I love music! And one of the reasons why is all the variety shows I watched on TV as a kid!
The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, and The Rolling Stones on Hollywood Palace are a couple of good examples! Then there was American Bandstand, Soul Train, Where The Action Is, Shindig, Hullabaloo, Midnight Special, etc, etc, that were almost strictly all music! For a music lover, life was good!
The Johnny Cash Show ran for a couple of seasons from 1969 to 1971! Johnny had been working with people like Bob Dylan, and his unabashed appreciation of good music was reflected in a lot of the artists on the show! He was having guests like Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and The Monkees along with the Statler Brothers, and the Carter Family, and it was pretty awesome TV at the time!
Johnny Cash was, and still is, a trendsetter!
Super talented people will come and go, but I'll bet you, in the year 3000, they will still know who The Man is Black was!
Johnny's featured act on the night of season 2, episode 14 in 1971, was Derek and the Dominos led by Eric Clapton! "Layla" which had just come out a few months earlier was, and still is one of my favorite albums of all time! It's one of the records you just can't get tired of listening to. They've pounded the title song into the ground over the years on classic rock radio, but if that gets somebody to reach out and listen to the rest of the album, then it's worth it!
I could tell you exactly where I was the night this came on the television!
At the time, I thought it was the greatest thing I'd ever seen!
Derek and the Dominos were Eric Clapton on guitar and vocals, Bobby Whitlock on keys and vocals, Carl Radle on bass, Jim Gordon on the drums, and the extra kicker was the addition of the second slide guitar of Duane Allman! It was magic!
Bobby Whitlock's soulful vocals were perfect as the main voice or as backup harmony!
Bobby's vocals always pass the goosebump test!
So here's the song they performed that night! From the "Layla" album and one of my favorites,
"It's Too Late!"
"It's Too Late!"
Jim Gordon and Carl Radle complete the package!
Just in case you don't know it, Jim Gordon gets credit for writing "Layla" and is also the one who plays the piano part at the end! Jim Gordon's is a sad story at best. He was one of the best and most sought after drummers for years, and he's played on many fantastic records with groups like The Beach Boys, Frank Zappa, Steely Dan, Alice Cooper and so much more, and he was responsible for the drum solo in one of my favorite songs of all time, "Jump Into The Fire" by Harry Nilsson, but shit got ugly in the 80's, and he developed schizophrenia, got misdiagnosed as being an alcoholic, and ended up killing his Mother! To this day, he is still serving time in a California facility! WTF!?? You know, sometimes life just ain't fair! That whole story is wrong!
Equally talented, Carl Radle died at 37 in 1980 from a kidney infection, most likely accelerated by alcohol and drug use!
I think if I was stranded on a desert island with a turntable and one record, and I had a choice, it would have to be either "Layla" or "London Calling" by The Clash!
Eric looks like he was either really stoned, or just really having a good time being up there with Johnny Cash, or maybe both!
This particular show also featured two of my favorite folksingers, Eric Anderson, and Ramblin' Jack Elliott! If all that wasn't enough, they brought out Carl Perkins to play with Eric and Johnny on "Matchbox!" Damn, that was a good show!!!