PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera's rousing musical hit "Ring of Fire," featuring the music of Johnny Cash, currently is running through Aug. 17 at the CLO Cabaret.
"Ring of Fire" is a journey into the heart of America, courtesy of one of our most beloved musical poets - Cash. In "Ring of Fire," a remarkable cast of performers and musicians will pay homage to his music with the strength, humor and honesty that made Cash one of the greatest songwriters and most revered storytellers in American music. "Ring of Fire" features more than 30 of the music legend's songs such as "Country Boy," "A Thing Called Love," "Five Feet High and Rising," "Daddy Sang Bass," "I Walk the Line," "I've Been Everywhere," "The Man in Black" and his final hit, "Hurt."
The story of Cash is the story of America from the 1950s, when Cash was signed to the legendary Sun Records - the same Memphis-based recording studio where Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis among others began their careers. Like Presley, Cash racked up enough regional and national hits on Sun to attract the attention of a larger record company, notably Columbia Records. A devout Christian who also had a rebellious nature, Cash pushed to record more albums of sacred hymns with both Sun and Columbia Records, refusing to record more secular material until both companies relented, leading to several outstanding and tasteful Christian music based-albums. Cash hit his stride shortly after kicking drugs and having an affair with June Carter Cash in the mid to late 1960s. His albums "Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison" and "Johnny Cash at San Quentin Prison" yielded the novelty hit "A Boy Named Sue." A pious man who also possessed a murcurial temperment, Cash finally quit drugs for good at the end of the 1960s.
r “Ring of Fire,” featuring the music of Johnny Cash, currently is running through Aug. 17 at the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera Cabaret. Tickets begin at $34.75 and are available at wwwCLOCabaret.com; by calling (412) 456-6666; or visiting the box office at Theater Square. — Contributed
Cash released several eclectic albums on Columbia while hosting his own highly rated TV show in the early 1970s featuring a mix of country and rock acts, including a show with his friend Bob Dylan.
Later in the 1980s Cash teamed up with fellow country rebels to form the Highwaymen with Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson. The four self-described banditos even made a movie together under their band name. Cash also became popular as a sometimes actor, including appearing in one memorable episode of "Columbo," starring as a country singer who murders his wife.
Cash became popular with young people after signing to producer Rick Ruben's America label, where he recorded with everyone from Fiona Apple to Willie Nelson. He recorded nearly up the day he died, on Sept. 12, 2003, merely days after the death of his beloved wife.
Tickets begin at $34.75 and are available at wwwCLOCabaret.com; by calling (412) 456-6666; or visiting the box office at Theater Square.
(Miller is co-editor of Weekender.)