With His Hot and Blue Guitar

Artist: Johnny Cash

Year: 1957

Genre: Rockabilly

Grade: A-

Before he was The Man in Black, Johnny Cash was The Boy with the Blue Guitar. But even though he was only 23 years old when he first recorded “Folsom Prison Blues” in 1955, Cash sang with the world-weariness of a folk singer in his late-fifties.

The rockabilly backdrop showcases pure youthful exuberance. Cash doesn’t just “Walk the Line”; he runs roughshod over it. Aside from his famous At Folsom Prison LP and any of his Greatest Hits collections (take your pick), this might be Cash’s most essential album.

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