Narrowing the list of hit singles recorded by Johnny Cash down to only ten is a difficult task considering how popular he became as a singer/songwriter. he swept America off its feet in 1955 when he released his first hit single and it just got better from there. he started his career as a country singer but he also sung blues, rock, folk and gospel. after his first hit record, he made an appearance on the Louisiana Hayride radio show and soon, music fanatics everywhere knew the name Johnny Cash.
Here are 10 hit singles recorded by Johnny Cash:
1. Ring of Fire- Co-written by June Carter and first sang by her sister Anita, this was a unique love song that Cash later recorded the way he thought it should be sung with lots of thought put into the instrumentals. his version of the song became the biggest hit of his career.
2. Folsom Prison Blues- the film inside the Walls of Folsom Prison was his inspiration to write this song. It’s actually a story about a man in prison who thinks about the crimes he committed when he hears the whistle of a train as it passes by. the version recorded from inside the walls of Folsom Prison became one of his biggest hits.
3. I Walk the Line- Released in 1957, this one became a number one country hit as Cash sings about being a devoted husband who will walk the line for his wife.
4. A Boy Named Sue- this is a fascinating song about a boy’s journey to find and get revenge on his absent father who’s only part in his life, was to name him Sue. It was released in 1969 and quickly hit the top of the billboard charts to become his fourth largest hit.
5. Ghost Riders in the Sky- Originally written and performed by Stan Jones in 1948 this song has become a legend throughout the years. It’s a fascinating story about a vision that a cowboy has where he sees the ghost riders (who are dammed cowboys) chasing the devils herd of fire-breathing cattle through the thundering sky. Cash recorded his version of the song in 1979 staying faithful to the original version but that dark voice added to the drama making it even more popular.
6. Cry Cry Cry- this is the song that started Cash’s career and it made it all the way to number 14 on the country music chart in 1955.
7. Big River- Written and recorded by Cash in 1958, big River hit number 4 on the country music charts and stayed there for an amazing fourteen weeks. when the song was released there was a verse omitted due to the length of the song and Cash would add this verse when performing in front of a live audience.
8. So Doggone Lonesome- Written by Johnny Cash and sang by him and his Tennessee Two band, this become one of his big hits. It was written as a tribute to Ernest Tubb.
9. Don’t Take your Guns to Town- this number one hit single stayed at the top for six weeks. the story talks about a mother warning her son not to take his guns to town. Ignoring her advice, the young cowboy is killed in a saloon gunfight.
10. Hurt- Johnny Cash did a remake of this Trent Reznor song in 2002. there was some skepticism within the music industry over this remake but it became one of the last hits Cash recorded before his death in 2003.
48 hit singles recorded by Johnny Cash reach the top of the country music charts throughout his career. his distinctive voice and unique style grabbed the hearts of music lovers from all generations and he’ll be remembered forever as one of America’s greatest singers. which ones are your favorites?