You're been out riding fences for so long now
Oh, you're a hard one
But I know that you've got your reasons
These things that are pleasing you
Can hurt you somehow
Don't you draw the queen of diamonds boy
She'll beat you if she's able
The queen of hearts is always your best bet
How it seems to me some fine thing
Have been laid upon your table
But you only want the things you can't get
Desperado. You know you ain't getting younger
Your pain and your hunger are driving you home
And freedom, oh freedom
Well that's just some people talking
Your prison is walking through this world all alone
Don't your feet get cold in the wintertime
Sky won't snow and the sun won't shine
It's hard to tell the night time from the day
You're losing all your highs and lows
Ain't it funny how the feeling goes away
Desperado. Why don't you come to your senses
Come down from your fences open the gate
It may be raining but there's a rainbow above you
You'd better let somebody love you
Let somebody love you
Before it's too late
"Desperado" is a song written by Glenn Frey and Don Henley and first recorded by their best-selling American group of all time, rock-country band The Eagles of Laurel Canyon, North Hollywood, CA 91605. The song first appeared on the 1973 album Desperado, and has later appeared on numerous compilation albums by the band.
On this beautiful song, lead vocalist Don Henley, accompanied by Glenn Frey on piano, begs the subject of the song, a "desperado", to return home, and tells him (probably from his/their own experience) that the things he enjoys doing will hurt him eventually.
While this is one of the Eagles' signature songs, it was never released as a single. Nevertheless, "Desperado" was voted #494 in the List of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, and has since been recorded and performed by a variety of musicians including popular vocalist, entertainer and multiple Grammy Award-winner, The Eagles. former employer, Linda Ronstadt, on her 1973 album Don't Cry Now, vocal and instrumental brother-sister duo The Carpenters on their 1975 album Horizon, as well as American pop country music singer-songwriter and American Idol #4, Carrie Underwood, at the 2007 Grammy Awards.
Johnny Cash (born J. R. Cash; February 26, 1932 - September 12, 2003) was a Grammy Award-winning American singer-songwriter and one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Primarily a country music artist, his songs and sound spanned many other genres including rockabilly and rock and roll (especially early in his career), as well as blues, folk and gospel.
Cash was known for his deep, distinctive bass-baritone voice, the "freight train" sound of his Tennessee Three backing band, his demeanor, and his dark clothing, which earned him the nickname "The Man in Black". He traditionally started his concerts with the introduction "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash".
Much of Cash's music, especially that of his later career, echoed themes of sorrow, moral tribulation, and redemption. His signature songs include "I Walk the Line", "Folsom Prison Blues", "Ring of Fire", "Get Rhythm", "Hurt" and "Man in Black". He also recorded humorous songs, such as "One Piece at a Time" and "A Boy Named Sue",
a duet with June Carter called "Jackson", as well as railroad songs such as "Hey Porter" and "Rock Island Line."
He sold over 90 million albums in his nearly fifty-year career and came to occupy a "commanding position in music history".
Cash was of Scottish royal descent but he learned this only upon researching his ancestry. After a chance meeting with former Falkland laird, Major Michael Crichton-Stuart, he traced the Cash family tree to 11th century Fife, Scotland. Scotland's Cash Loch bears the name of his family.
He had believed in his younger days that he was mainly Irish and partially Native American (he had been told he was one-quarter Cherokee). Even after learning he had no Native American ancestry, Cash's empathy and compassion for Native Americans was unabated. These feelings were expressed in several of his songs, including "Apache Tears" and "The Ballad of Ira Hayes", and on his album, Bitter Tears.
Johnny Cash was born J. R. Cash in Kingsland, Arkansas to Ray and Carrie (née Rivers) Cash, and raised in Dyess, Arkansas.
Cash was reportedly given the name "J.R." because his parents could not agree on a name, only on initials. When he enlisted in the United States Air Force, the military would not accept initials as his name, so he adopted John R. Cash as his legal name. In 1955, when signing with Sun Records, he took Johnny Cash as his stage name. His friends and in-laws generally called him John, while his blood relatives usually continued to call him J.R.
Cash was one of seven children: Jack, Joanne Cash Yates, Louise Garrett, Reba Hancock, Roy, and Tommy. His younger brother, Tommy Cash, also became a successful country artist.
By the age of five, J.R. was working in the cotton fields, singing along with his family as they worked. The family farm was flooded on at least one occasion, which later inspired him to write the song "Five Feet High and Rising". His family's economic and personal struggles during the Depression inspired many of his songs, especially those about other people facing similar difficulties.
