In the 1960’s and 1970’s, two performers stood out above the rest of the solo performers, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. So what could be better than watching Johnny Cash imitate Elvis?
Johnny Cash, along with Merle Haggard were the early outlaw country singers. Who could forget “Folsum Prison Blues” or “dark as a Dungeon.” Of course, Elvis had “Jailhouse Rock” but without the prison experience that went with it. Cash was the Man in Black. Elvis was a bit more modern and fashionable. That’s what makes it tough for Cash to get Presley just right, but he does.
Of course, it was all in good fun and both singers respected each other as pioneers in their musical genres.
Though Johnny Cash says in his autobiography that he and Elvis Presley were never close (mostly due to their age difference), he insisted that he always admired the star.
Cash recalled the first time he saw Elvis perform: “The first time I saw Elvis, singing from a flatbed truck at a Katz drugstore opening on Lamar Avenue, two or three hundred people, mostly teenage girls, had come out to see him. With just one single to his credit, he sang those two songs over and over. That’s the first time I met him.”
He went on to say, “Elvis was such a nice guy, and so talented and charismatic — he had it all.”
Cash’s recollection makes his hilarious impersonation of Elvis all the more endearing. He’s definitely not making fun of the guy, only teasing, and the crowd absolutely adores it!
All these years later and the gag still holds up as Cash ruffles his hair and imitates Elvis’ signature singing style.