching In." This is one of those songs that, like "Stagger Lee," could be from a couple of different places. It's played as both a dirge and a Dixieland standard (according to Wikipedia, musicians at Preservation Hall got so sick of playing it that they charge $20 per request) and there are a couple of different sets of lyrics. Before we get to either Domino's or Cash's version I'm playing Mahalia Jackson's because, well, I love her. I'm not sure when this is from but it's timeless so it doesn't matter.

Domino's version appeared on the 1959 Imperial album Let's Play Fats Domino and while I found a few live performances I'm a sucker for the sound of vinyl so we're going with this one.

Cash seems to not have recorded it in the studio but he did perform it in concert and on The Johnny Cash Show in February 1971. Hmm, the lady in the pink looks a little familiar...

A joyful noise indeed. Happy birthday, Mr. Domino and Mr. C! Thanks for grooving along with me and have a great Wednesday!


  1. 2 of my mom's faves. Blueberry Hill, and Ring of Fire.

    1. Fats Domino was my dad's favorite musician ever.


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