From Memphis to Hollywood: Bootleg Vol. 2

Click to listen to Johnny Cash's "Get Rhythm"

Even as a young turk, Johnny Cash sang with the voice of experience. The first disc of this fantastic two-CD set (which features 26 cuts previously unreleased in the U.S.) gives us the sound of Cash in his twenties – demos and radio appearances from the 1950s. Cash's singing is higher and sprier than in his prime, but the gravitas is there. (Check out the demo of a little ditty called "I Walk the Line.") Disc Two turns to outtakes and rarities from the 1960s. There are jailhouse weepers, lullabies and gallows humor like "Five Minutes to Live" – a jaw-dropping testament to the depth of the man's songbook.

Photos: Intimate, All-Access Shots of Johnny Cash

From The Archives Issue 1126: March 17, 2011