Dirty Linen - p.76
"Cash's vocals are strong throughout....For those who enjoy Cash's religious work, there is much to recommend on ULTIMATE GOSPEL."
No Depression - pp.88-89
"Cash was equally at ease singing traditional hymns and more current material....Cash also showed his skills as a gospel songwriter with the Old Testament-based 'Belshazzar'..."
Personnel: June Carter Cash (vocals); Jack Routh, Jerry Hensley, Johnny Christopher, Johnny Western, Marty Stuart, Pete Wade, Bob Johnson, Jerry Shook (guitar); Philip Donnelly, Luther Perkins, Bob Wootton, Carl Perkins (electric guitar); Norman Blake (dobro); Mother Maybelle Carter (autoharp); Jack Hale (trumpet, piano); Bob Lewin (trumpet); Chuck Cochran, Earl Poole Ball, James Carter Wilson, William A. "Bill" Walker , Beegie Cruzer, Marvin Hughes, Bill Pursell, Larry McCoy (piano); Ralph Hansell (vibraphone); W.S. Holland, Morris Palmer, Ritchie Albright, Buddy Harman (drums); The Bill Harris Quintet, Farrell Morris (percussion); B.J. Baker, Millicent Alexander, Johnny Whittaker, Frederic Schulman, Anna Grizzard, Robin Johnson, 21st Century Singers, Nashville, Jan Howard, Rosa Dotson, The Carter Family (background vocals).
Liner Note Author: Sylvie Simmons.
Recording information: Hendersonville, TN (??/??/1957-02/18/1981); Hollywood, CA (??/??/1957-02/18/1981); Memphis (??/??/1957-02/18/1981); Nashville, TN (??/??/1957-02/18/1981).
Photographers: Don Hunstein; Jim Marshall .
Arranger: C. Williams.
With his craggy, flawed voice and songs of craggy, flawed devotion to the Lord, the late Johnny Cash's unique combination of charisma and humility endeared him to both devout and secular audiences. This 24-track compilation harvests the best (arguably) of Cash's country-gospel output, grazing mostly on his mid-career recordings. While he is suitably reverent and low-key on most of the tracks here, a shuffling rendition of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" finds Cash emoting with an uncharacteristically supple, jazzy looseness that reflects the joy of the song. It is infectious, and a consolation for his absence.