Top 10 Best Johnny Cash Songs of All Time
Johnny Cash had a huge list of songs from 1955 on. His styles ranged from classic western to rockabilly country tunes. “The Man in Back” wasn’t shy about humor, although he had many serious and socially topical songs. Below you will find our favorite Johnny Cash songs of all time – let us know what you think of the songs list in the comments.
Cry, Cry, Cry (1955)
This was Johnny Cash’s first hit song. He wrote the song overnight at the request of the owner of Sun Records, Sam Philips. It’s mentioned several times in the film “Walk the Line”, but never performed in the movie.
Man in Black (1971)
Cash’s signature song and a reference to his wearing only black clothes. Explaining why in detail, the song peaked at #3 on Billboard’s country charts.
Ballad of a Teenage Queen (1958)
A country hit, this two minute, 13 second long song tells the story of love in a small town. The girl leaves for Hollywood, but later gives up fame to return to the one she loved.
Sunday Morning Coming Down (1970)
This Kris Kristofferson song was Johnny Cash’s eleventh #1 Billboard hit. It was recorded live on The Johnny Cash Show.
Written by Jimmy Webb, the song was featured on an album by The Highwaymen, a supergroup with Johnny Cash, Willy Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson. The group won a Grammy Award for Best Country song that year.
Ring of Fire (1963)
The song was written by Merle Kilgore and June Carter, who wrote it about her relationship with Johnny before they were married. A classic, it was a country radio hit and is now in the Grammy Song Hall of Fame.
Originally by Nine Inch Nails, this was one of Johnny Cash’s last releases. It’s often considered as a farewell and Cash’s poor health was evident in the video. This version was named Single of the Year by CMA.
A Boy Named Sue (1969)
This Shel Silverstein song won Grammy Song of the Year and CMA Single of the Year. It is a quest of revenge and making peace with the narrator’s father for giving him such an awful name. The focal is more speech-like than singing, adding even more to the song’s unusual structure.
Folsom Prison Blues (1956)
This was Johnny Cash’s third single and also recorded for the Live from Folsom Prison album in 1968. The song was a number one hit on the Country charts for four weeks, while the live version was also a chart topper. It opens with “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash”, the line he used from then on to open his shows.
I Walk the Line (1956)
The song was written to promise to be faithful to his first wife while on tour. In 2005, the title was used for the Johnny Cash biopic. It’s considered one of his best songs and is in the Grammy Hall of Fame.
While there are so many great Johnny Cash songs, these are ones worthy of being in a top 10. They cover his full range of potential and span a long and successful career.