Sun 221:  Cry! Cry! Cry! / Hey Porter

 Release Date    21st June 1955

A 10” Shellac version was also released.

Cry! Cry! Cry! 

Artists: Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two // Composer: Johnny Cash // Producer: Sam Phillips // Initial Recording Date: March or May 1955 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

Chart History: Billboard Country Charts – Charted: 26 Nov 55 / No of weeks: 1 / High position: 14

Sam Philips had asked Johnny Cash to write a love song (a weepy) as the flip side to Hey Porter. Johnny came up with ‘Cry! Cry! Cry!’.

Once the record had been released the local radio stations preferred to play Cry! Cry! Cry!, making the local Memphis country charts on 20th August, eventually reaching No 1. on 3rd September 1955.

Hear it here

Hey Porter  

Artists: Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two // Composer: Johnny Cash // Producer: Sam Phillips // Initial Recording Date: 22nd March 1955 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

One version of the origin of ‘Hey Porter’ was that Johnny Cash wrote the song whilst stationed in Landsberg, Germany, during his time in the US Air Force. The lyrics reflected his feelings about returning to his beloved South. It was published as a poem in the servicemen’s magazine ‘Stars and Stripes’.

Another version is that, feeling homesick, he wrote it on a train as he began his homeward journey from the Air Force.

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Sun 232:  Folsom Prison Blues / So Doggone Lonesome

Release Date      15th December 1955

A 10” Shellac version was also released.

Folsom Prison Blues

Artists: Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two // Composer: Johnny Cash // Producer: Sam Phillips // Initial Recording Date: 30th July 1955 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

Chart History: Billboard Country Charts – Charted: 11 February 1956 / No of weeks: 23 / High position: 5 // Most played C&W song in Juke Box Charts – Charted: 17 March 1956 / No of weeks: 13 / High position: 4 / Most played C&W song in Jockeys Chart – Charted: 11 February 1956 / No of weeks: 15 / High position: 4

Johnny Cash said he wrote the song after seeing the movie “Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison” while he was in the Air Force. He came up with the line “I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die”: as he tried to think up the worst reason a person could have for killing another person.

Cash took the melody for the song and some of the lyrics from Gordon Jenkins’ “Crescent City Blues”. Jenkins was not credited on the original record. Cash paid Jenkins a settlement of approximately US$75,000 following a lawsuit.

Initially Sam Philips didn’t care for Folsom Prison Blues and wanted to give it to Tennessee Ernie Ford to record.

So Doggone Lonesome

Artists: Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two // Composer: Johnny Cash // Producer: Sam Phillips // Initial Recording Date: 30th July 1955 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

Chart History: Billboard Country Charts – Charted: 18 February 1956 / No of weeks: 23 / High position 5 // Most played C&W song in Juke Box Charts – Charted: 17 March 1956 / No of weeks: 14 / High position:  4 // Most played C&W song in Jockeys Chart – Charted: 18 February 1956 / No of weeks: 13 / High position: 6

So Doggone Lonesome was initially considered as the A-side. Johnny Cash wrote “So Doggone Lonesome” with Ernest Tubb in mind.

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Sun 241:  I Walk The Line / Get Rhythm

Release Date    1st May 1956

A 10” Shellac version was also released.

I Walk The Line

Artists:  Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two //Composer: Johnny Cash //Producer: Sam Phillips // Initial Recording Date: 2nd April 1956 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

Chart History: Billboard Country Charts – Charted: 9 June 1956 / No of weeks: 42 /Highest position: 2 //Pop Charts – Charted: 15 September 1956 / No of weeks: 22 / Highest position: 19 // Most played C&W song in Juke Box Charts – Charted: 30 June 1956 / No of weeks: 37 / Highest position 1

It is generally acknowledged that I Walk The Line was inspired by his love for Vivian, but according to an article in Country Music International in 1994, the song was inspired in part by stories of railroad workers far away from home trying to stay out of work camp brothels and according to this view, the ‘line’ was the railway line next to which brothels rapidly springing up. The challenge for the railway workers was to keep on walking the line and not succumb to temptation.