Cash was very close to his brother Jack, who was two years older. In 1944, Jack was pulled into a whirling table saw in the mill where he worked, and cut almost in two. He suffered for over a week before he died. Cash often spoke of the horrible guilt he felt over this incident. According to Cash: The Autobiography, his father was away that morning, but he and his mother, and Jack himself, all had premonitions or a sense of foreboding about that day, causing his mother to urge Jack to skip work and go fishing with his brother. Jack insisted on working, as the family needed the money. On his deathbed, Jack said he had visions of heaven and angels. Decades later, Cash spoke of looking forward to meeting his brother in heaven. He wrote that he had seen his brother many times in his dreams, and that Jack always looked two years older than whatever age Cash himself was at that moment.
Cash's early memories were dominated by gospel music and radio. Taught by his mother and a childhood friend, Johnny began playing guitar and writing songs as a young boy. In high school he sang on a local radio station; decades later he released an album of traditional gospel songs, called My Mother's Hymn Book. He was also significantly influenced by traditional Irish music that he heard performed weekly by Dennis Day on the Jack Benny radio program.
Cash enlisted in the United States Air Force. After basic training at Lackland Air Force Base and technical training at Brooks Air Force Base, both in San Antonio, Texas, Cash was assigned to a U.S. Air Force Security Service unit, assigned as a morse code decoder on Russian Army transmissions, at Landsberg, Germany. On July 3, 1954, he was honorably discharged as a staff sergeant. Then, he returned to Texas.
While in Air Force training, on July 18, 1951, Cash met 17 year-old Vivian Liberto at a roller skating rink in San Antonio, Texas. They dated for three weeks, until Cash was deployed to Germany for a three year tour. During that time, the couple exchanged over ten thousand pages of love letters. On August 7, 1954, one month after his discharge, they were married at St. Anne's Catholic church in San Antonio. They had four daughters: Rosanne (born May 24, 1955), Kathy (born April 16, 1956), Cindy (born July 29, 1958), and Tara (born August 24, 1961). But Cash's drug and alcohol abuse, constant touring, and affairs with other women (including future wife June Carter) led Liberto to file for divorce in 1966.
In 1968, 18 years after they had first met backstage at the Grand Ole Opry, Cash proposed to June Carter, an established country singer, during a live performance in London, Ontario, marrying on March 1, 1968. He had proposed numerous times, but she had always refused. They had only one child together, Johnny Carter Cash (born March 3, 1970). They continued to work together, and tour, for thirty-five years, until Carter died in 2003. Cash died less than four months after. Carter co-wrote one of his biggest hits, 'Ring of Fire', and they together won two grammies for their duets.
In 1954, the couple moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where he sold appliances while studying to be a radio announcer. At night he played with guitarist Luther Perkins and bassist Marshall Grant. Perkins and Grant were known as the Tennessee Two. Cash worked up the courage to visit the Sun Records studio, hoping to get a recording contract. After auditioning for Sam Phillips, singing mostly gospel songs, Phillips told him to "go home and sin, then come back with a song I can sell." Cash eventually won over Phillips with new songs delivered in his early frenetic style. His first recordings at Sun, "Hey Porter" and "Cry Cry Cry", were released in 1955 and met with reasonable success on the country hit parade.
Cash's next record, Folsom Prison Blues, made the country Top 5, and "I Walk the Line" became No. 1 on the country charts and entered the pop charts Top 20. Following "I Walk the Line" was "Home of the Blues", recorded in July 1957. That same year Cash became the first Sun artist to release a long-playing album. Although he was Sun's most consistently best-selling and prolific artist at that time, Cash felt constrained by his contract with the small label. Elvis Presley had already left Sun, and Phillips was focusing most of his attention and promotion on Jerry Lee Lewis. The following year Cash left the label to sign a lucrative offer with Columbia Records, where his single "Don't Take Your Guns to Town" became one of his biggest hits.
In the early 1960s, Cash toured with the Carter Family, which by this time regularly included Mother Maybelle's daughters, Anita, June and Helen. June, whom Cash would eventually marry, later recalled admiring Johnny from afar during these tours.
As his career was taking off in the early 1960s, Cash started drinking heavily and became addicted to amphetamines and barbiturates. For a brief time, he shared an apartment in Nashville with Waylon Jennings, who was heavily addicted to amphetamines. Cash used the uppers to stay awake during tours. Friends joked about his "nervousness" and erratic behavior, many ignoring the warning signs of his worsening drug addiction. In a behind the scenes look at The Johnny Cash Show, Cash claims to have "tried every drug there was to try."
