Johnny Cash: The Chicken in Black (1984)

 |   |  <1 min read

Johnny Cash: The Chicken in Black (1984)

Fortunately for Johnny Cash he didn't die around the time he hit rock bottom in the mid Eighties. If he'd gone then -- before his career resurrection through the American Recordings and the Walk the Line film -- he might not have been remembered as the man-mountain solid rock of country, the troubled man of faith or the middle-finger rabble-rousing guy of that famous photo.

Imagine if The Chicken in Black had been his last recorded outing. We would think of Cash as the Man in Black who ended up addled and singing novelty songs.

This one - among the last before his label Columbia finally let his contract lapse after 28 years -- finds him at a nadir, and although in hindsight we might charitably say he was at least poking fun at himself there really isn't much else to redeem it.

From the Man in Black to the Manhattan Flash and a video clip with a Cash-singing chicken is a long way to fall. As the song said, you had the sense that his body had outlived his brain.

I couldn't find a recording of the song, but the clip says it all anyway. Too much perhaps.

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory use the RSS feed for daily updates, and check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

The Gun: Race with the Devil (1967)

The Gun: Race with the Devil (1967)

In the age of Cream (mid '66 to late '68), Blue Cheer and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, the power trio became an established form and this group from Buckinghamshire -- two brothers and another --... > Read more

Liquid Generation: Quarter to Zen (1984)

Liquid Generation: Quarter to Zen (1984)

Elsewhere has frequently written unapologetically about the thrill of garageband rock'n'roll from the likes of Dead Moon, the Seeds, early Troggs, the Sonics, Paul Revere and the Raiders, the... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Kolkota, India: A confusion of Nevilles

Kolkota, India: A confusion of Nevilles

He said his name was Stephen and my father and I were too weary to disbelieve him. It was only mid-morning near Kolkota's Dalhousie Square and already we were worn down by the press of hands-out... > Read more

GUTTER BLACK; A MEMOIR by DAVE McARTNEY

GUTTER BLACK; A MEMOIR by DAVE McARTNEY

A few years ago when I was in Australia interviewing the re-formed Cold Chisel, I took a chance afterwards to talk with their songwriter Don Walker, who had written an exceptional, literary and... > Read more