In 1987, Johnny Cash was teetering between having been a top-selling popular star and becoming a legend — he'd pretty much dropped off the charts by this time, forgotten by "new country" fans who were digging the neo-traditionalists who all freely admitted to having been enormously influenced by Cash. The only real chart hit he had in the late 1980's was with The Highwaymen (Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, and Willie Nelson). But he never stopped touring with his show, and in 1987 he hit the stage in Austin, Texas, for an episode of the PBS TV show "Austin City Limits." Cash was absolutely on top of his game. He sounds absolutely magnificent in this recording — it's no wonder he called it one of his finest televised performances.
There are, of course, all the hits — "Ring of Fire" and "Folsom Prison Blues," "I Walk the Line" and "Sunday Morning Coming Down," as well as Guy Clark's "Let Him Roll" and Tom T. Hall's "I'll Go Somewhere and Sing My Songs Again." With every song, Cash sounds simply fantastic.