All design and text content of A.J.'s Place: Movies & More (C) 2000-2008 by A.J. Vestal
Most current movie poster images on this site are presented in cooperation with AllPosters.com, a great resource for posters and art prints of all kinds.
Other images used are size-reduced versions of those found on official sites. Images are used only to enhance the visual presentation of information and to promote films and websites.
Requests for image removal may be e-mailed to email@example.com. A.J.'s Place is based in Marin County, California USA
The 1976 Johnny Cash Christmas Special is a down home, country style affair. Cash and family have a get-together for Christmas, and invite their friends to enjoy the holiday with them.
First up is city fella' Tony Orlando (minus Dawn). Yes, the 'country versus city' jokes may be as cheesy as Tony's outfit and mustache, but they're also a lot of campy fun to experience from our safe distance of 30 plus years later. June Carter Cash joins Johnny & Tony for "Tie a Yellow Ribbon 'Round the Ole Oak Tree", then Johnny and Roy Clark perform a medley of songs from Stephen Foster.
Later, events move to the inside of Johnny's Tennessee home, where one and all gather around to play and sing favorite songs. Merle Travis and Barbara Mandrell also join in. Musical performances include 'The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You)', 'Follow Me', 'Cannonball Rag', 'That Christmasy Feeling', 'In the Pines', 'Steel Guitar Rag', 'It's a Beautiful Morning With You', and 'Old Time Feeling'. I found it surprising for a Christmas special to feature so few Christmas songs, but even so, the festivities were quite entertaining in a warm, cozy way.
The highlight of the show comes, rather fittingly, at the very end. Billy Graham steps out to tell the story of a bleak mining town that was transformed through Jesus, reminding everyone in the viewing audience of the true meaning of Christmas. I'd be surprised if any television network executive would have the courage to approve such straightforward sentiment on today's so politically-paralyzed airwaves!
On the technical side, production of the show is what one would expect from mid-1970's video transfer. There is noticeable picture warping, especially during the opening outdoor scenes of the program. Also, a few unfortunate choices were made as far as lighting and makeup were concerned, but even those are on par with most other telecasts from the time.
This is definitely one for die hard Johnny Cash fans - his first Christmas Special!