A good Friend of Unfair Park who knows of my fondness for Johnny Cash and the old Big "D" Jamboree -- and those magical moments when they meet on a piece of paper -- was kind enough to send along this Columbia/Legacy press release issued yesterday, which says that come October 11 the label's releasing something called Bootleg Vol. 3 -- Live Around the World. Promises the press release, the songs "date from 1956 (the Big 'D' Jamboree in Dallas, Texas) to 1979 (the Exit Inn in Nashville)," and 39 of the 50 tracks are unreleased -- including those from the Sportatorium. How exciting.
The complication kicks off with three songs Cash recorded at the legendary venue that once stood at the corner of Cadiz and Industrial Boulevard: "So Doggone Lonesome," "I Walk The Line," "Get Rhythm." Well, it so happens those are the same three Johnny Cash songs that appear, in the exact same order, on David Dennard's The Big D Jamboree Live! Volumes 1 & 2, which was released in 2000 and is still available. (In Europe, it's been split into two separate volumes, as opposed to the two-fer available here.) Dennard explained to me back in '99 how he'd come to license the tracks: "Johnny's ... ill and is interested in his legacy. He was flattered to be included and flattered we cleared it instead of bootlegging it."
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When I called Dennard this morning, he hadn't heard of the Legacy collection -- and didn't want to say anything till he finds out whether those are the same versions of the same songs. And they may not be, given the fact Cash played the Jamboree several times in the mid-'50s. I've got an email out to Legacy to double-check. Regardless, you should buy Dennard's comp -- not just for Cash, but for Carl Perkins, Wanda Jackson, Gene Vincent, Ronnie Dawson and the other rockabilly and hillbilly immortals that make it so goldarned essential.