JOHNNY MARCHES TO TV

Flashback -- June 7, 1969

By the summer of 1969, Johnny Cash was riding high as one of the biggest superstars in any field of music. Two of his recent albums, Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison and Johnny Cash at San Quentin, had become big hits on both the country and pop charts.

Johnny's astounding success caught the attention of ABC, which offered him his own weekly TV show. "It was a great opportunity," Johnny remembers. "I felt right about it."

The Johnny Cash Show, which aired from Nashville, debuted June 7, 1969. The guest list featured Johnny's wife, June Carter Cash, Carl Perkins and The Statler Brothers. In the weeks that followed, Johnny welcomed stars from every musical genre, including Merle Haggard, folk-rocker Bob Dylan, teen-pop idols The Monkees and jazz legend Louis Armstrong.

The show ran until 1971 and is credited for bridging the gap between country music and mainstream audiences. "I was able to work with some great talent," says Johnny, "and I was able to have many of my friends as guest stars."

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