Cash was a prolific recording artist, but here I am including only his prison albums of the late 60s and American Recordings series from the ‘90s and ‘00s.
Folsom Prison Blues (J. Cash) Johnny Cash [‘56, Sun 232]
Dark As the Dungeon (Merle Travis) Merle Travis [‘47, Folk Songs from the Hills, Capitol LP #50]; originally by Cash in ‘64 [Columbia 42964]
I Still Miss Someone (J. Cash, R. Cash) Johnny Cash [‘59, Columbia 41313]
Cocaine Blues (T.J. Arnall) Originally ‘Penitentiary Blues‘ by Buddy Baker [’28, Victor 21549] . Recorded by Clarence Ashley as ‘Little Sadie’[‘29, Columbia 15522-D], by Riley Puckett as ‘Chain Gang Blues’ [‘34, Bluebird B-5818], by Woodie Guthrie as ‘Bad Lee Brown’ [‘44, Asch], by Red Arnall with Slumber Nichols’ Western Aces as ‘Cocaine Blues’ [‘47], and touched the country charts under that name by Roy Hogsed [‘48, Capitol 40120]. Cash recorded it as ‘Transfusion Blues’ in 1960 [Now, There Was a Song! Columbia CS-8254], and it appeared as ‘Little Sadie’ on Dylan’s Self-Portrait.
25 Minutes to Go (Shel Silverstein) Shel Silverstein on Inside Folk Songs [‘62, Atlantic SD 8070], Brothers Four [‘63], Johnny Cash on Ballads of the True West Vol. 2 [‘65, Columbia CBS 62591].
Orange Blossom Special (E.T. Rouse) Rouse Brothers [‘39Bluebird BB-8218], Bill Monroe [’41, Bluebird BB-8893], Cash [’65, Columbia 43206]
The Long Black Veil (M. Wilkin, D. Dill) Lefty Frizzell [‘59, Columbia 41384], Joan Baez [‘63, In Concert Vol. 2], Cash [‘65, Orange Blossom Special Columbia CS-9109]. It was also done by the Band on Music from Big Pink [‘68].
Send a Picture of Mother (J. Cash)
The Wall (H. Howard) Freddie Hart [‘59, Columbia 41345], Cash [65, Orange Blossom Special Columbia CS-9109].
Dirty Old Egg-Sucking Dog (J. Clement) Cash [‘65, Everyone Loves a Nut Columbia CS 9292]
Flushed From the Bathroom of Your Heart (J. Clement)
Jackson (G. Rodgers, B. Wheeler) Billy Edd Wheeler, with Joan Sommer, on A New Bag of`Songs [‘63, Kapp KL-1351], and`the Kingston Trio [‘63, Sunny Side! Capitol 1935]. The Wheeler album includes 2 other songs recorded first by the Kingston Trio: ‘Reverend Mr. Black’ and ‘Desert Pete’. Recorded and charted in 1967 by Johnny Cash and June Carter [Columbia 44011] and Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood [Reprise 0595].
Give My Love to Rose (J. Cash) Cash [‘57, Sun 279]
I Got Stripes (C. Williams, J. Cash) Cash [‘59, Columbia 41427]
Green, Green Grass of Home (C. Putman) First recorded by Johnny Darrell [‘65, United Artists 869], charting for Porter Wagoner [‘65, RCA 8622], and a pop hit for Tom Jones [’67, Parrot 40009]. (It was also recorded by its writer, Curly Putman - in 1965? - but not released as a single - maybe on his debut LP for ABC-Paramount Lonesome [‘67, ABC-618]).
Greystone Chapel (G. Sherley) Recorded later by its author, Folsom Prison inmate Glen Sherley [‘71, Mega 0027].
Wreck of the Old ‘97 (arr. J. Cash, B. Johnson, N. Blake) Based on a 1903 incident, this song was written by Charles Noell, of Greensboro, NC, and set to the 1865 tune ‘The Ship That Never Returned’ by Henry Clay Work. It was first recorded by Henry Whitter as ‘Wreck of the Southern Old 97’ [‘24, Okeh 40015]. One of the first country songs to be recorded, it became a large hit by Vernon Dalhart, in several different recordings in 1924 and ‘25, backed with ‘The Prisoner’s Song’. Johnny Cash recorded it on his first Sun LP, Johnny Cash With His Hot and Blue Guitar [‘56, Sun SP-1220]. It was parodied in the song ‘M.T.A.’, a hit for the Kingston Trio in 1958.
I Walk the Line (J. Cash) The song that made Johnny Cash popular [‘56, Sun 241].
Wanted Man (Bob Dylan) This is the first recording of the song, which was not recorded by Dylan.