The origins for the chord progression is said to have come from his time in the Air Force, when someone had ‘messed’ with his Wilcox-Gay tape recorder and put the tape in upside down and backward. Cash couldn’t get the resulting strange sound he’d heard out of his mind and it eventually became the basis for I Walk The Line.

The record gave Johnny his first gold record and he also won a BMI songwriter award for the song.

Rolling Stone magazine ranked the song at #30 in their 2004 list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

Get Rhythm

Artists: Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two // Composer: Johnny Cash // Producer: Sam Phillips // Initial Recording Date: 2nd April 1956 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

Chart History: Billboard Country Charts – Charted:  9 June 1956 / No of weeks: 1 / Highest position: 8 // Most played C&W song in Juke Box Charts – Charted:  30 June 1956 / No of weeks: 9 / Highest position 1

Johnny Cash got the inspiration for Get Rhythm while having his shoes polished by an energetic shoe shine boy at Memphis bus station. He wrote it with Elvis in mind, but in the end decided to keep it for himself fearing that he would give Elvis a hit at his own expense.

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Sun 258:  There You Go / Train Of Love

Release Date      21st November 1956

A 10” Shellac version was also released.

There You Go

Artists:  Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two // Composer: Johnny Cash // Producer: Sam Phillips // Initial Recording Date: 8th May 1956 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

Chart History: Billboard Country Charts – Charted: 22 December 1956 / No of weeks: 27 / High position: 2 // Most played C&W song in Juke Box Charts – Charted: 8 January 1957 / No of weeks: 20 / High position: 2 // Most played C&W song by Jockeys Charts – Charted: 29 December 1956 / No of weeks: 22 /High position: 2

There You Go and Train of Love were the only two songs recorded at the recording session held on the 8th May 1956

Johnny Cash won a BSM Songwriter Award for There You Go.

Train Of Love

Artists: Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two // Composer: Johnny Cash // Producer: Sam Phillips // Initial Recording Date: 8th May 1956 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

Chart History: Billboard Country Charts – Charted: 22 December 1956 / No of weeks: 23 / High position: 7 // Most played C&W song in Juke Box Charts – Charted: 9 February 1957 / No of weeks: 13 / High position: 1 // Most played C&W song by Jockeys Charts – Charted: 12 January 1957 / No of weeks: 12 / High position: 2

Both tracks were awarded Citation of Achievement Awards by the BMI

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Sun 266:  Next In Line / Don’t Make Me Go           

Release Date   15th April 1957

A 10” Shellac version was also released.

Next In Line

Artists: Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two // Composer: Johnny Cash // Producer: Sam Phillips // Initial Recording Date: 4th April 1957 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

Chart History: Billboard Country Charts – Charted: 27 May 1957 / No of weeks: 15 / High position: 9 // Pop Charts – Charted: 1 July 1957 / No of weeks: 2 / High position: 99 // Most played C&W song by Jockeys Charts – Charted: 27 May 1957 / No of weeks: 12 / High position: 9

Next In Line gained a BMI Citation of Achievement award.

Don’t Make Me Go

Artists:  Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two // Composer: Johnny Cash // Producer: Sam Phillips // Initial Recording Date: 4th April 1957 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

Chart History: Billboard Country Charts – Charted: 17 June 1957 / No of weeks: 9 / High position: 9 // Pop Charts – Charted: 15 September 1956 / No of weeks: 22 / High position: 19

Eleven outtakes of Don’t Make Me Go can be found on the Bear Family’s ‘The Sun Outtakes’ CD box set.

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Sun 279:  Home Of The Blues / Give My Love To Rose 

Release Date   10th August 1957 /14th September 1957

A 10” Shellac version was also released.

Home Of The Blues

Artists:  Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two // Composers: Johnny Cash, Glenn Douglas, Lillie C McAlpin // Producer: Jack Clement // Initial Recording Date: 1st July 1957 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

Chart History: Billboard Country Charts – Charted: 16 September 1957/ No of weeks: 23 / High position: 5 // Pop Charts – Charted: 14 October 1957 / No of weeks: 4 / High position: 88 // Most played C&W song by Jockeys Charts – Charted: 16 September 1957 / No of weeks: 20 / High position: 3

Home of The Blues was inspired by Cash’s favourite record store on Beale Street, Memphis.

