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 Fab Four: Jingle Bells (date unknown)

The Fab Four: Jingle Bells (date unknown)

It may be a bit late now for this one, but the innovative and timeless John Lennon classic Tomorrow Never Knows began life in a very different form. With Christmas very recent in his drug... > Read more

Neil Young and the Bluenotes: This Note's For You (1988)

Neil Young and the Bluenotes: This Note's For You (1988)

An artist, sportsperson or public figure who doesn't accept, let alone solicit, corporate money these days is a rarity, possibly even considered somewhat odd -- and maybe even suspect. But back... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: Miles Davis; Tutu (Warners)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Miles Davis; Tutu (Warners)

For Davis' most pure jazz followers who had forgiven him the street corner funk of the late Sixties/early Seventies, the trumpter was a lost cause on his return in '81 after almost a decade without... > Read more

London, England: With a pinch of snuff

London, England: With a pinch of snuff

Curious what you find in the bottom of your bags -- and maybe keep -- after a trip away. I usually turn up napkins with scribbled addresses and notes, postcards and receipts, fliers from concerts... > Read more