Kirk Douglas Appears On Johnny Cash Show And Sings I Walk The Line

Once upon a time, The Johnny Cash Show was a cornerstone of pop culture. While hosting his eponymous program, the self-proclaimed “Man in Black” reached audiences nationwide by broadcasting compelling interviews and stirring musical acts. During one classic episode back in the 1970s, Cash’s studio was graced by the presence of Kirk Douglas for a riveting joint rendition of I Walk the Line.

The Uncanny Repartee of Cash and Douglas

Their coy call-and-response version of this recognizable tune strikes a comedic chord while leaving the composition’s artistic integrity intact. While Cash may have been "walking the line," Douglas was the man who repeated them one by one. As a matter of fact, every melodically delivered lyric was granted an irreverent spoken-word echo. You also can’t forget that surprisingly well-done final imitation of a train horn.

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The True Definition of Celebrity Friendship

In this video, you might even detect a strangely affectionate vibe between the duo, which makes total sense considering they became lifelong friends. Douglas even penned a heartfelt letter to Cash after his cherished wife, June Carter Cash, passed away in May 2003, according to the website auctioning the letter. Thus, it’s impossible to overlook the subtle poetic sweetness of these shared lines: “You've got a way to keep me on your side. You give me cause for love that I can't hide. For you, I know I'd even try to turn the tide. Because you're mine, I walk the line.”

An On-Stage Union Worth Repeating

This magnificently quirky appearance may have only been a precursor to their infamous outing as gunslinging rivals in 1971’s A Gunfight, but its lighthearted and jovial nature also provides a stark contrast to their intense cinematic roles. Oddly enough, these gentlemen weren’t on the same side in their poignant film. Instead, they played a pair of heavily indebted compadres who agreed upon a publicized duel to the death with the prize money being allocated to the winner’s family. Here’s a spoiler alert: Cash’s Abe Cross kills Will Tenneray as played by Douglas, but the movie cleverly deploys a fantasy sequence to show both timelines concurrently.

The Charismatic Art of Showbiz

All it took for Cash and Douglas to make explosive media magic happen was a humble combination of instruments, microphones and cameras. When all was said and done, the musician even remarked that his acting cohort was turning into a bona fide country singer himself.

Two Legends in One Room

It goes without saying that both members of this duo are highly credentialed, but let’s highlight their distinguished careers to enlighten the uninitiated out there. Douglas was a master of the silver screen with too many important roles to list. After debuting in 1946, according to IMDB, the leading man impressed audiences worldwide through gripping films like Lonely Are the Brave, Seven Days of May, Paths of Glory, Lust for Life, Champion and Spartacus. Meanwhile, the achievements of Cash need no introduction, though his website has a catalogue of them all. With nearly two dozen albums, multiple CMA Awards and several Grammys, his unparalleled track record speaks for itself.

“Keep a Close Watch on This Heart of Mine”

This year has been a wild ride already, so you may have forgotten that the world lost an icon when Douglas passed away on February 5th, as CNN reports. This esteemed Hollywood showman reached the age of 103. The special 1970 taping occurred on February 4th, so it took place exactly 50 years plus one day before the date that he died.

A Glorious Convergence for the Ages

Check out this captivating clip to see two distinctive household names join forces for the sole purpose of our entertainment. Afterwards, let us know what you think of the performance and be sure to spread the message about this unique collaboration. This profound time-capsule succinctly captures the brilliance of a bygone era.