Johnny Cash with guitar in 1958
Although in many ways spiraling out of control, Cash's frenetic creativity was still delivering hits. His rendition of "Ring of Fire" was a crossover hit, reaching No. 1 on the country charts and entering the Top 20 on the pop charts. The song was written by June Carter and Merle Kilgore. The song was originally performed by Carter's sister, but the signature mariachi-style horn arrangement was provided by Cash, who said that it had come to him in a dream.
In June 1965, his truck caught fire due to an overheated wheel bearing, triggering a forest fire that burnt several hundred acres in Los Padres National Forest in California. When the judge asked Cash why he did it, Cash said, "I didn't do it, my truck did, and it's dead, so you can't question it." The fire destroyed 508 acres (2.06 km2), burning the foliage off three mountains and killing 49 of the refuge's 53 endangered condors. Cash was unrepentant: "I don't care about your damn yellow buzzards." The federal government sued him and was awarded $125,172. Johnny eventually settled the case and paid $82,001. Cash said he was the only person ever sued by the government for starting a forest fire.
Although Cash carefully cultivated a romantic outlaw image, he never served a prison sentence. Despite landing in jail seven times for misdemeanors, each stay lasted only a single night. His most infamous run-in with the law occurred while on tour in 1965, when he was arrested by a narcotics squad in El Paso, Texas. The officers suspected that he was smuggling heroin from Mexico, but it was prescription narcotics and amphetamines that the singer had hidden inside his guitar case. Because they were prescription drugs rather than illegal narcotics, he received a suspended sentence.
Johnny Cash and his second wife, June
Cash was also arrested on May 11, 1965, in Starkville, Mississippi, for trespassing late at night onto private property to pick flowers. (This incident gave the spark for the song "Starkville City Jail", which he spoke about on his live At San Quentin prison album.)
In the mid 1960s, Cash released a number of concept albums, including Ballads Of The True West (1965), an experimental double record mixing authentic frontier songs with Cash's spoken narration, and Bitter Tears (1964), with songs highlighting the plight of the Native Americans. His drug addiction was at its worst at this point, and his destructive behavior led to a divorce from his first wife and canceled performances.
In 1967, Cash's duet with Carter, "Jackson", won a Grammy Award.
Cash quit using drugs in 1968, after a spiritual epiphany in the Nickajack Cave, when he attempted to commit suicide while under the heavy influence of drugs. He descended deeper into the cave, trying to lose himself, when he passed out on the floor. When he awoke, he had a change of heart and managed to struggle out of the cave by following a faint light and slight breeze. To him, it was his own rebirth. June, Maybelle, and Ezra Carter moved into Cash's mansion for a month to help him defeat his addiction. Cash proposed onstage to June at a concert at the London Gardens in London, Ontario on February 22, 1968; the couple married a week later (on March 1) in Franklin, Kentucky. June had agreed to marry Cash after he had 'cleaned up'. Rediscovering his Christian faith, taking an "altar call" in Evangel Temple, a small church in the Nashville area, Cash chose this church over many larger celebrity churches in the Nashville area because he said that there he was treated like just another parishioner and not a celebrity.
Folsom Prison Blues
Cash felt great compassion for prisoners. He began performing concerts at various prisons starting in the late 1960s. These performances led to a pair of highly successful live albums, Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison (1968) and Johnny Cash at San Quentin (1969).
The Folsom Prison record was introduced by a rendition of his classic "Folsom Prison Blues", while the San Quentin record included the crossover hit single "A Boy Named Sue", a Shel Silverstein-penned novelty song that reached No. 1 on the country charts and No. 2 on the U.S. Top Ten pop charts. The AM versions of the latter contained a couple of profanities which were edited out. The modern CD versions are unedited and uncensored and thus also longer than the original vinyl albums, though they still retain the audience reaction overdubs of the originals.
In addition to his performances at U.S. prisons, Cash also performed at the Österåker Prison in Sweden in 1972. The live album På Österåker ("At Österåker") was released in 1973. Between the songs, Cash can be heard speaking Swedish, which was greatly appreciated by the inmates.
"The Man in Black"
Cash advocated prison reform at his July 1972 meeting with United States President Richard Nixon.
From 1969 to 1971, Cash starred in his own television show, The Johnny Cash Show, on the ABC network. The Statler Brothers opened up for him in every episode; the Carter Family and rockabilly legend Carl Perkins were also part of the regular show entourage. However, Cash also enjoyed booking more contemporary performers as guests; such notables included Neil Young, Louis Armstrong, James Taylor, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton (then leading Derek and the Dominos), and Bob Dylan.
Cash had met with Dylan in the mid 1960s and became closer friends when they were neighbors in the late 1960s in Woodstock, New York. Cash was enthusiastic about reintroducing the reclusive Dylan to his audience. Cash sang a duet with Dylan on Dylan's country album Nashville Skyline and also wrote the album's Grammy-winning liner notes.
