Bear’s Sonic Journals: Johnny Cash, At the Carousel Ballroom, April 24, 1968

Johnny Cash


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Bear’s Sonic Journals: At the Carousel Ballroom, 4/24/1968 is an historic and never-heard live Johnny Cash concert recorded in San Francisco by innovative sound wizard Owsley Stanley. Captured in the heart of Haight-Ashbury, just days before the release of Cash’s iconic At Folsom Prison album (and over six months before the arrival of the equally revered At San Quentin), At The Carousel Ballroom serves as a third essential – and wholly unique – live document from the era, a moment of cultural collision, with Cash leaning into songs about society’s outcasts, while playing a venue operated by The Jefferson Airplane and Grateful Dead.

At The Carousel Ballroom captures Cash at the height of his charismatic powers, in playful and powerful dialogue with his then-new bride June Carter, and backed by his legendary band The Tennessee Three: guitarist Luther Perkins, bassist Marshall Grant and drummer W.S. Holland. His set list that evening diverged from other concerts of the time, as Cash chose to cover two Bob Dylan compositions (“Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright,” and his earliest known recording of “One Too Many Mornings”) and perform songs of the overlooked and underserved such as “The Ballad of Ira Hayes.”

Recorded by Stanley in a verité style, the album startles with its clarity and dimension. Many of the sound reproduction techniques that Stanley pioneered while serving as the in-house engineer at the Carousel are accepted sonic gospel today. When he listened back to the Cash concert, he knew he had captured something special, immediately earmarking it for preservation. This release marks the latest entry in the Owsley Stanley Foundation’s Bear’s Sonic Journals series, which has previously included Stanley’s live recordings of The Allman Brothers Band, Tim Buckley, Doc & Merle Watson and many more.

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Track Listings


  1. Cocaine Blues (Live)
  2. Long Black Veil (Live)
  3. Going to Memphis (Live)
  4. The Ballad of Ira Hayes (Live)
  5. Rock Island Line (Live)
  6. Guess Things Happen That Way (Live)
  7. One Too Many Mornings (Live)
  8. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (Live)
  9. Give My Love to Rose (Live)
  10. Green, Green Grass of Home (Live)
  11. Old Apache Squaw (Live)
  12. Lorena (Live)



  1. Forty Shades of Green (Live)
  2. Bad News (Live)
  3. Jackson (Live) - By Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash
  4. Tall Lover Man (Live) - By Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash
  5. June Carter Medley (Live)
  6. Long Legged Guitar Pickin' Man (Live) - By Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash
  7. Ring of Fire (Live)
  8. Big River (Live)
  9. Don't Take Your Guns to Town (Live)
  10. I Walk the Line (Live)

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