On This Day: Johnny Cash Releases ‘Hello, I’m Johnny Cash’ in 1970

by Kayla Zadel
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The Man in Black, Johnny Cash released arguably one of his best albums today in 1970. Hello, I’m Johnny Cash hit the shelves more than half-a-decade ago, but it’s a record that we never get tired of listening to.

As a matter of fact, the Johnny Cash Instagram account is posting a short clip to commemorate the day. “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash was released on this day in 1970,” the caption reads. Cash’s face slowly fades into the frame and a lyric from “Sing a Traveling Song,” plays.

This is actually the 33rd album from the singer-songwriter. He released the critically acclaimed record with Columbia Records.

Cash’s famous duet with his wife, June Carter Cash, “If I Were a Carpenter” earned the singers a Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 1971. Furthermore, the song reached No. 2 on the Country charts.

Additionally, Hello, I’m Johnny Cash includes the first Kris Kristofferson song, “To Beat the Devil” that Cash covers. This was just the beginning of their collaboration. One of their most famous works is “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down.”

Other singles released from the 51-year-old album are “See Ruby Fall” and “Blistered.” The album itself reached No. 1 on the country charts and it even hit No. 6 on the pop charts. Furthermore, Hello, I’m Johnny Cash was certified gold the same year it was released.

What’s more, the album’s name reflects how the Man in Black introduces himself to his audience. The “Folsom Prison Blues” singer would say, “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash.”

‘Hello, I’m Johnny Cash’ Influences

It was a new decade for Cash and also a turning moment in his life. He had kicked his drug habit and married his sweetheart, June Carter. Not only did his life have different influences in it, but the Man in Black’s sound changed, too.

Cash had a new lead guitarist, Bob Wooten. Wooten was given the job because he was the best Luther Perkin’s copycat. As a result, this brought about a new sound in Cash’s music. The guitarist’s tone had a little more edge to it, and he was more technically proficient than Luther ever was.

Additionally, Cash considered different producers. He turned to Bob Johnston for the Folsom Prison recordings, instead of Don Law and Frank Jones. Law was fired to retire from Columbia at the age of 65. Jones, Law’s protege, was passed over for the promotion, which turned out to work well in Cash’s favor.

Johnston’s resume included working with Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel. This resulted in bringing a simpler approach to the “Ring of Fire” singer’s sound. Lastly, Johnny’s relationship with the new generation of singer-songwriters just solidified his already strong fanbase.

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