Another artist who received a major career boost from The Johnny Cash Show was songwriter Kris Kristofferson, who was beginning to make a name for himself as a singer/songwriter. During a live performance of Kristofferson's "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down", Cash refused to change the lyrics to suit network executives, singing the song with its references to marijuana intact: "On a Sunday morning sidewalk / I'm wishin', Lord, that I was stoned."
By the early 1970s, he had crystallized his public image as "The Man in Black". He regularly performed dressed all in black, wearing a long black knee-length coat. This outfit stood in contrast to the costumes worn by most of the major country acts in his day: rhinestone suit and cowboy boots. In 1971, Cash wrote the song "Man in Black", to help explain his dress code: "We're doing mighty fine I do suppose/In our streak of lightning cars and fancy clothes/But just so we're reminded of the ones who are held back/Up front there ought to be a man in black."
He and his band had initially worn black shirts because that was the only matching color they had among their various outfits. He wore other colors on stage early in his career, but he claimed to like wearing black both on and off stage. He stated that, political reasons aside, he simply liked black as his on-stage color. To this day, the United States Navy's winter blue service uniform is referred to by sailors as "Johnny Cashes," as the uniform's shirt, tie, and trousers are solid black.
In the mid 1970s, Cash's popularity and number of hit songs began to decline, but his autobiography (the first of two), titled Man in Black, was published in 1975 and sold 1.3 million copies. A second, Cash: The Autobiography, appeared in 1997. His friendship with Billy Graham led to the production of a movie about the life of Jesus, The Gospel Road, which Cash co-wrote and narrated. The decade saw his religious conviction deepening, and he made many evangelical appearances.
He also continued to appear on television, hosting an annual Christmas special on CBS throughout the 1970s. Later television appearances included a role in an episode of Columbo. He also appeared with his wife on an episode of Little House on the Prairie entitled "The Collection" and gave a performance as John Brown in the 1985 Civil War television mini-series North and South.
He was friendly with every United States President starting with Richard Nixon. He was closest with Jimmy Carter, who became a very close friend. He stated that he found all of them personally charming, noting that this was probably essential to getting oneself elected.
When invited to perform at the White House for the first time in 1972, President Richard Nixon's office requested that he play "Okie from Muskogee" (a satirical Merle Haggard song about people who despised youthful drug users and war protesters) and "Welfare Cadillac" (a Guy Drake song that derides the integrity of welfare recipients). Cash declined to play either song and instead played a series of more left-leaning, politically charged songs, including "The Ballad of Ira Hayes" (about a brave Native-American World War II veteran who was mistreated upon his return to Arizona), and his own compositions, "What is Truth?" and "Man in Black". Cash claimed that the reasons for denying Nixon's song choices were not knowing them and having fairly short notice to rehearse them, rather than any political reason.
From left to right Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, who formed the country music supergroup, The Highwaymen
In 1980, Cash became the Country Music Hall of Fame's youngest living inductee at age forty-eight, but during the 1980s his records failed to make a major impact on the country charts, although he continued to tour successfully. In the mid 1980s, he recorded and toured with Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson as The Highwaymen, making two hit albums.
During this period, Cash appeared as an actor in a number of television films. In 1981, he starred in The Pride of Jesse Hallam. Cash won fine reviews for his work in this film that called attention to adult illiteracy. Also in 1981, Cash appeared as the 'very special guest star' in an episode of the Muppet Show. In 1983, Cash appeared as a heroic sheriff in Murder In Coweta County, which co-starred Andy Griffith as his nemesis. This film was based on a real-life Georgia murder case. Cash had tried for years to make the film, for which he won acclaim.
Cash relapsed into addiction after being administered painkillers for a serious abdominal injury in 1983 caused by an unusual incident in which he was kicked and wounded by an ostrich he kept on his farm.
At a hospital visit in 1988, this time to watch over Waylon Jennings (who was recovering from a heart attack), Jennings suggested that Cash have himself checked into the hospital for his own heart condition. Doctors recommended preventive heart surgery, and Cash underwent double bypass surgery in the same hospital. Both recovered, although Cash refused to use any prescription painkillers, fearing a relapse into dependency. Cash later claimed that during his operation, he had what is called a "near death experience". He said he had visions of Heaven that were so beautiful that he was angry when he woke up alive.
