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

t.A.T.u.: All the Things She Said (2002)

t.A.T.u.: All the Things She Said (2002)

This Russian duo of Lena Katina and Yulia Volkova might have been created and marketed by Moscow producer Ivan Shapovalov with all the ruthless and media-savvy smarts of Malcolm McLaren, but at... > Read more

The Pictones: Hashish (1962)

The Pictones: Hashish (1962)

Not a lot is known about New Zealand's Pictones out of Levin, an instrumental group who delivered a nice line in country'n'western rock'n'roll on their 1961 single Pistol Packin' Mama which opened... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . ROY BUCHANAN: The Messiah who isn't coming back

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . ROY BUCHANAN: The Messiah who isn't coming back

There have been any number of Southern blues, soul and rock'n'roll musicians who have struggled with their pull of their secular and spiritual sides: Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Son House, Al... > Read more

HOWLING AT THE MOON by WALTER YETNIKOFF AND DAVID RITZ

HOWLING AT THE MOON by WALTER YETNIKOFF AND DAVID RITZ

Yetnikoff, former head of CBS Records who helmed the company's sale to Sony, tells a racy, drug-fuelled story of 70s and 80s excess, fame and fantasy. He opens by describing sex with Jackie... > Read more