Did Johnny Cash Really Wear A Puffy Shirt?

This appeared in The Tennessean - February 7, 2005

A final thought on Johnny Carson from Marty Stuart, who was at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts recently to pay homage to country couture king Manuel, who has a display there.

According to my buddy and fellow Tennessean columnist Gail Kerr, Marty told her: ''I was looking at all of Manuel's hits, I was thinking of one miss.''

Seems that Johnny Carson invited Johnny Cash onto The Tonight Show to celebrate Mr. Cash's 25th anniversary in the business, and Johnny Cash commissioned Manuel to make the outfits for the band, which included one Marty Stuart.

The result? Manuel made fancy black-on-black tuxedo vests, and band members wore puffy shirts a la Seinfeld underneath. The vest/ puffy shirt look wasn't exactly popular with the band.

''My cool factor just went to the floor,'' Marty said.

The band ended up on the elevator before the taping with Mr. Carson himself.

With the band staring straight ahead, Carson did one of those long classic takes, looking them up and down slowly.

''He said, 'Couldn't you guys afford the sleeves?' '' Marty recalled.

''I said, 'You can get one like it at Manuel's.' ''

By Brad Schmitt

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