Cash's recording career and his general relationship with the Nashville establishment were at an all-time low in the 1980s. He realized that his record label of nearly 30 years, Columbia, was growing indifferent to him and wasn't properly marketing him (he was "invisible" during that time, as he said in his autobiography). Cash recorded an intentionally awful song to protest, a self-parody. "Chicken in Black" was about Johnny's brain being transplanted into a chicken. Ironically, the song turned out to be a larger commercial success than any of his other recent material. Nevertheless, he was hoping to kill the relationship with the label before they did, and it was not long after "Chicken in Black" that Columbia and Cash parted ways.
In 1986, Cash returned to Sun Studios in Memphis to team up with Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins to create the album Class of '55. This was not the first time he had teamed up with Lewis and Perkins at Sun Studios. On December 4, 1956, Elvis Presley dropped in on Phillips to pay a social visit while Perkins was in the studio cutting new tracks, with Lewis backing him on piano. Cash was also in the studio and the four started an impromptu jam session. Phillips left the tapes running and the recordings, almost half of which were gospel songs, survived and have been released on CD under the title Million Dollar Quartet. Tracks also include Chuck Berry's "Brown Eyed Handsome Man", Pat Boone's "Don't Forbid Me", and Elvis doing an impersonation of Jackie Wilson (who was then with Billy Ward and the Dominoes) singing "Don't Be Cruel".
In 1986, Cash published his only novel, Man in White, a book about Saul and his conversion to become the Apostle Paul. He also recorded Johnny Cash Reads The Complete New Testament in 1990.
Johnny Cash sings a duet with a Navy lieutenant c.1987.
After Columbia Records dropped Cash from his recording contract, he had a short and unsuccessful stint with Mercury Records from 1987 to 1991 (see Johnny Cash discography).
In 1991, Cash sang lead vocals on a cover version of "Man in Black" for the Christian punk band One Bad Pig's album I Scream Sunday.
His career was rejuvenated in the 1990s, leading to popularity among a younger audience not traditionally interested in country music. In 1993, he sang the vocal on U2's "The Wanderer" for their album Zooropa. Although he was no longer sought after by major labels, Cash was approached by producer Rick Rubin and offered a contract with Rubin's American Recordings label, better known for rap and hard rock.
Under Rubin's supervision, he recorded the album American Recordings (1994) in his living room, accompanied only by his guitar. That guitar was a Martin dreadnought guitar - one of many Cash played throughout his career. The album featured several covers of contemporary artists selected by Rubin and had much critical and commercial success, winning a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album. Cash wrote that his reception at the 1994 Glastonbury Festival was one of the highlights of his career. This was the beginning of a decade of music industry accolades and surprising commercial success.
Cash and his wife appeared on a number of episodes of the popular television series Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman starring Jane Seymour. The actress thought so highly of Cash that she later named one of her twin sons after him. He lent his voice for a cartoon cameo in an episode of The Simpsons, with his voice as that of a coyote that guides Homer on a spiritual quest. In 1996, Cash released a sequel to American Recordings, Unchained, and enlisted the accompaniment of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, which won a Grammy for Best Country Album. Cash, believing he did not explain enough of himself in his 1975 autobiography Man in Black, wrote another autobiography in 1997 entitled Cash: The Autobiography.
Last years and death
In 1997, Cash was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease Shy-Drager syndrome. The diagnosis was later altered to autonomic neuropathy associated with diabetes. This illness forced Cash to curtail his touring. He was hospitalized in 1998 with severe pneumonia, which damaged his lungs. The albums American III: Solitary Man (2000) and American IV: The Man Comes Around (2002) contained Cash's response to his illness in the form of songs of a slightly more somber tone than the first two American albums. The video that was released for "Hurt", a song by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, fit Cash's view of his past and feelings of regret. The video for the song, from American IV, is now generally recognized as "his epitaph," and received particular critical and popular acclaim.
June Carter Cash died on May 15, 2003, at the age of seventy-three. June had told Cash to keep working, so he continued to record and even performed a couple of surprise shows at the Carter Family Fold outside Bristol, Virginia. (The July 5, 2003 concert was his final public appearance.) At the June 21, 2003 concert, before singing "Ring of Fire", Cash read a statement about his late wife that he had written shortly before taking the stage. He spoke of how June's spirit was watching over him and how she had come to visit him before going on stage. He barely made it through the song. Despite his poor health, he spoke of looking forward to the day when he could walk again and toss his wheelchair into the river near his home.
Johnny Cash died less than four months after his wife, on September 12, 2003, while hospitalized at Baptist Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. He was interred next to his wife in Hendersonville Memory Gardens near his home in Hendersonville, Tennessee. He was 71.
On May 24, 2005, Vivian Liberto, Cash's first wife and the mother of Rosanne Cash, and three other daughters, died from surgery to remove lung cancer. It was Rosanne Cash's fiftieth birthday.
