Country music fans had trouble containing the emotions and thrill they felt when Johnny Cash teamed up with fellow star Joni Mitchel for perhaps the most chilling performance of “Long Black Veil” that stunned every viewer.
The country ballad was originally recorded by Lefty Frizzell in 1959. Since then, the song has been covered by a myriad of artists – this includes David Allan Coe, Bruce Springsteen, and Mick Jagger. It also appeared on Cash’s two albums, Orange Blossom Special and At Folsom Prison. “Long Black Veil” also remained in Cash’s live repertoire for many years.
One of The Most Haunting Murder Ballads You’ll Ever Hear
Written by Marijohn Wilkin and Danny Dill, “Long Black Veil” tells the point of view of a man who has been falsely accused of murder. However, he refused to provide an alibi since the night of the murder, and he was having an illicit love affair with his best friend’s wife. The man chose to be executed than amid the truth.
Sitting amongst props that were designed to look like a forest, Cash and Mitchel’s voices came together and formed some surprisingly haunting harmonies – delivering an echoing duet that deeply resonated with viewers. At the time, Mitchell was still mostly known for the songs she wrote and covered by various artists. Yet, she proved she’s one superstar in the making.
Make sure to listen to Johnny Cash and Joni Mitchell’s duet of “Long Black Veil” in the video below, and see for yourself why it became an instant hit with his fans and viewers. It actually came from the first episode of The Johnny Cash Show in 1969.
Johnny Cash, Joni Mitchell