This was the first release that hadn’t been solely written by Cash. It was co-written with Lillie Mc Alpin and Glenn Douglas (who was Ernest Tubb’s cousin).

Cash won a BMI songwriters award for ‘Home of The Blues’

Give My Love To Rose

Artists:  Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two // Composer: Johnny Cash / Producer: Jack Clement / Initial Recording Date: 1st July 1957 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

Chart History: Billboard Country Charts – Charted: 14 October 1957 / No of weeks: 19 / High position: 6 // Most played C&W song by Jockeys Charts – Charted: 7 October 1957 / No of weeks: 2 / High position: 13

A seed of an idea for Give My Love to Rose came after Cash met a former prisoner in California who didn’t know whether he could get home to Shreveport to be with his wife due to him having no money to get home. The prisoner knew that Johnny was a regular on the Louisiana Hayride and asked him to say hello to his wife if he got to Shreveport first.

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Sun 283:  Ballad Of A Teenage Queen / Big River

Release Date   1st December 1957

A 10” Shellac version was also released.

Ballad Of A Teenage Queen

Artists:  Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two // Composer: Jack Clement // Producer: Jack Clement // Initial Recording Date: 12th November 1957 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

Chart History: Billboard Country Charts – Charted: 27 January 1958 / No of weeks: 23 / High position: 1 // Pop Charts – Charted: 3 February 1958 / No of weeks: 19 / High position: 16 // Most played C&W song by Jockeys Charts – Charted: 20 January 1958 / No of weeks: 21 / High position: 1

Ballad of a Teenage Queen was written by Jack Clement for Johnny Cash to bring him nearer to the teenage audience.

It was Johnny Cash’s first No 1 single on the Billboard Country charts.

During a 15 day tour of Canada, the promo man for Quality records, in an effort to promote the new release, set up a ‘Teenage Queen’ contest in every city they played. In Saskatatoon, the Teenage Queen died tragically, leaving the runner up to be crowned. That runner up was Joni Mitchell.

Luther Perkins sat out the song and Jack Clement played the guitar.

The song was awarded a Citation of Achievement Award by the BMI.

Big River

Artists: Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two // Composer: Johnny Cash // Producer: Jack Clement // Initial Recording Date: 12th November 1957 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

Chart History: Billboard Country Charts – Charted: 3 March 1958 / No of weeks: 8 / High position: 1 // Most played C&W song by Jockeys Charts – Charted: 10 February 1958 / No of weeks: 14 / High position: 4

After reading a story about himself titled ‘Johnny Cash has the big river blues in his voice’ he had the idea for Big River which tells the tale of someone pursuing a woman down the Mississippi.

Although only one version of Big River has been released, Cash stated on his ABC-TV show aired January 6, 1971 that the song actually had another verse but was cut at the recording session because it would have made the song too long. He did however sing the song in its entirety on the TV show.

The omitted verse is:

“Well now I pulled into Natchez the next day, down the river

And there wasn’t much there to make a rounder stay very long

And when I left it was raining so nobody saw me cry

Big River why’s she doing me that way.”

The song was awarded a Citation of Achievement Award by the BMI.

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Sun 295:  Come In Stranger / Guess Things Happen That Way         

Release Date   20th May 1958

A 10” Shellac version was also released.

Come In Stranger

Artists: Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two // Composer: Johnny Cash // Producer: Jack Clement // Initial Recording Date: 11th October 1957 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

Chart History: Billboard Country Charts – Charted: 2 June 1958 / No of weeks: 9 / High position: 1 //

Pop Charts – Charted: 9 June 1958 / No of weeks: 9 /High position: 66 // Most played C&W song by Jockeys Charts – Charted: 2 June 1958 / No of weeks: 13 / High position: 6

Guess Things Happen That Way

Artists:  Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two / Composer: Jack Clement / Producer: Jack Clement / Initial Recording Date: 9th April 1958 / Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

Chart History: Billboard Country Charts – Charted: 26 May 1958 / No of weeks: 20 / High position: 1 // Pop Charts – Charted: 2 June 1958 / No of weeks: 16 / High position: 11 // Most played C&W song by Jockeys Charts – Charted: 26 May 1958 / No of weeks: 20 / High position: 1

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Sun 302:  The Ways Of A Woman in Love / You’re The Nearest Thing To Heaven 

Release Date    11th August 1958

A 10” Shellac versions was also released.

