In the course of his almost five-decade recording career, Johnny Cash created many of the greatest songs in country and pop music. Cash had quite the way with a story song, and this heartbreaking western anthem became his first chart-topper after his move from Sun to Columbia Records. Ironically, the song was the last that Cash would ever perform in public on July 5, — just a few weeks after the passing of his beloved June. The lyrics were perhaps Cash at his most cocky or belligerent — depending upon your definition. Cash approached the song with dead-on swagger, making for a classic for the ages. In fact, he was so much a fan of the song that he decided to take the lyric sheet with him to San Quentin, where he was slated to perform on Feb. For reasons unknown but to Cash, he decided to set the lyrics on the stand in front of him, and perform the song for the captive audience, and the results were legendary.
It is simply impossible to showcase this icon through a list or a playlist since he was such a prolific talent until his last breath. If you do only have time for ten songs Cash recorded, however, these ten do an elegant job of painting a portrait of the Man in Black worth remembering. During the composition process, Lowe penned the song in the voice of Cash. Sure enough, when Cash did get around to it in , it became his song. Once they did come around, he explored concept albums about the Gospel and country western folk heroes and the like… but before that, his songs were known best as disjointed 45s.
Johnny Cash had an incredible list of hit songs that started with "Cry! This list of the Top 10 Johnny Cash Songs represents each era of his massive career. Although Johnny Cash could tackle several serious social issues in many of his songs, there was something magical about pairing the twisted poetry and stories of Silverstein with the singer's distinct fatherly voice. Wonder why Johnny Cash wears black? Apparently the question had been asked so much that Cash wrote a song about his wardrobe choice. In , "Man in Black" answered the question and peaked at No. The song represents what the giant is all about, and that's the reason we place it on our list of the Top 10 Johnny Cash Songs. The Cowboy Jack Clement composition hit the top in and stayed put for 10 weeks.
Johnny Cash songs are some of the most iconic in the history of modern music. Beginning with "Cry! Cash also hosted a television show that brought together some of the most diverse musical talent in the world. After a dry period, he returned with a late-in-life career resurgence that reminded everyone all over again why he held such a place of prominence in American culture. It's as appropriate a choice as any to kick off the Top 10 Johnny Cash Songs.