Veteran’s Day with Johnny Cash live (with Veteran’s Crisis Line info)



Celebrating the U.S. version of Armistice Day with Air Force veteran and Country music cornerstone Johnny Cash with live performances from 1955 to 1968. Additionally, about 20 veterans daily commit suicide, far higher than the national average. There is 24/7 free help available to you.

On November 11th, the holiday formerly known as Armistice Day will be celebrated as Veteran’s Day here in the U.S. Originally, it was a day of remembrance that signified the end what was known as “The Great War”, World War 1. It was supposed to be the “war to end of all wars”, but we know now, over a century later, that realization never came to pass.

Veteran’s Day here is doubly significant, as we use it to celebrate the service of those who were in our armed forces. Most of these people returned to their families and attempted to live normal lives, and some became famous. One of them, Johnny Cash, actually got his start playing Country music while stationed in what was once then West Germany to pass the time with several other serviceman. Cash served from 1950 to 1954 in the Air Force as a radio operator and held the rank of Staff Sergeant.

Johnny Cash, 1958, on the Louisiana Hayride. Photographer unknown, courtesy of NARAS.

Upon returning to the U.S., he married Vivian Liberto and settled in Memphis, TN. It was here, while selling appliances, that he started his first professional trio, which consisted of Cash, Luther Perkins and Marshall Grant, the latter gents becoming known as the Tennessee Two. Eventually, Cash auditioned for Sun Records, and after initially being told his gospel music wasn’t what Sun owner Sam Phillips was looking for, he auditioned again with new material and scored a hit with “Hey Porter”.

“I was in the Air Force for 12 years, from 50-54…all our cooks were carpenters, ’cause every morning for breakfast we got something on a shingle.”

Johnny Cash speaking to the crowD during a Louisiana Hayride performance of “i got stripes”.

After initial success as a Country and Rockabilly artist, Cash developed a serious drug and alcohol problem, as well as engaging in extra-marital affairs and run-ins with law enforcement. This went on until the mid-1960’s, where Liberto would file for divorce, and Cash’s career was in the toilet as he struggled to break his addiction.

Shortly after getting mostly clean, Luther Perkins, Cash’s longtime friend and collaborator, died in 1967. In January of 1968, Cash would play his first of many shows in prisons, this one being at California’s notorious Folsom Prison. Later that year, Cash would marry June Carter of the Carter Family, one of the great folksinging families of the 20th Century.

Johnny Cash, 1968, standing in front of Folsom Prison in California. Photograph by Jim Marshall.

Shortly after the marriage, with Columbia Records producer Bob Johnston fighting for Cash left and right at the label, Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison was released in May of 1968. It not only brought back Cash to the top of the charts, it also started a multi-year run that would be the pinnacle of his professional recording career, a true comeback if there ever was one. Shortly after this, Cash would temporarily be outselling The Beatles, have his own television program, achieve his first Pop Top 5 single and a number one Billboard Top 200 LP.

Veteran’s Crisis Line

This is show is dedicated to all our U.S. service members who are also struggling after coming home, and know that you are not alone. The Veteran’s Crisis Line is staffed 24/7 to assist you in the best way possible. Remember, this is we promised you.

Note: The first and second sections feature many imperfections of the recording technology used.

First Part: Live on KWEM, 1955, Memphis, TN

  • KWEM Announcements and Advertisements
  • Johnny Cash Show Intro and Theme
  • Wide Open Road
  • Home Equipment Company Advertisement
  • One More Ride
  • Home Equipment Company Advertisement-Luther Perkins Intro
  • Luther’s Boogie
  • Belshazzar-Intro and Song
  • Closing Comments and Theme

Second Part: Live on the Louisiana Hayride, 1955-1960

  • I Walk The Line
  • Goodbye Little Darlin’
  • Rock Island Line
  • I Got Stripes
  • Hey Porter
  • So Doggone Lonesome

Third Part: Live at Folsom Prison, CA, 1968

  • Folsom Prison Blues
  • Busted
  • Dark as the Dungeon
  • I Still Miss Someone
  • Cocaine Blues
  • Jackson (duet with June Carter)
  • Give My Love to Rose (duet with June Carter)

Love to you all.

Ben “Daddy Ben Bear” Brown Jr. 
Host, Producer, Audio Engineer and Writer

#country #johnnycash #veteransday #veteranscrisisline

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