Darlin’ Companion (John Sebastian) From Hums of the Lovin’ Spoonful [‘66, Kama Sutra 8054]
Starkville City Jail (J. Cash) new
San Quentin (J. Cash) new
A Boy Named Sue (Shel Silverstein) Cash’s biggest pop hit was originally recorded by its writer, Shel Silverstein [‘68, RCA 74-0158].
(There’ll Be) Peace in the Valley (T. Dorsey) A gospel standard written by the famous black gospel writer Thomas A. Dorsey in 1937 and introduced by his protegée Mahalia Jackson. The first country hit version was by Red Foley [’51, Decca 0-46319] and it is well known in its version by Elvis Presley [’57, EPA 4054].
Delia’s Gone (D. Toops, K. Silbersdorf, J. Cash) This is an old song, collected by Howard Odum around 1907 or ’11, first recorded as “One More Rounder Gone” by Reese Dupree [’24, Okeh]. Other versions are listed above under Bob Dylan, as it appeared on his ‘93 World Gone Wrong. Cash’s first recording of it was on his 1962 LP The Sound of Johnny Cash [Columbia CS-8602].
Let the Train Blow the Whistle (Johnny Cash) new
The Beast In Me (Nick Lowe) Nick Lowe The Impossible Bird [‘94, Upstart 13].
Drive On (Johnny Cash) new
Why Me Lord (Kris Kristofferson) A single [‘73, Monument 8571] from Kristofferson’s 1972 LP Jesus Was a Capricorn [Monument 31909].
Thirteen (Glenn Danzig) It looks like this was not recorded by Danzig until 1999 on 6:66 Satan’s Child [E-Magine 1005].
Oh, Bury Me Not (trad.) Attributed to H. Clemons, of Deadwood, SD, in 1872, it was first recorded as ‘The Dying Cowboy’ by Carl T. Sprague [‘26, Victor 20122]. It was recorded under the same name by Jules Allen [‘29, Victor 23834] and as ‘Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie’ in several 1927 recordings by Vernon Dalhart. The song begins with a spoken word introduction, the poem ‘A Cowboy’s Prayer” by Badger Clark, published in 1906 in The Pacific Monthly, and included in his collection Sun and Saddle Leather [1915].
Bird on a Wire (Leonard Cohen) Leonard Cohen [‘69, Songs from a Room Columbia 9767].
Tennessee Stud (Jimmy Driftwood) Jimmy Driftwood [‘59, Jimmie Driftwood and the Wilderness Road RCA Victor LPM-1994], a hit when covered by Eddy Arnold [‘59, RCA Victor 7542].
Down There By the Train (Tom Waits) Tom Waits version didn’t appear until the 2006 collection Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards.
Redemption (Johnny Cash) new
Like a Soldier (Johnny Cash) new
The Man Who Couldn’t Cry (Loudon Wainwright III) Loudon Wainwright III [‘74, Attempted Moustache Columbia 32710]
Rowboat (Beck) Beck [‘94, Stereopathic Soul Manure Flipside 660]
Sea of Heartbreak (David, Hampton) Don Gibson [‘61, RCA Victor 7890]
Rusty Cage (Cornell) Soundgarden [‘92, Badmotorfinger A&M 5374]
The One Rose (That’s Left in My Heart) (Lyon, McIntyre) Jimmie Rodgers, with Lani McIntyre’s Hawaiians [rec. ‘30, rel. ‘37 Bluebird BB B-7280]
Country Boy (Johnny Cash) Originally on his first Sun LP, Johnny Cash With His Hot and Blue Guitar [‘56, Sun SP-1220].
Memories Are Made Of This (Dehr, Gilkyson, Miller) A big 1956 hit for Dean Martin [Capitol 3295], where he is backed by its writers (the Easy Riders).
Spiritual (Haden) By jazz bass player Charlie Haden & the Liberation Music Orchestra [‘91, Dream Keeper Blue Note 95474]
The Kneeling Drunkard’s Plea (Carter, Carter, Carter, Cash) Louvin Brothers [‘60, Satan Is Real Capitol 1277]. Also appears on co-writer June Carter Cash’s final recordings [2003 Wildwood Flower Dualtone 1142].
Southern Accents (Petty) Title song from 1985 LP by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers [MCA 5486].
Mean Eyed Cat (Johnny Cash) Johnny Cash [‘60, Sun 347]
Meet Me In Heaven (Johnny Cash) new
I Never Picked Cotton (George, Williams) Roy Clark [‘70, Dot 17349]
Unchained (Jude Johnstone) Jude Johnstone’s version appeared in 2002 [Coming of Age Bojak 001]
I’ve Been Everywhere (Mack) A big country hit for Canadian singer Hank Snow [‘62, RCA Victor 8072], it was originally a #1 Australian song, written in 1959 by Geoff Mack for his cabaret act (as ‘Swagman Rock‘), recorded by male rock’n’roll singer Lucky Star on Festival [‘62]; they cut several international versions with appropriate place names.
