- Audio CD (May 16, 2006)
- Original Release Date: May 16, 2006
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: Sony Legacy
- Run Time: 36 minutes
- ASIN: B000F2CC36
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,913 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
The Johnny Cash Children's Album
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The Johnny Cash Children's Album
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With his gift for storytelling in song, it's no surprise that Cash crafted an enjoyable album for kids, both small and big, with this 1975 release, now featuring 4 bonus tracks. Includes Nasty Dan, Little Magic Glasses, I Got a Boy (and His Name is John); Tiger Whitehead; Old Shep; My Grandfather's Clock , and 8 more. The lighter side of the Man in Black.
As foreboding a figure as Johnny Cash was, his son John Carter Cash writes in liner notes to this excellent CD, he was also a big kid: "a fun-loving, easygoing, laughing man." That's not to say he was more inclined to skateboard over the line than to walk it, only that given his mesmerizing voice and his gift for storytelling, he had an enviable way of relating to kids. Thirty years on, parents who pick up this disc will find not a lot has changed: In 15 songs never before released on CD--four of which are bonus tracks not included on the 1975 classic--the Man in Black melds the silly with the sweet, the madcap with the meaningful, and emerges as a country-folk Pied Piper any kid would kill to have for an uncle. "Nasty Dan," the opener, will be familiar not only to those who grew up singing along to the original LP, but also to subsequent generations of "Sesame Street" watchers (Oscar duets on a later version). But for most, the rest will arrive as pure revelation. "Old Shep," a dog song, deserves placement on a disc of classic pet tributes, if such a thing exists; "Tiger Whitehead" treads fearlessly through wild bear territory; "Ah Bos Cee Dah" is nonsensical noodling with the language at its most brilliant; and "I Got a Boy and His Name Is John," a duet with the great June Carter Cash, steers the modern listener to a long-lost place where love of family was enough for a kid to get by on. --Tammy La Gorce
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Top Customer Reviews
Irrespective of whether Old Shep should be included, there is a lot to like about this album. Originally recorded between 1971 and 1973 and released in January 1975 with 11 tracks, the re-issue comes with four bonus tracks. The recording dates for those are not given, but they were probably recorded during the same period. Johnny Cash wrote many of the songs himself. Apart from Old Shep, the only familiar song is Grandfather's clock, which is one of the previously unreleased tracks. So you won't hear the same old songs that you'll find on other children's albums, except perhaps Grandfather's clock.
There is a great song about a girl or young woman (Miss Tara) with a life to look forward to, but while it won't offend anybody, it has no obvious appeal to children. However, there are plenty of those including Nasty Dan, I got a boy and his name is John (with June Carter), Little magic glasses and Dinosaur song among them.
There is one nonsense song here, Why is a fire engine red? It uses punnery at its worst, ending up by explaining that Russians are red, and that fire engines are always rushing, so that's why they're red. Well, I guess the children might enjoy that more than I do, but it is one of the bonus tracks. It's not difficult to see why it was omitted from the original album.
A classic Johnny Cash album in many ways, I give it five stars because I love it, but if you're considering this for children and you're worried about the inclusion of Old Shep, knock a star or two off the rating.
Johnny Cash's Children's Album is my boy's favorite- we especially love I Got a Boy and His Name is John and Grandfather's Clock. It's beautiful to hear the love in Johnny's voice for his kids- that's what makes this album extra special. He's not trying to sound kid-friendly or upbeat (hate that)- he's just singing from his beautiful heart. For people who want their children to have a rich and varied taste in music, this is a great bet.
But parents should be aware: Johnny's dark side does peak out at times. "Old Shep," about a boy and his dog (who dies) is very sad, perhaps even disturbing, and "Tiger Whitehead" tells the story of a man who hunts bears. That might not be very PC in this day and age; I have a feeling it's a song that would have been more appreciated by parents and kids back in the days when Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone were heroes.
Anyway, I highly recommend it.