Available now, Shout! Factory
has released a 4-DVD set of The Johnny Cash Christmas Specials 1976-1979
. While '76 and '77 were released last year, the '78 and '79 specials are new and are available separately or as part of the box set. Included on the new set are Kris Kristofferson, Rita Coolidge, Steve Martin and Andy Kaufman, amongst others.
Per Shout!, the 1976 special was "taped from the family homes in Bon Aqua and Hendersonville, Tennessee" and "featured special guests Roy
Clark, Merle Travis, Barbara Mandrell, Tony Orlando and Billy Graham."
The 1977 special "includes an all-star tribute to
Elvis Presley with Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy Orbison, a
selection of Christmas songs, as well as Perkins’s “Blue Suede Shoes,”
Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty Woman,” and Lewis’ 1957 Sun smash “Whole Lot Of
Shakin’ Going On.”"
The 1978 Christmas special was moved from the usual Tennessee-based setting to Los Angeles with guests including Kristofferson and Coolidge, who perform “Please Don’t Tell Me How The Story Ends." The broadcast returned to Nashville in 1979 and featured Ray and Roy Cash, with a visit to Johnny's hometown of Dyess, Arkansas. Guests that year included Anne Murray (“You Needed Me”), Tom T. Hall (Cash called him “my very favorite songwriter”) and Andy Kaufman, who appears as his character Latka Gravas from Taxi.
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