I Won’t Back Down (Lynne, Petty) A hit single [‘89, MCA 53369] from Tom Petty’s Full Moon Fever [MCA 6253]
Solitary Man (Diamond) Neil Diamond [‘66, Bang 519]
That Lucky Old Sun (Just Rolls Around Heaven All Day) (Gillespie, Smith) was a hit in 1949 for Frankie Laine [Mercury 5316] and others, and again for Ray Charles in 1964 [ABC Paramount 10509] .
One (Bono, Clayton, Edge, Mullen) A hit single for U2 [‘92, Island 866533] from Achtung Baby [Island 510347]
Nobody (Bert Williams) Bert Williams [1906, Columbia 3423]
I See a Darkness (Will Oldham) Title song from a 1999 CD by Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy [Palace PR 22]
The Mercy Seat (Cave, Harvey) Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds [‘88, Tender Prey Mute 75401]
Would You Lay With Me (In a Field of Stone) (Coe) A country hit for 16-year-old Tanya Tucker [‘74, Columbia 45991]; recorded by its writer David Allan Coe on The Mysterious Rhinestone Cowboy [‘74, Columbia KC 32942, single 3-10159].
Field of Diamonds (Cash, Routh) Johnny Cash & Waylon Jennings on Heroes [‘86, Columbia CBS 40347].
Before My Time (Johnny Cash) new
Country Trash (Johnny Cash) Cash [‘73, Any Old Wind That Blows Columbia 32091]
Mary of the Wild Moor (Turner) Written 1845 by Joseph W. Turner. Recorded by the Blue Sky Boys [‘40, Bluebird B-8446] and the Louvin Brothers [‘56, Tragic Songs of Life Capitol T 769].
I’m Leaving Now (Johnny Cash) Cash [‘85, Rainbow Columbia CBS 26689]
Wayfaring Stranger (trad.) This is an old song of murky origin. It may have appeared on Ananias Davisson’s 1816 shape-note tune book compilation Kentucky Harmony. It was included in Charles D. Tillman’s 1891 Revival songbook, with lyrics were from Bever’s Christian Songster [1858] with two verses from Taylor’s Revival Hymns and Plantation Melodies [1882], set to music by Tillman. Also called ‘Poor Wayfaring Stranger’. It became Burl Ives’ signature tune on radio. Okeh presents the Wayfaring Stranger [1941, Okeh K-3, with 4 10-inch 78s 6315-6318], was re-released on Columbia as The Wayfaring Stranger [‘44, Columbia C-103, 78s 36733-36736] and as an LP in 1950 [Columbia CL 6109] - but does not contain the song. It was, however, recorded for the 1944 Asch/Stinson album The Wayfaring Stranger [Asch 345 (disc 345-1), reissued as Stinson 345, 10 inch and 12 inch Stinson LP’s SLP-1]. A Columbia recording was issued as the B-side of ‘Ghost Riders in the Sky’ [‘49, Columbia 38445], and also (same one?) on the 1960 release of The Return of the Wayfaring Stranger [Columbia CL 1459]. It has since been recorded by many artists.
The Man Comes Around (Johnny Cash) new
Hurt (Trent Reznor) Nine Inch Nails [‘94, The Downward Spiral Nothing 92346]
Give My Love to Rose (Johnny Cash) Cash [‘57, Sun 279] and Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison [‘68]
Bridge Over Troubled Water (Paul Simon) Simon & Carbuncle [‘70, Columbia 45079]
I Hung My Head (Sting) Sting [‘96, Mercury Falling A&M 540483]
First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (Ewan MacColl) Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger on New Briton Gazette, Vol. 2 [‘62, Folkways 8734], the Kingston Trio [‘63, New Frontier Capitol 1809], Roberta Flack [‘72, Atlantic 2864 from ‘70 First Take Atlantic 8230], and many others.
Personal Jesus (Martin L. Gore) Depeche Mode single [‘89, Sire/Reprise 19941, from Violator ‘90, Sire 26081]
In My Life (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) The Beatles [‘65, Rubber Soul Capitol 2442]
Sam Hall (arr. Johnny Cash) An old English folk song; known as ‘Jack Hall’ in the 1850s, credited to comic minstrel C.W. Moss. First recorded as ‘Ethan Lang’ by Arthue Emry [‘28, Vocalion 5249], then by Tex Ritter as ‘Sam Hall’ [‘35, Decca 5076] and Josh White [’54, The Story of John Henry Elektra JH 701 and ‘57 EK-123] and others. Cash included it in Ballads of the True West Vol. 2 [‘65, Columbia CBS 62591]
Danny Boy (arr. Johnny Cash) is based on the traditional Irish tune ‘Londonderry Air’, published in an 1855 collection. The German contralto Ernestine Schumann-Heink popularized the song in 1918 [Victor 88592] and it was revived in 1940 by Glenn Miller [Bluebird 10612]. Other versions include ones by Conway Twitty [‘59, MGM 12826] and Ray Price [’67, Columbia 44042].
