American country music legend Johnny Cash is known for his iconic hits like "I Walk the Line," "Big River" and "Ring of Fire." With musically gifted children Rosanne Cash and John Carter Cash following in their father's footsteps, The Man in Black will continue to be a force to be reckoned with for years to come. Cash is forever ingrained in music history.
Outside of his own solo performances, the "Folsom Prison Blues" singer-songwriter worked with some significant powerhouse musicians throughout his career. These are the 9 best Johnny Cash collaborations.
1. "The Wanderer" with U2
Written by U2, "The Wanderer" is one of their few songs not to feature lead singer Bono and instead showcases the strong country vocals of Cash. The singer's deep voice is perfect for the narrator's role of "The Preacher" as he walks you through a post-Apocalyptic world looking for some meaning from God or Jesus.
2. "Redemption Song" with Joe Strummer
Originally a Bob Marley song, Cash teamed up with frontman from The Clash, Joe Strummer, to sing this classic.
3. Million Dollar Quartet With Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins
This was an impromptu recording session at Sun Records' studio in Memphis, Tennessee. Nearly 30 years later, the tracks were first released in Europe in 1981, ensuring that this legendary moment in rockabilly history could be enjoyed for years to come.
4. "The Running Kind" with Tom Petty
Unchained is an incredible album that paired Cash with Tom Petty in addition to guest appearances by Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers and members of Fleetwood Mac. But "The Running Kind" from 1996 was unexpected magic when released on the 2003 album Unearthed.
5. "Jackson" with June Carter Cash
Originally written and recorded by Billy Edd Wheeler in 1963, Cash and his bride from the Carter Family's version won a Grammy for Best Country & Western Performance: Duet, Trio or Group in 1968. It also hit No. 2 on the country charts. It's one of the duo's most enduring popular hits, especially after being covered in the film Walk the Line.
6. "Girl from the North Country" with Bob Dylan
Originally written by Dylan and recorded at Columbia Studios in New York City in 1963, the song was recorded as a duet between Dylan and Cash in Nashville in 1969. Cash also performed a duet of this song with Joni Mitchell on The Johnny Cash Show.
7. "Highwayman" with The Highwaymen
This song, written by Jimmy Webb, actually served as the name inspiration for the supergroup comprised of Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson. The album of the same name got to No. 1 (and platinum).
8. "Ghost Riders (In the Sky)" with Willie Nelson
From the 1997 album VH1 Storytellers, this was one of many collaborations with Nelson. Widely considered one of the best western songs of all time, the song itself has become a country legend and has been covered by numerous other musicians over the years.
9. "There Ain't No Good Chain Gang" with Waylon Jennings
Written from the perspective of a prison inmate, this duet was a single from Cash's 1978 album I Would Like to See You Again. One of the pair's first collaborations, the song peaked at No. 2 on the country charts and continues to be one of both singers' most beloved songs.
This story originally ran on Feb. 28, 2019.
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