THE STAGE — Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley have more than one parallel in their early lives.
They both were born poor in the South, they were both influenced by religious music, and they both served in the armed forces to name a few.
But when it comes to their musical styles and reputations, there are certainly marked differences.
Elvis was a hip-swinging, polished rock-n-roller who played to many audiences of screaming teen girls, and Johnny cultivated a hard-bitten reputation as the Man in Black who performed a famous gig for the men in San Quentin State Prison in California. And while Elvis was starring in fluffy, teeny bopper movies and making his female co-stars swoon, Johnny was singing about shooting a man in Reno "just to watch him die."
Yesterday's Have You Seen This?
Some people may still see them in a similar light, but Mr. Cash will help you see the wide divide in his not quite so flattering but very funny impression of Elvis.
The clip is from an old TV show that is only identifiable by this non-expert as being sponsored by Vels Ford.
Johnny swaggers and postures with mussed up hair and a loose grip on his guitar to begin his impression. It continues to include vanity behavior and such big hip swings that he "throws his back out."
Yes, it’s silly but still funny and charming in a way that only the '50s and early '60s can be.
Fair warning, this video is grainy and has only about 16 pixels, but the gist (and the jabs) are crystal clear.