Johnny Cash - I WALK THE LINEĀ 

First performance: 20/09/1978


Coverinfo

1978-09-20 - CAPITOL THEATRE, PASSAIC, NJ
 
Bruce soundchecked the song during a fascinating soundcheck, taped from outside the venue before the show. In the middle of a three-night stand at the Capitol, Bruce works through several Hank Williams and other classics .
 
 
 
 
When Johnny Cash died on Sept. 12, 2003, while Springsteen was on the rising tour, for the next two nights, Bruce opened with a solo acoustic take of  'I Walk the Line'.
  
 
 
 
 

Songinfo

"I Walk the Line" is a song written and recorded in 1956 by Johnny Cash. The unique chord progression for the song was inspired by backwards playback of guitar runs on Cash's tape recorder, while he was in the Air Force stationed in Germany. Later in a telephone interview, Cash stated, " I wrote the song backstage one night in 1956 in Gladewater, Texas. I was newly married at the time, and I suppose I was laying out my pledge of devotion. After the writing of the song Cash had a discussion with fellow performer [Carl Perkins] who encouraged him to adopt "I Walk the Line" as the song title. Cash originally intended the song as a slow ballad, but producer Sam Phillips preferred a faster arrangement, which Cash grew to like as the uptempo recording met with success. Once while performing the song on his TV show, Cash told the audience, with a smile, "People ask me why I always hum whenever I sing this song. It's to get my pitch." The humming was necessary since the song required Cash to change keys several times while singing it. The song's lyrics refer to marital fidelity, personal responsibility, and avoiding temptation and criminal behavior.  The song is very simple and like most Cash songs, the lyrics tell more of a story than the music conveys. (You've got a way to keep me on your side/You give me cause for love that I can't hide/For you I know I'd even try to turn the tide). It is based upon the "boom-chicka-boom" or "freight train" rhythm common in many of Cash's songs. In the original recording of the song, there is a key change between each of the five verses, and Cash hums the new root note before singing each verse. The final verse, a reprise of the first, is sung a full octave lower than the first verse. Johnny, with the Temptations outside his door and a new wife at home, wanted the lyrics to say, "I'm going to be true to those who believe in me and depend on me to myself and God. Something like I’m still being true, or I’m 'Walking The Line.' The lyrics came as fast as I could write," says Johnny. "In 20 minutes, I had it finished.".

  

Bruce on the artist

When Johnny Cash died on Sept. 12, 2003, while Springsteen was on the rising tour, for the next two nights, Bruce opened with a solo acoustic take of 
 
 
On april 6th 1999 Bruce was announced as a performer at the All Star Tribute To Johnny Cash at Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan, NY, but his travel schedule prevented him from attending the event – he and the E Street Band were in Italy that night for The Reunion Tour. Instead, pre-taped video footage of him performing Johnny Cash's ' Give my love to Rose', accompanied only by his acoustic guitar, was played on a screen over the stage during the Johnny Cash tribute concert. The rendition was recorded on 12 Feb 1999 at Thrill Hill East, Springsteen's home studio in Rumson, NJ. The song was recorded by Toby Scott and produced by Springsteen, but the identity of film director remains unknown. The concert was aired on the TNT television network at 8:00 PM on 18 Apr 1999.
 
Intro to the tibute song :
 
To Johnny I wanna send out a big thanks for the inspiration. He kinda took the social consciousness from folk music and the gravity and humor from country music and the rebellion out of Rock and Roll and uh... and taught all those young guys that not only was it all right to, to tear up all those lines and boundaries a bit was important. And uh... this is a song I love from the early recordings for a long time, I hope you like it. 
 
GIVE MY LOVE TO ROSE  

The audio of Bruce Springsteen's studio version of Give my love to Rose was officially released on Kindred Spirits: A Tribute To The Songs Of Johnny Cash, a various artists album released in September 2002 on the Lucky Dog label.
 
 
 
However, though it appears identical, the recording released on the tribute album is different from the one broadcast on television – at least the vocal track is different from the first chorus onward. According to the tribute album's credits, the audio was recorded and mixed by Thom Cadley at Sony Music Studios in New York City, NY. Brian Vibberts assisted in recording and Dawn Rheinholz assisted in mixing. At first, the plan was to release a live album and an accompanying video of the 1999 tribute concert to Johnny Cash, but, as Sony Nashville senior VP of sales Dale libbey told Billboard, "the album and video releases of the concert have been frozen in label disagreements over royalties and won't see daylight anytime soon." As a result, only Springsteen's and Bob Dylan's performances form the tribute concert were included on the Kindred Spirits: A Tribute To The Songs Of Johnny Cash album.
 
The admiration of Johnny Cash to Bruce was mutual. Cash recorded some of Bruce’s songs :
 

Lyrics

I keep a close watch on this heart of mine
I keep my eyes wide open all the time
I keep the ends out for the tie that binds
Because you're mine, I walk the line
I find it very, very easy to be true
I find myself alone when each day's through
Yes, I'll admit that I'm a fool for you
Because you're mine, I walk the line
As sure as night is dark and day is light
I keep you on my mind both day and night
And happiness I've known proves that it's right
Because you're mine, I walk the line
You've got a way to keep me on your side
You give me cause for love that I can't hide
For you I know I'd even try to turn the tide
Because you're mine, I walk the line
I keep a close watch on this heart of mine
I keep my eyes wide open all the time
I keep the ends out for the tie that binds
Because you're mine, I walk the line