His stepdaughter, Rosie (Nix) Adams and another passenger were found dead on a bus in Montgomery County, Tennessee, on October 24, 2003. It was speculated that the deaths may have been caused by carbon monoxide from the lanterns in the bus. Adams was 45 when she died. She was buried in the Hendersonville Memorial Gardens, Hendersonville, Tennessee, near her mother and stepfather.
In June 2005, his lakeside home on Caudill Drive in Hendersonville, Tennessee, went up for sale by the Cash estate. In January 2006, the house was sold to Bee Gees vocalist Barry Gibb and wife Linda Gibb and titled in their Florida limited liability company for $2.3 million. The listing agent was Cash's younger brother, Tommy Cash. The home was destroyed by fire on April 10, 2007.
One of Johnny Cash's final collaborations with producer Rick Rubin, entitled American V: A Hundred Highways, was released posthumously on July 4, 2006. The album debuted in the #1 position on Billboard Magazines Top 200 album chart for the week ending July 22, 2006. Enough of Cash's music was left to put together a posthumous album which he had helped plan. The album, American VI, is planned for release sometime in 2009.
1957 Johnny Cash with His Hot and Blue Guitar
1958 Sings the Songs That Made Him Famous
1960 Sings Hank Williams
1961 Now Here's Johnny Cash
1962 All Aboard the Blue Train
1964 The Original Sun Sound of Johnny Cash
1969 Get Rhythm
1969 Original Golden Hits, Volume I
1969 Story Songs of the Trains and Rivers
1970 The Singing Storyteller
1970 Original Golden Hits, Volume II
1970 Johnny Cash: The Legend
1970 The Rough Cut King of Country Music
1970 Sunday Down South
1971 Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music
1971 Original Golden Hits, Volume III
Cash recorded the bulk of his catalog with Columbia. Many of these albums feature previously released material paired with new material
1959 The Fabulous Johnny Cash
1959 Hymns by Johnny Cash
1959 Songs of Our Soil
1960 Ride This Train
1960 Now, There Was a Song!
1961 The Lure of the Grand Canyon
1962 Hymns from the Heart
1962 The Sound of Johnny Cash
1963 Blood, Sweat, and Tears 80
1963 Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash 1 26 Gold
1963 The Christmas Spirit 7
1964 I Walk the Line 1 53 Gold
1964 Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian 2 47
1965 Orange Blossom Special 3 49
1965 Sings the Ballads of the True West
1966 Everybody Loves a Nut 5 88
1966 Happiness Is You 10
1967 Carryin' On with Johnny Cash and June Carter 5 194
1968 From Sea to Shining Sea 9
1968 At Folsom Prison (live) 1 13 3× Multi-Platinum
1968 Heart of Cash
1968 The Holy Land 6 54
1969 At San Quentin (live) 1 1 3× Multi-Platinum
1970 Hello, I'm Johnny Cash 1 6 Gold
1970 The Johnny Cash Show (live) 1 44 Gold
1970 I Walk the Line - Movie Soundtrack 9 176
1970 Little Fauss and Big Halsy - Movie Soundtrack 209
1971 Man in Black 1 56
1972 A Thing Called Love 2 112
1972 America: A 200-Year Salute in Story and Song 3 176
1972 The Johnny Cash Family Christmas
1972 International Superstar
1973 På Österåker (live)
1973 Any Old Wind That Blows 5 188
1973 The Gospel Road 12 205
1973 Johnny Cash and His Woman 32
1974 Ragged Old Flag 16
1974 Junkie and the Juicehead Minus Me 48
1975 The Children's Album
1975 Sings Precious Memories
1975 John R. Cash
1975 Look at Them Beans 38
1975 Strawberry Cake (live) 33
1976 One Piece at a Time 2 185
1977 The Last Gunfighter Ballad 29
1977 The Rambler 31
1978 I Would Like to See You Again 23
1978 Gone Girl
1979 Silver 28
1980 Rockabilly Blues
1980 Classic Christmas
1981 The Baron 24 201
1982 The Adventures of Johnny Cash
1983 Johnny 99
Independent label Gospel / Christmas albums
1979 A Believer Sings the Truth 43 Cachet
1984 I Believe
1986 Believe in Him Word
1991 Johnny Cash Country Christmas Delta
1992 Return to the Promised Land Renaissance
1987 Johnny Cash Is Coming to Town 36
1987 Classic Cash: Hall of Fame Series
1988 Water from the Wells of Home 48
1989 Boom Chicka Boom
1991 The Mystery of Life 70
1994 Wanted Man
1996 Johnny Cash: The Hits 75
1998 The Best of Johnny Cash
2000 The Mercury Years
2002 Johnny Cash & Friends
The American Recordings series is produced by Rick Rubin and contains the only newly-recorded material released after 1990. These albums are known for their relaxed, laidback feel and for featuring many covers and collaborations with other well-known artists. One song from these sessions, "A Satisfied Mind," was used in the Tarantino movie Kill Bill Volume 2 and has only been released on the soundtrack.
