Which song is Johnny Cash's most iconic? | The Tylt
Country music icon Johnny Cash died on Sept. 12, 2003, but the legend of the Man In Black lives on. "I Walk the Line" was his first #1 hit on the Billboard charts in 1956; Cash's ode to resisting the dark side became the title of the posthumous biopic about his life. But "Folsom Prison Blues" includes the infamous lyrics "I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die," and a live version recorded at Folsom State Prison went #1 on the country music charts in 1968. Which song is most iconic?🎙️
Which song is Johnny Cash's most iconic?
"Walk the Line" describes Cash's struggle to stay faithful, avoid temptation, and steer clear of criminal behavior. Once while performing the song on his TV show, Cash told the audience: "People ask me why I always hum whenever I sing this song. It's to get my pitch." The humming was necessary since the song required Cash to change keys several times while singing it.
In a telephone interview, Cash stated:
“I wrote the song backstage one night in 1956 in Gladewater, Texas. I was newly married at the time, and I suppose I was laying out my pledge of devotion."
Cash was inspired to write this subversive song after seeing the movie "Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison" (1951). It combines two popular folk tropes, the train song and the prison song. Originally recorded in studio in 1955, the song's most famous incarnation is Cash's performance for the inmates of Folsom Prison itself on January 13, 1968. That version was eventually released on the album "At Folsom Prison" the same year.
Cash recounted how he came up with the line, "But I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die."
"I sat with my pen in my hand, trying to think up the worst reason a person could have for killing another person, and that's what came to mind."