Take a look at the below list of Johnny Cash Top 10 Songs and Albums of All Time. You do not mention great musicians of the 20th century and fail to mention Johnny Cash. The man is a legend. More than ten years after his demise and people still, listen to his albums and songs. Be it his originals or covers, his deep bass-baritone voice will carry you away. The ‘Man In Black,’ a nickname he earned as he was always dressed in black, covered several genres including country music, rock, and roll, alternative rock, gospel, blues, and folk. The late activist for Native Americans will be remembered for man things including the free prison concerts.
List of Top 10 songs by Johnny Cash of all time
10. Highwayman- 1985
‘Highwayman’ is more of a band song, by a group of country music outlaws. The song featured several singers including Cash. Each verse is performed by a different musician. Willie Nelson came first as the highwayman, followed by Kris Kristofferson whose role was the sailor, then Waylon Jennings took the role of a construction workman, and Cash came last as a starship captain. “I was a Highwayman along the coach roads.”
9. Jackson- 1967
‘Jackson’ is the product of collaboration between Cash and, the then soon-to-be wife, June Carter. ‘Jackson’ was not the couple’s duet. The two started singing together from 1961. Some of their previous works included “If I Were a Carpenter,” “It Ain’t Me Babe,” and “Long Legged Guitar Pickin’ Man.” ‘Jackson’ was released in 1967, a year before the couple died the knot. Only death separated the two musicians. ‘We got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout.’
8. One Piece at a Time- 1976
More than 20 years after kick-starting his career, Cash topped charts with this hit. ‘One Piece at a Time’ is a song that clearly proves Cash was a country music outlaw. The song is a story of young man who worked at a car factory. The man steals the components of a car, in an oversized vehicle. At the end of it, the man has all the pieces needed to assemble a car. The result is a car that is so unique. “I’m gonna ride around in style / I’m gonna drive everybody wild / ‘Cause I’ll have the only one there is around.”
7. Sunday Morning Coming Down-1972
Through this song, Kris Kristofferson, one of the greatest songwriters of the 70’s, established his career. This Cash song was his eleventh to top billboards. ‘Sunday Morning Coming Down’ describes life getting very unbearable and “wishing, Lord, that I was stoned.” The struggling Kristofferson and Cash later came together with Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings to form the Grammy award-winning group, the Highwaymen.
6. Cry, Cry, Cry- 1955
‘Cry, Cry, Cry’ was Johnny Cash’s ticket to fame. This hit song was produced by Sun Records just a year after Cash moved to Tennessee. It is rumored that Cash wrote the song in one night at the request of Sam Phillips, Sun Records owner then. The song describes a woman who chooses lousy men over Cash, and by the time she reality hits her, Cash will just let her “Cry, Cry, Cry.” The hit, which ranked 14 in the Billboard on its release, is upbeat, fun, very danceable and harsh at the same time. This is one of the Johnny Cash Top 10 Songs of All Time.
5. A Boy Named Sue- 1969
‘A boy named Sue’ is a Johnny Cash single that was a product of a live performance at the San Quentin State Prison. It is arguably Cash’s greatest hit as it was his only song to appear in Billboard’s Hot 100’s top 10. In the song, Cash takes the persona of the boy and narrates how he takes revenge on the father because of giving him a name that brought him considerable ridicule. The song, which is more like spoken word than a song, won the Song of the Year Award at the Grammy’s that year.
4. Man in Black- 1971
The song was viewed as a response to Cash preference of black clothing. After the release of the song he earned himself the nickname the “man in black.” The song came during the Vietnam War and is also a dedication to the poor Americans affected. The song reached 3rd place in Country Music Billboard charts.
3. Folsom Prison Blues- 1955
‘Folsom Prison Blues’ was Cash’s third single released in 1955 by Sun Records. The song topped country music charts for a month. The better version of the hit was released as a Live performance at nowhere else but Folsom Prison. With electric guitars, a background band and cheers of the inmate, the Live recording is epic. The song is Cash’s idea of what one would do to end up in Prison. “But I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.” The Live version opened with “Hello, I am Johnny Cash,” which became his signature opener soon after.
2. Ring Of Fire- 1963
The song is a hit from the album “The best of Johnny Cash.” ‘Ring of Fire’ was written by June Carter, in collaboration with Merle Kilgore. The song describes June and Johnny’s relationship before marriage. The song is part of Johnny Cash highest selling album, and the song has reached over 1.2 million digital downloads. A true masterpiece, the song opens with trumpets, which is not typical of country music. The song is in the Grammy Song Hall of Fame, not forgetting it ranked first in Billboard charts for seven weeks.
1. I Walk The Line- 1956
‘I Walk The Line’ was Cash’s first hit to rank first in Billboard charts. The song was dedicated to his first wife, Vivian Liberto, assuring her that he would not cheat on her while on tour. It is one of Cash’s legendary hits; it stayed in Billboard charts for 43 weeks, 2 million copies of the hit sold, and earned Cash a place in Grammy’s Hall of Fame. The song is the theme track of the Johnny Cash biopic created in 2005 in honor of the excellent musician. The movie won an Oscar award.
Johnny Cash best songs ever
1. God’s Gonna Cut You Down- 2003
This harsh cover of the exemplary traditional folk song by Cash came towards the very end of his career. The song criticizes sinners, thus considered a gospel hit. Its music video was released in 2006, three years after the legend died.
2. Hurt- 2003
Released just three months before he died, the song is a cover of the 90’s hit by Nine Inch Nails. The song is regarded as a farewell. It came just after his wife died. “What have I become My sweetest friend Everyone I know goes away In the end.” It is a sad song, whose theme is exemplified by the ‘Man in Black’ aging voice. In the music video, Cash’s deteriorating health is evident. Johnny’s acoustic version of ‘Hurt’ won CMA’s Single of The Year.
There you have it, Johnny Cash’s Top 10 songs. His career began in 1955 and ended in 2003, due to death. Would he have continued to sing had he not passed? Clearly, Johnny Cash is a musical legend. Bet, some of you, still listen to his songs. The multiple Grammy Award winner will remain forever in our hearts.