The Ways Of A Woman In Love

Artists: Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two // Composers: Charlie Rich/Bill Justis // Producer: Jack Clement // Initial Recording Date: 10th July 1958 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

Chart History: Billboard Country Charts – Charted:  25th August 1958 / No of weeks: 16 / High position: 2 // Pop Charts – Charted: 25th August 1958 /No of weeks: 11 / High position: 24 // Most played C&W song by Jockeys Charts – Charted: 25th  August 1958 / No of weeks: 7 / High position: 2

You’re The Nearest Thing To Heaven

Artists: Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two // Composers: Johnny Cash/Hoyt  Johnson/Chet Atkins // Producer: Jack Clement // Initial Recording Date: 15th May 1958 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

Chart History: Billboard Country Charts – Charted: 20th October 1958 / No of weeks: 16 / High position 2    5 // Most played C&W song by Jockeys Charts – Charted : 1st September 1958 / No of weeks: 7 / High position 5    24

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Sun 309:  It’s Just About Time / I Just Thought You’d Like To Know

Release Date        12th November 1958

A 10” Shellac version was also released.

It’s Just About Time

Artists: Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two // Composer: Jack Clement // Producer: Jack Clement // Initial Recording Date: 17th July 1958 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

Chart History: Billboard Country Charts  – Charted: 19th January 1959 / No of weeks: 1 / High position: 30 // Pop Charts – Charted: 15th December 1958 / No of weeks: 7 / High position: 47

I Just Thought You’d Like To Know

Artists: Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two // Composer: Charlie Rich // Producer: Jack Clement // Initial Recording Date: 17th July 1958 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

Chart History: Pop Charts – Charted: 15th December 1958 / No of weeks: 1 / High position: 85

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Sun 316:  Luther Played The Boogie / Thanks A Lot  

Release Date    15th February 1959

A 10” Shellac version was also released.

Luther Played The Boogie

Artists: Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two // Composer: Johnny Cash // Producer: Sam Philips // Initial Recording Date: 30th July 1955 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

Chart History: Billboard Country Charts – Charted: 30th March 1959 / No of weeks: 13 / High position: 8

Cash won a BMI Citation of Achievement Award for the song.

Thanks A Lot

Artist: Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two // Composer: Charlie Rich // Producer: Jack Clement / Initial Recording Date: 10th July 1958 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

Chart History: Billboard Country Charts – Charted: 30th March 1959 / No of weeks: 3 / High position: 12

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Sun 321:  Katy Too / I Forgot To Remember To Forget 

Release Date     2nd June 1959

A 10” Shellac version was also released.

Katy Too

Artist: Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two // Composers: Johnny Cash and Jack Clement // Producer: Jack Clement // Initial Recording Date: 28th May 1958 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

Chart History: Billboard Country Charts – Charted: 21st July 1959 / No of weeks: 11 / High position: 11 // Pop Charts – Charted: 13th July 1959 / No of weeks: 8 / High position: 66

I Forgot To Remember To Forget

Artists: Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two // Composers: Stan Kesler and Charlie Feathers //Producer: Jack Clement // Initial Recording Date: 17th July 1958 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

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Sun 331:  Goodby Little Darlin’ / You Tell Me

Release Date   15th September 1959

Goodby Little Darlin’

Artists:  Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two // Composers: Gene Autry/Johnny Marvin //Producer: Jack Clement // Initial Recording Date: 13th December 1956 //Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

Chart History: Billboard Country Charts – Charted: 9th November 1959 / No of weeks: 5 / High position: 22

The track was overdubbed with a vocal chorus before release.

