Between 1969 and 1971, Johnny Cash captivated audiences around the world with songs of life, love, and heartache in the ABC musical variety show he hosted every Saturday night called The Johnny Cash Show.
The primetime show, which was filmed in Nashville at the Ryman Auditorium, offered a wide-ranging mix of musical genres and compelling interviews with some of the most notable industry acts of the day. This includes Merle Haggard, Linda Ronstadt, Kris Kristofferson, his wife June Carter Cash, among others.
And as expected, the ratings for The Johnny Cash show were excellent enough that ABC extended its original run from 15 to 58 episodes.
There’s One Episode We Can Never Forget
Out of the many memorable episodes of The Johnny Cash Show, one classic episode back in the 1970s truly stands out. It was when Johnny Cash‘s studio was graced by the presence of American actor, filmmaker, and three-time Oscar nominee Kirk Douglas.
Douglas has appeared in more than 90 films and is best known for his portrayals of tenacious, passionately charged heroes and antiheroes. Douglas and Cash’s paths crossed onscreen when they starred together in the 1971 American Western film, A Gunfight.
But a year before the film was released, Douglas dropped by The Johnny Cash Show for the very first time. The two casually chit chat and you could tell the strangely affectionate vibe between them. The Hollywood actor’s appearance ended with the Man in Black singing one of his most famous Johnny Cash songs, “I Walk the Line.” Charmingly, Douglas repeated the lyrics word for word. The performance ended with Douglas imitating a train whistle, garnering several laughs from the audience.
You can watch it in the video below.
Johnny Cash, Kirk Douglas