Matt Dolloff, CBS Radio Boston

On this day in 1971, Boston native James Taylor made his primetime television debut on the Johnny Cash Show with a performance of “Sweet Baby James,” plus a rendition of the classic folk song “Oh! Susanna.”

Looking as skinny as he always is – and sporting plenty of hair and a killer mustache! – the young Taylor performs and sounds just as great as we all now know he is. It’s no wonder he went on to become a folk music legend.

It’s also no wonder that the legend himself Johnny Cash would notice Taylor’s talents before most of us did.

Watch the performances below. The first video of the two performing “Oh! Susanna” segues almost perfectly into the next one of Taylor performing “Sweet Baby James.”

“Oh! Susanna”

“Sweet Baby James”


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