You Tell Me

Artists: Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two // Composer: Roy Orbison // Producer: Jack Clement // Initial Recording Date: 15th May 1958 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

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Sun 334:  Straight A’s In Love / I Love You Because 

Release Date   31st December 1959

Straight A’s In Love

Artists: Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two // Composer: Johnny Cash // Producer: Jack Clement // Initial Recording Date: 13th December 1956 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

Chart History: Billboard Country Charts – Charted: 15th February 1960 / No of weeks: 10 / High position: 16 // Pop Charts – Charted: 14th March 1960 / No of weeks: 2 / High position: 84

I Love You Because

Artists: Johnny Cash with the Gene Lowery Singers // Composer: Leon Payne / Producer: Jack Clement // Initial Recording Date: 13th December 1956 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

Chart History: Billboard Country Charts – Charted: 7th March 1960 / No of weeks: 2 / High position: 20

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Sun 343:  Down The Street To 301 / The Story Of A Broken Heart  

Release Date   14th June 1960

Down The Street To 301

Artist: Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two // Composer: Jack Clement // Producer: Jack Clement // Initial Recording Date: 17th July 1958 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company Memphis.

Chart History: Pop Charts – Charted: 11th July 1960 / No of weeks: 3 / High position: 85

The Story Of A Broken Heart

Artist: Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two // Composer: Sam Philips // Producer: Jack Clement // Initial Recording Date: 15th May 1958 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

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Sun 347:  Mean Eyed Cat / Port Of Lonely Hearts

Release Date    25th October 1960

Mean Eyed Cat

Artist: Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two // Composer: Johnny Cash // Producer: Sam Philips // Initial Recording Date: 30th July 1955 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company Memphis.

Chart History: Billboard Country Charts – Charted: 26th December 1960 / No of weeks: 1 / High position: 30

Port Of Lonely Hearts

Artist: Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two // Composer: Johnny Cash // Producer: Sam Philips // Initial Recording Date: February 1955 / Recording Venue: Sun Record Company Memphis.

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Sun 355:  Oh Lonesome Me / Life Goes On

Release Date   10th December 1960

Oh Lonesome Me

Artist: Johnny Cash with the Gene Lowery Singers // Composer: Don Gibson // Producer: Jack Clement // Initial Recording Date: 9th April 1958 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

Chart History: Billboard Country Charts – Charted: 6th February 1961 / No of weeks: 9 / High position: 13 // Pop Charts – Charted: 31st December 1960 / No of weeks: 2 / High position: 93 

Life Goes On

Artist: Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two // Composer: Johnny Cash/ Jack Clement // Producer: Jack Clement // Initial Recording Date: 15th May 1958 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

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Sun 363:  Sugartime / My Treasure           

Release Date   26th June 1961

Sugartime

Artists: Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two // Composers: Charlie Phillips and Odis Echols // Producer: Jack Clement // Initial Recording Date:15th May 1958 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

My Treasure

Artists: Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two // Composer: Johnny Cash // Producer: Sam Philips // Initial Recording Date: February 1955 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

On some releases this track was mis-titled as My Treasurer

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Sun 376:  Blue Train / Born To Lose   

Release Date    27th April 1962

Blue Train

Artists: Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two // Composer: Billy Smith // Producer: Jack Clement // Initial Recording Date: 28th May 1958 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

Born To Lose

Artists: Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two // Composer: Frankie Brown // Producer: Jack Clement // Initial Recording Date: 15th May 1958 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

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Sun 392:  Wide Open Road / Belshazah 

Release Date     1st May 1964

Wide Open Road

Artist: Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Three* // Composer: Johnny Cash // Producer: Sam Philips // Initial Recording Date: 22nd March 1955 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

*The label credits ‘Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Three’. It is known that at the time of recording, they were still the ‘Tennessee Two’.

Belshazah

Artists: Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Three* // Composer: Johnny Cash // Producer: Jack Clement// Initial Recording Date: Spring or Summer 1957 // Recording Venue: Sun Record Company, Memphis.

*The label credits ‘Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Three’. It is known that at the time of recording, they were still the ‘Tennessee Two’.

 Alternative spelling of label

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Last Updated: November 2017