About Johnny Cash And Friends
Music legend Johnny Cash hosted this variety series in the summer of 1976, offering a lighthearted mix of music and comedy for audiences of all ages
A more appropriate title might have been The Johnny And June Show, considering that Cash’s wife June Carter Cash serves as de facto co-host. A superstar in her own right as a member of the Carter Family, June even dabbles in comedy, clearly more at ease delivering punchlines than The Man In Black. Johnny and June also sing their signature hits like “Jackson” and are adorably cute together. (Cash was in his mid-40s and had softened from outlaw rock star into more of a cuddly dad persona.)
Steve Martin was a regular, just weeks before he’d bring his absurdist stand-up to Saturday Night Live. Also featured was Jim Varney, later to be known for his Ernest character and “Hey Vern” catchphrase. And in a nod to the Bicentennial mania of 1976, comedian Howard Mann was featured as a wise-cracking George Washington.
Recorded before a live audience at the new Grand Old Opry House in Nashville (built in 1974), Johnny Cash And Friends showcases an icon at the top of his game. Following the conclusion of this series, Cash would begin a tradition of annual Christmas specials.
Notable guest stars: Roy Clark, Tanya Tucker, Helen Carter, Anita Carte
Produced by Joseph Cates, Chet Hagen and Walter C. Miller