Dec 5: Johnny Cash played MSG, New York in 1969

Redirecting to a newer version of this post….

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.


Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream (audio, with a great intro):

The Ballad of Ira Hayes:



Great sound, great audience and what a set list!

At Madison Square Garden (Spotify):

– Hallgeir & Egil

4 thoughts on “Dec 5: Johnny Cash played MSG, New York in 1969”

  1. Yes I do have to get this one, thanks! One thing, isn’t it a little misleading to write “making it his 86th album overall” …. surely the majority of those are oddball collections of one stripe or another, put out with little input from JC? Anyway, thanks for reminding us of this album.

    1. Yes, but it’s quite hard to separate the “real” releases from the ones he didn’t “control” or were involved with.

      Thanks for the comment!

      – Hallgeir

  2. Fantastic. Look at the $7.50 ticket price. You could see Johnny Cash for $7.50, and 3 years later you could see Elvis at MSG for $10.00.

    1. Yes, that’s incredible! Give us a time-machine now!

      Well, the folks of the future will (probably) marvel at the present ticket prices the same way. And there are Legends on tour every year, we must not let them slip through our fingers.

      Thanks for the feedback.

      – Hallgeir

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