Johnny Cash at Madison Square Garden is an album by Johnny Cash that was recorded in December 1969 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, but which was not released until 2002 (making it his 86th album overall).
The album was recorded just 4 months after Cash’s seminal At San Quentin was released, which is probably why it was not released soon after its recording. As with all Cash live shows of this period, he was backed up by the Tennessee Three, which consisted of W.S. Holland, Marshall Grant and Bob Wooton. After the first 11 songs, Johnny Cash took a short break and the guests stepped up to the plate with their current hits. As if Johnny wasn’t enough, we get Carl Perkins and The Statler Brothers in tremendous form. The Carter Family was a standard part of the Johnny Cash Show, and it is a real treat hearing Mother Maybelle with her daughters. They also performs back up vocals on many of the songs.
As with most Cash shows, the genres covered ran the gamut from country music to rockabilly to even some folk rock. Similarly to “Johnny Cash At San Quentin”, Johnny Cash at Madison Square Garden includes numbers performed by Perkins, the Statlers and the Carters while Johnny was offstage.
It is an absolute must have for any Johnny Cash fan! I still wonder why Sony took 33 years to release this gem.