Music Man [1962]

This has the unmistakable whiff of opportunism about it­-there is no structure, no narration, nothing by way of accompanying information, and much of the concert footage looks like it was filmed by someone whose other eye was engaged reading the instruction manual for the camera. Despite--or, just maybe, because of--these limitations, it offers some genuine revelations of its subject. And, in fairness, the concert footage that is filmed properly is marvelous. The material collected here was apparently filmed in the late '60s and offers a series of snapshots of Cash on one of his famously interminable tours. He is shown playing to audiences of fans, maximum-security prisoners, and feather-clad Native American dignitaries, and he is shown away from the stage, playing cards on the tour bus, jamming with friends, and further reinforcing his then-unfashionable interest in Native American issues with a visit to the site of the Wounded Knee massacre. Also of interest are the other performers that wander through this random travelogue: Cash's wife, June Carter Cash, in a duet with him on "Jackson"; Cash's lead guitarist, Carl Perkins, taking the spotlight to sing his creation "Blue Suede Shoes"; and, best of all, Cash, grinning from ear to ear and quite unabashedly overawed, recording a glorious duet of Billy Edd Wheeler's "Blistered" with an insouciant, gum-chewing Bob Dylan. --Andrew Mueller, Amazon.co.uk

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