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The Kicks Wake Up Krew

Headshot of American country singer Johnny Cash (1932 - 2003) singing on stage in a still from the film, 'Johnny Cash - The Man, His World, His Music,' directed by Robert Elfstrom, 1969.

This is a list of my favorite Johnny Cash songs. It’s crazy to think that it’s been 20 years since Johnny passed away on September 12, 2003. He wasn’t just an icon in the country music world, he was an American icon. Even if you weren’t really a big country music fan, odds are you knew who Johnny Cash was.

I was first really introduced to Johnny Cash’s music when I first started working here at Kicks99. I’m pretty sure I’ve talked before about running the board for this classic country show “Retro Country USA” back in my first years here. There was one night they did an album spotlight of Johnny’s new album “American IV: The Man Comes Around”.

Of course, Johnny was older, but there was something about his voice on those last albums that really grabbed me. As much as I love all of Johnny Cash’s music, my favorite albums are those last few he did with Rick Ruben on the American label. To me, they just sounded so powerful. You could tell the man singing those songs had lived them.

So I was introduced to Johnny’s later music first, but I was hooked! I wanted to hear everything. I started getting all of the Johnny Cash CDs I could find. He became one of my all-time favorite country artists, and I think it’s because his music is real, and it speaks to people.

If you want to dig more into Johnny Cash and his music, just click here.

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These are in no particular order, but these are my favorite Johnny Cash songs.

  • "Hurt"

    This song was from “American IV: The Man Comes Around”. This song had a lot of buzz around it before Johnny passed away. The video and the song are both so powerful.

  • "One Piece At A Time"

    I’ve always loved this one. It’s just a fun song. If it gets stuck in your head, I apologize in advance.

  • "There Ain't No Good Chain Gang" with Waylon Jennings

    Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings on the same song, yeah I don’t think I need any further explanation on why this song is on the list.

  • "Big River"

    This is early Johnny Cash, and it’s definitely one of my favorites. It’s got that distinct Sun Records in Memphis sound, which I love!

  • "The Man In Black"

    This is one of Johnny’s signature songs, and one that I don’t think really gets the recognition that it deserves.

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