1994 American Recordings 23 110
1996 Unchained 26 170
1998 VH1 Storytellers: Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson (live) 25 150
2000 American III: Solitary Man 11 88
2002 American IV: The Man Comes Around 2 22 Platinum
2003 Unearthed 33 Gold
2004 My Mother's Hymn Book 27 194
2006 American V: A Hundred Highways 1 1 Gold
1955 "Cry, Cry, Cry" 14 Johnny Cash with His Hot and Blue Guitar
1956 "So Doggone Lonesome" 4
"Folsom Prison Blues" flip
"I Walk the Line" 1 17
"Get Rhythm" flip Greatest!
"There You Go" 1 Sings the Songs That Made Him Famous
1957 "Train of Love" 7
"Next in Line" 9 99
"Don't Make Me Go" flip
"Home of the Blues" 3 88
"Give My Love to Rose" 13 Sings Hank Williams
1958 "Ballad of a Teenage Queen" 1 14 Sings the Songs That Made Him Famous
"Big River" 4 14
"Guess Things Happen That Way" 1 11
"Come in Stranger" 6 66
"The Ways of a Woman in Love" 2 24
"You're the Nearest Thing to Heaven" 5 24
"All Over Again" 4 38 Old Golden Throat
"What Do I Care" 7 52 Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash
1959 "Don't Take Your Guns to Town" 1 32 The Fabulous Johnny Cash
"It's Just About Time" 30 47 Greatest!
"Luther Played the Boogie" 8
"Thanks a Lot" 12
"Frankie's Man, Johnny" 9 57 The Fabulous Johnny Cash
"You Dreamer You" 13 Old Golden Throat
"Katy Too" 11 66 Greatest!
"I Got Stripes" 4 43 Old Golden Throat
"Five Feet High and Rising" 14 76 Songs of Our Soil
"Goodbye Little Darlin'" 22 Greatest!
"Little Drummer Boy" 24 63 The Christmas Spirit
1960 "Straight A's in Love" 16 84 Sings Hank Williams
"I Love You Because" 20
"Seasons of My Heart" 10 Now, There Was a Song!
"Smiling Bill McCall" 13 110 Old Golden Throat
"The Story of a Broken Heart" 107 Now Here's Johnny Cash
"Down the Street to 301" 85
"Second Honeymoon" 15 79 More of Old Golden Throat
"Mean Eyed Cat" 30 Sings Hank Williams
"Oh Lonesome Me" 13 93 Now Here's Johnny Cash
1961 "The Rebel - Johnny Yuma" 24 108 Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash
"Tennessee Flat-Top Box" 11 84
1962 "The Big Battle" 24
"In the Jailhouse Now" 8 The Sound of Johnny Cash
"Bonanza" 94 Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash
"Busted" (w/ The Carter Family) 13 Blood, Sweat and Tears
1963 "Ring of Fire" 1 17 Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash
"The Matador" 2 44 Heart of Cash
1964 "Understand Your Man" 1 35 I Walk the Line
"Dark as a Dungeon" 49 119 Old Golden Throat
"The Ballad of Ira Hayes" 3 Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian
"Bad News" 8 I Walk the Line
"It Ain't Me, Babe" (w/ June Carter Cash) 4 58 28 Orange Blossom Special
1965 "Orange Blossom Special" 3 80
"The Streets of Laredo" 124 Sings the Ballads of the True West
"Mister Garfield" 15
"The Sons of Katie Elder" 10 119 Heart of Cash
"Happy to Be with You" 9 Single only
1966 "The One on the Right Is on the Left" 2 46 Everybody Loves a Nut
"Everybody Loves a Nut" 17 96
"Boa Constrictor" 39 107
"You Beat All I Ever Saw" 20 More of Old Golden Throat
1967 "Jackson" (w/ June Carter Cash) 2 Greatest Hits, Vol. 1
"Long-Legged Guitar Pickin' Man" (w/ June Carter Cash) 6 Carryin' On with Johnny Cash and June Carter
"The Wind Changes" 60 Old Golden Throat
"Rosanna's Going Wild" 2 91 International Superstar
1968 "Folsom Prison Blues" (re-release) 1 32 At Folsom Prison
"Daddy Sang Bass" 1 42 The Holy Land
1969 "A Boy Named Sue" 1 2 1 4 At San Quentin
"Get Rhythm" (re-release) 23 60 Single only
