February 26, 2012 – 4:08 am

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Country Style/Guest Star
With the original Tennessee Two: Luther Perkins and Marshall Grant
Live 1958/1959 [no label, 1CD]

From vintage radio broadcast transcription discs. Good to very good sound, especially for its age.

Johnny Cash would have been 80 if he was alive today (February 26). He died at the age of 71 on September 12, 2003. And it sure has been a mighty long time since anyone introduced Johnny Cash as “the fastest rising young star in the country-and-western field” as he was then. And would Johnny Cash plug the US Army today as he did then?

Thanks to brownstien who shared these tracks on Dime in 2006. That the torrent is still alive today only shows how timeless Johnny Cash is. brownstien noted:

These are vintage radio broadcast transcription discs (at times you can “hear” the vinyl which adds flavor). The sound quality is amazing. Country Style USA is from 1958, Guest Star is from 1959. That’s all the info I have. I received these many years ago in a trade and transferred them from cassette. This is as good as it gets.

Meanwhile, someone posted at Dime that the following tracks came from 1956 (”one of the earliest known ‘live’ recordings of JC, other than the obvious Sun Records lineup”) and not 1958:

a) Hey Porter
b) I Walk The Line
c) Rock Island Line
d) So Doggone Lonesome
e) Folsom Prison Blues
f) Cry Cry Cry
g) I Was There When It Happened
h) Get Rhythm

Once again, thanks to brownstien and to everyone for keeping this historic show alive. Thanks also to dylanmusic for the artwork.

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (sample rate of 224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Please Do Not Hammer The Links. Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. The tracks should still be around. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Track 01. Country Style USA Intro (1.7MB)
Track 02. Hey Porter (Listen close… just before the solo you can hear Johnny say “Tear it up, Luther!” off-mic) (4.6MB)
Track 03. I Walk The Line (5.0MB)
Track 04. “Join The Reserve For Youth Training Program” spot (1.4MB)
Track 05. Rock Island Line (Johnny says they haven’t recorded it yet) (4.0MB)
Track 06. So Doggone Lonesome (4.2MB)
Track 07. Country Style USA Outro (1.8MB)
Track 08. Country Style USA Intro (1.5MB)
Track 09. Folsom Prison Blues (4.8MB)
Track 10. Cry Cry Cry (3.2MB)
Track 11. “Reserve For Youth Training Program” spot (1.9MB)
Track 12. I Was There When It Happened (4.8MB)
Track 13. Get Rhythm (“Our latest release on Sun”) (3.9MB)
Track 14. Country Style USA Outro (2.3MB)
Track 15. Guest Star Intro (1.8MB)
Track 16. Country Boy (2.9MB)
Track 17. Chat with Johnny (1.5MB)
Track 18. Don’t Take Your Guns To Town (4.8MB)
Track 19. Johnny Cash “Buy Savings Bonds” spot (7.2MB)
Track 20. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (3.8MB)
Track 21. Guest Star Outro (1.4MB)

The original Tennessee Two:
Luther Perkins - lead guitar
Marshall Grant - upright bass

Click here to order Johnny Cash’s releases.

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  1. 19 Responses to “JOHNNY CASH - COUNTRY STYLE (1956?)”

  2. hey bigo, i have most of this. i just looked at mine. i have the first 14 tracks of it on a boot called country style usa, and the date on mine is 1958. 1956 is probably correct, though. that is when he was at sun records. in 1959 is when he went to columbia. i found it on this bootleg site in 2008. it is good. i may still get it just to have two different copies of it, though.


    By Ed Saad on Feb 26, 2012

  3. Johnny Cash…A wonderful American treasure! Thanks Big-O and brownstien.

    By 3yrsnojob on Feb 26, 2012

  4. Both these shows were produced by the U.S. Government. Country Style USA was produced by the Army as a recruiting tool, while Guest Star was produced by the US Treasury to promote the sales of Savings Bonds. The Country Style tracks are probably not from ‘56 if Wikipedia is to be believed, since they claim the show first aired in ‘57. This probably represents two different shows, since each daily program ran 15 minutes.

    Great early Cash!

    By drkrick on Feb 26, 2012

  5. Really old show… very cool.


    By JALtheImpaler on Feb 26, 2012

  6. Thank You BigO! You never cease to amaze me!

    By TDC on Feb 26, 2012

  7. hey bigo, since i already have tracks 1-14, i just got guest star portion. i like it. if you listen to johnny cash buy savings bonds spot, there’s a cool jazz song in it by buzz adlam called when it’s twilight on the trail. i don’t know much about him, but the song is good. gene autry did this song, though.


    By Ed Saad on Feb 26, 2012

  8. Fantastic….absolutely fantastic.

    By couz on Feb 26, 2012

  9. thanks as long as you are into this bigo, how about some old live hank williams shows?

    By sluggo on Feb 26, 2012

  10. thanks, bigO!

    By NAMoosedog on Feb 27, 2012

  11. According to some vintage radio logs posted on the net, the Country Style USA show was aired as early as 7/5/56 and Johnny Cash made an appearance on 11/12/56 and sang Hey Porter at the very least. The show appears to have both television and radio broadcasts. I don’t if they aired identical material. My copy of this, which predates your post,appears to be ripped from a vinyl source. I don’t know its origin. I do know that 4 seasons of the tv show (1957-1960?) are available commercially on DVD.

    By Mike Cummings on Feb 27, 2012

  12. Oh yeah,
    Guest Star was a public service radio show sponsored by the US Treasury Dept. to promote savings bonds. It was aired as early as June of 1947. Johnny Cash made his appearance on the show on 6/28/59. My feeling is that the First Johnny Cash segment which is 15 minutes long comes from Country Style USA on 11/2/56. The second segment which is also 15 minutes long, could be the 1958 date referred to on your post. The shows were only 15 minutes long. The Guest Star portion I would put at the 6/28/59 date. Just my guess, I could be wrong.

    By Mike Cummings on Feb 28, 2012

  13. 11/12/56 is what I meant to type. Sorry.

    By Mike Cummings on Feb 28, 2012

  14. thanks, bigO - johnny cash is always a nice treat!


    By I-) on Feb 28, 2012

  15. Cool with a capital K!!! Great!!!

    By DanC on Feb 28, 2012

  16. This is Excellent. Thanks so much for all those involved in posting this great and historic performances!

    By ReV RuSSeLL on Mar 1, 2012

  17. I just made a disc for a friend. I put old Johnny at the end of young Johnny from the last two Cash offerings from BigO. And it all seems to flow together.

    By sking on Mar 1, 2012

  18. anyone else notice how much the announcer for the last show here, Lou Crosby, sounds like Phil Hartman’s Troy McClure?

    Actually, it’s an even oilier insincere showbiz voice than even Phil could do.

    By Scott Brookman on Mar 11, 2012

  19. This is great.. thx Big-O

    By Eddie_1412 on Aug 5, 2013

  20. Very cool ! Thanks !

    By Adam on Aug 24, 2013

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