Desperado (Glenn Frey, Don Henley) Title song to the Eagles’ second album [‘73, Asylum 5068]
I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry (Hank Williams) Hank Williams [‘49, MGM 10560]
Tear Stained Letter (Johnny Cash) Johnny Cash [‘72, A Thing Called Love Columbia 31332]
Streets of Laredo (arr. Johnny Cash) Related to an English folk song ‘The Unfortunate Rake’, known in the 1790s, which is also the source of ‘St. James Infirmary’. Recorded as ‘Cowboy’s Lament’ by Ewan Hall [‘27, Brunswick 141], Vernon Dalhart [‘27 and ‘29] Harry McClintock [‘28, Victor 21761] and Jules Allen [’29, Victor V40178], ‘The Dying Cowboy’ by Holland Puckett [‘27, Gennett 6271] and ‘In the Streets of Laredo’ by Bradley Kincaid [‘29, Gennett 6790]. As a movie title song it was recorded by Dick Haymes with the Victor Young Orchestra [‘49, Decca 24565] Cash included it in Ballads of the True West Vol. 2 [‘65, Columbia CBS 62591]. It has been recorded by many others.
We’ll Meet Again (Ross Parker, Hugh Charles) Victor Sylvester & his Ballroom Orchesta [‘39, Parlophone], Mantovani feat. Jack Plant vocal [‘39], Joe Loss feat. Chick Henderson vocal [‘39], Vera Lynn [‘39 and ‘54]. American versions include those by Kay Kyser , feat. Ginny Simms and Henry Babbitt [’41, Columbia 35870], Guy Lombardo feat. Carmen Lombardo [’41, Decca 3575], Benny Goodman feat. Peggy Lee [’42, Okeh 6644].
Help Me (Larry Gatlin) Gatlin Brothers [‘74, Rain Rainbow Monument MC 6633], charted for Elvis Presley [‘74, RCA Victor APBO-0280] and Ray Price [‘77, Columbia 10503]
God’s Gonna Cut You Down (trad.) Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet [‘46, ‘God’s Gonna Cut ’Em Down’ Columbia 37835], Jubalaires [‘47, ‘God Almighty’s Gonna Cut You Down’ Queen/King 4167], Bill Landford & the Landfordaires [‘49, ‘Run On For a Long Time’ Columbia 30203], Odetta [‘56, ‘God’s Gonna Cut You Down’ Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues Tradition TRP-1010] and Elvis Presley [‘67, ‘Run On’ How Great Thou Art RCA Victor LPS-3758].
Like the 309 (Johnny Cash) new
If You Could Read My Mind (Gordon Lightfoot) Gordon Lightfoot [‘70, Reprise 0974]
Further On Up the Road (Bruce Springsteen) Bruce Springsteen [2002, The Rising Columbia 86600]
On the Evening Train (Hank Williams) Molly O’Day [‘49, ‘The Evening Train’ Columbia 20601]; never recorded by Hank Williams.
I Came to Believe (Johnny Cash) new
Love’s Been Good To Me (Rod McKuen) Rod McKuen, [‘70, Love’s Been Good to Me Stanyan SR 5009], Glenn Yarbrough [‘64, One More Round RCA Victor 2905], Kingston Trio [’65, The Kingston Trio (Nick-Bob-John) Decca 74613], Frank Sinatra [‘69, A Man Alone Reprise 1030]
A Legend In My Time (Don Gibson) Don Gibson [‘60, B-side of RCA Victor 7762], country #1 for Ronnie Millsap [‘75, RCA Victor 10112]
Rose of My Heart (Hugh Moffatt) Hugh Moffatt [‘89, Troubadour Philo PH-1127]
Four Strong Winds (Ian Tyson) The Journeymen [‘63, New Directions in Folk Music Capitol ST 1951]; its writers Ian & Sylvia [‘63, Vanguard 35021], Bobby Bare [‘64, RCA Victor 8443], Neil Young [‘79, Reprise 1396, from Comes a Time ‘78, Reprise 2266]
I’m Free From the Chain Gang Now (Lou Herscher, Saul Klein) Jimmie Rodgers [‘33, Victor 23830]

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