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

Lou Reed: Families (1979)

Lou Reed: Families (1979)

Lou Reed never strikes you as having a sentimental streak, but this song (from his album The Bells) is as nakedly autobiographical and pained as John Lennon's Mother. It is the sounds of a son... > Read more

Lil Johnson and Black Bob: Press my Button, Ring My Bell (1932)

Lil Johnson and Black Bob: Press my Button, Ring My Bell (1932)

When Anita Ward scored a big disco hit with Ring My Bell in '79, the saucy yet somewhat lyrically bland song was in a long tradition of "ring my bell" metaphors in popular music. As... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Joe Bonamassa: Blues of Desperation (Southbound)

Joe Bonamassa: Blues of Desperation (Southbound)

Despite commercial success and enthusiastic audiences at his shows, bluesman Bonamassa is also a divisive figure: many blues guitarists for example see him only as a sum of his considerable... > Read more

Various Artists: So Frenchy So Chic 2011 (Border)

Various Artists: So Frenchy So Chic 2011 (Border)

These annual double CD compilations of recent music from France -- from pop to, yes, chic, but not alt.rock etc -- are the unofficial soundtrack to the Alliance Francaise French Film Festival... > Read more