Saturday, June 27, 2009

Cry Cry Cry: Cry Cry Cry

Johnny Cash: Cry Cry Cry


Cry Cry Cry: By Way of Sorrow (written by Julie Miller)


I batted around a few different ideas for my contribution this week, but kept coming back to the phrasing of the theme... and couldn't resist my need to tie together the two incarnations of Cry Cry Cry of which I'm aware:

~ the title of Johnny Cash's song (released in June 1955, it reached number 14 on the Billboard country charts)...

Cash wasn't used to writing on demand, but back at the house on Tutweiler with Vivian's due date approaching, Cash labored at the kitchen table. He chugged his coffee and burned down cigarette after cigarette as if he were back at the radio intercept controls. Inspired by Memphis disc jockey Eddie Hill's trademark "we're gonna squall and ball and climb the walls", recalled Cash, he came up with Cry Cry Cry in two weeks... Cash enhanced the recording with a chucka-chucka percussive effect that he produced by threading a folded sheet of paper between the strings up around the neck frets...

~ the name of the 1999 folk supergroup (comprised of Dar Williams, Richard Shindell and Lucy Kaplansky)...

"The name comes from "three things," Shindell says, speaking softly by phone from his "quiet house in the woods" of Valhalla, N.Y.

"It's the threeness of it all, obviously, but it's also the sound of the voice, the way a singing voice can often sound like it's crying at the simplest of times. And there's a melancholy to the whole thing, in that most of the songs on the album are pretty damned depressing."

There's also the matter of his newborn son. "The sessions were interrupted by his birth, and a few of the arrangements were inspired by him. And he was around a lot . . . crying."

As a synchronistic sidenote, I actually did witness the trio performing the Cash tune... in February 1999 at the Centro Astureano in Tampa, Florida - sigh sigh sigh...

blog comments powered by Disqus