"Blistered" 4 50 Hello, I'm Johnny Cash
"See Ruby Fall" flip 75
"If I Were a Carpenter" (w/ June Carter Cash) 2 36
1970 "Rock Island Line" 35 93 Single only
"What Is Truth" 3 19 4 21
"Sunday Morning Coming Down" 1 46 The Johnny Cash Show
"Flesh and Blood" 1 54 I Walk the Line (soundtrack)
1971 "Big River" 41 Greatest Hits, Vol. 2
"Man in Black" 3 58 Man in Black
"Singin' in Vietnam Talkin' Blues" 18 124
"No Need to Worry" (w/ June Carter Cash) 15 International Superstar
"Papa Was a Good Man" 16 104 A Thing Called Love
"A Thing Called Love" 2 103 37 4
1972 "Kate" 2 75
"If I Had a Hammer" 29 Any Old Wind That Blows
"Oney" 2 101
"Any Old Wind That Blows" 3
"The Loving Gift" (w/ June Carter Cash) 27
1973 "Children" 30 Single only
"Allegheny" (w/ June Carter Cash) 69 Johnny Cash and His Woman
1974 "Orleans Parish Prison" 52 På Österåker
"Ragged Old Flag" 31 Ragged Old Flag
"The Junkie and the Juicehead, Minus Me" Junkie and the Juicehead Minus Me
"Father and Daughter (Father and Son)" (w/ Rosey Nix)
"Lady Came from Baltimore" 14 John R. Cash
1975 "My Old Kentucky Home
(Turpentine and Dandelion Wine)" 42
"Look at Them Beans" 17 Look at Them Beans
"Texas - 1947" 35
1976 "Strawberry Cake" 54 Strawberry Cake
"One Piece at a Time" 1 29 6 32 One Piece at a Time
"Sold Out of Flagpoles" 29
"Ridin' on the Cotton Belt" Single only
"Old Time Feeling" (w/ June Carter Cash) 26 Greatest Hits, Vol. 3
1977 "The Last Gunfighter Ballad" 38 The Last Gunfighter Ballad
"Lady" 46 The Rambler
"After the Ball" 32
1978 "I Would Like to See You Again" 12 I Would Like to See You Again
"There Ain't No Good Chain Gang" (w/ Waylon Jennings) 2
"Gone Girl" 44 Gone Girl
"It'll Be Her" 89
"I Will Rock and Roll with You" 21
1979 "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky" 2 Silver
"I'll Say It's True" 42
"I Wish I Was Crazy Again" (w/ Waylon Jennings) 22 Greatest Hits, Vol. 3
1980 "Wings in the Morning" A Believer Sings the Truth
"Bull Rider" 66 Silver
"Song of the Patriot" 54 Encore
"Cold Lonesome Morning" 53 Rockabilly Blues
"Last Time" 85
1981 "Without Love" 78
"The Baron" 10 The Baron
"Mobile Bay" 60
1982 "The Reverend Mr. Black" 71
"Chattanooga City Limit Sign" flip
"The General Lee" 26 The Dukes of Hazzard (soundtrack)
"Georgia on a Fast Train" 55 The Adventures of Johnny Cash
"Fair Weather Friends"
1983 "We Must Believe in Magic" 84
"I'm Ragged But I'm Right" 75 Johnny 99
1984 "That's the Truth" 84
"Chicken in Black" 45 Single only
"They Killed Him"
1985 "I'm Leaving Now" Rainbow
1986 "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues" (w/ Waylon Jennings) 35 Heroes
1987 "The Night Hank Williams Came to Town" 43 Johnny Cash Is Coming to Town
"Let Him Roll"
"W. Lee O'Daniel (And the Light Crust Doughboys)" 72
1988 "Get Rhythm" (re-release) Classic Cash: Hall of Fame Series
"That Old Wheel" (w/ Hank Williams Jr.) 21 Water from the Wells of Home
1989 "Ballad of a Teenage Queen"
(w/ Rosanne Cash and The Everly Brothers) 45 Boom Chicka Boom
1990 "Farmer's Almanac"
"Cat's in the Cradle"
"Goin' by the Book" 69 The Mystery of Life
1991 "The Mystery of Life"
1994 "Delia's Gone" American Recordings
"The Man Who Couldn't Cry"
1996 "Rusty Cage" Unchained
"I've Been Everywhere"
2002 "The Man Comes Around" American IV: The Man Comes Around
2003 "Hurt" 56 39
2006 "God's Gonna Cut You Down" 77 American V: A Hundred Highways
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