Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Concert > Country > Comedy > Charity > TV > Holidays > Johnny Cash – Cash For Kenya: Live In Johnstown, PA 1991 (Universal Music DVD) + Christmas Special 1978 + 1979 (Shout! Factory DVDs)

Johnny Cash – Cash For Kenya: Live In Johnstown, PA 1991 (Universal Music DVD) + Christmas Special 1978 + 1979 (Shout! Factory DVDs)


Picture: C+     Sound: B-/C/C+     Extras: C-/D/D     Concert/Programs: B-



More of the classic Johnny Cash archives are hitting DVD and two different types of programs (from separate companies) are now available.  One is a charity event for the Kenya in Africa, where the AIDS crisis continues long after this 1991 concert stateside and poverty (as well as world neglect) is the reason the crisis continues.  The original man in black put his talent where his calling was and stayed consistent and relentless in his convictions until the end.  From TV, two late 1970s holiday Christmas specials have also been issued of Cash in great form as both host and performer.


The whole Carter Family joins him (in various ways) for most of the Kenya songs including:


1)     Ring Of Fire

2)     A Thing Called Love

3)     Peace In The Valley

4)     The Greatest Cowboy Of Them All

5)     Man In White

6)     Folsom Prison Blues

7)     Get Rhythm

8)     Five Feet High & Rising

9)     Pickin’ Time

10)  Beautiful Life

11)  Jackson

12)  If I Were A Carpenter

13)  The Wabash Cannonball

14)  Keep On The Sunny Side

15)  Lonesome Valley

16)  Will The Circle Be Broken

17)  Angel Band

18)  Ring Of Fire (Reprise)



It is a fine concert and for those non-fans, you will be surprised how much Cash still had in him, which continued into his last albums before his passing.  A dozen years earlier as a hit machine in conjunction with Columbia Records, he taped some entertaining TV specials where he shows his charm and has fun with the music, his audience and his guests.


The 1978 special includes Kris Kristofferson, Rita Coolidge and sketches with Steve Martin, while the 1979 special includes Anne Murray, Tom T. Hall and off the wall humor with Andy Kaufman.  They are great nostalgia for fans and those who may have enjoyed their original broadcasts, while they also hold up due to the talent, effort and simple fact that unlike now, they are Christmas specials that don’t try so hard.


All have 1.33 X 1 videotaped images from analog NTSC videotape and that has many limits, some flaws and can be soft.  However, color is consistent in all cases and the source material is in good shape for its age and the format.  Kenya offers DTS 5.1 and PCM 16/48 2.0 Stereo options, sounding fairly good for its age, but both mixes show the limits.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on the TV specials are not as good, as expected, with the 1978 audio having more trouble than expected in distortion and noise.  There are no extras, except Kenya has a paper pullout with an essay by Cash’s son John Carter Cash worth reading.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com