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December 26, 2012

Song of the Day – Johnny Cash, “Singing in Vietnam Talking Blues”

Johnny Cash air force

By Seamus Gallivan

Tonight we team with Genesee Beer to launch the monthly Honor Thy Country concert series supporting Honor Flight Buffalo, taking place at the Sportsmens Tavern (326 Amherst St, 6pm, $5) and kicking off with the Twang Gang & Friends. Normally the Sportsmens’ Tuesday Happy Hour house band that welcomes a parade of guests from the crowd, the Twang Gang took last night off for Christmas, but return tonight and welcome future performers in the Honor Thy Country series such as Joelle Labert of Flatbed, Buck Quigley of the Steam Donkeys, Andew J Reimers and Kate Panfil of AJRCPX, and Tommy Brunett.

As with each installment of the Honor Thy Country series, there will be a Genny draft special and raffle for Honor Flight Buffalo, which will also receive half of the door proceeds to support its mission to fly America’s veterans at no charge to Washington, D.C., to visit those memorials dedicated to honor their sacrifices. 

A country legend frequently covered at Twang Gang shows, Johnny Cash is also an honored Air Force veteran. His recording career began in 1955, shortly after he’d been honorably discharged as a Staff Sergeant based in Germany, where he was heralded for his ability to intercept Morse Code transmissions from the Soviet Army, included breaking the code and then the news of the death of Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin in 1953.

Cash adamantly opposed the wars that followed, from Vietnam to Iraq, but maintained his support of our soldiers, including a harrowing experience performing for troops that he wrote into the song, “Singing in Vietnam Talking Blues” – performed here on his show in 1971.

While this song might be a longshot to be performed by the Twang Gang tonight, a Cash hit more likely to be played does have a connection to his time in the military – he wrote “Folsom Prison Blues” while stationed in Germany, where he’d formed his first band, the Landsberg Barbarians. Join us tonight to see what else is in store at the Sportsmens in support of Honor Flight Buffalo!

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