Cocaine Blues - Johnny Cash (1968)

Publication Year: 
1968

Image retrieved from wikipedia.org on June 29th, 2014.

"Cocaine Blues" is a Western Swing song written by T. J. "Red" Arnall, a reworking of the traditional song "Little Sadie". This song was originally recorded by W. A. Nichol's Western Aces (vocal by "Red" Arnall) on the S & G label, probably in 1947, and by Roy Hogsed and the Rainbow Riders May 25, 1947, at Universal Recorders in Hollywood, California. Hogsed's recording was released on Coast Records (262) and Capitol (40120), with the Capitol release reaching #15 in 1948.

The song is the tale of a man, Willy Lee, who shoots his woman to death while under the influence of whiskey and cocaine. Willy is caught and sentenced to "ninety-nine years in the San Quentin Pen". The song ends with Willy saying:

"Come all you hypes and listen unto me,
Just lay off that whiskey and let that cocaine be."
Text retrieved from wikipedia.org on June 29th, 2014.

At Folsom Prison

At Folsom Prison is a live album and 27th overall album by Johnny Cash, released on Columbia Records in May 1968. Since his 1955 song "Folsom Prison Blues", Cash had been interested in performing at a prison. His idea was put on hold until 1967, when personnel changes at Columbia Records put Bob Johnston in charge of producing Cash's material. Cash had recently controlled his drug abuse problems, and was looking to turn his career around after several years of limited commercial success. Backed with June Carter, Carl Perkins and the Tennessee Three, Cash performed two shows at Folsom State Prison in California on January 13, 1968. The resulting album consisted of fifteen tracks from the first show and two tracks from the second.

Despite little initial investment by Columbia, the album was a hit in the United States, reaching number one on the country charts and the top 15 of the national album chart. The lead single from the album, a live version of "Folsom Prison Blues", was a top 40 hit, Cash's first since 1964's "Understand Your Man". At Folsom Prison received good reviews upon its release and the ensuing popularity revitalized Cash's career, leading to the release of a second prison album, At San Quentin.
Text retrieved from wikipedia.org on June 29th, 2014.

ShareThis