American V: A Hundred Highways

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American V: A Hundred Highways
Studio album by Johnny Cash
Released July 4, 2006 (2006-07-04)
Recorded May 2003–September 2003
Genre Country, Americana, folk, gospel
Length 42:45
Language English
Label American and Lost Highway
Producer Rick Rubin
Johnny Cash chronology
Personal File
American V: A Hundred Highways
American VI: Ain't No Grave
American series chronology
American V: A Hundred Highways
American VI: Ain't No Grave

American V: A Hundred Highways is the 93rd overall album and a posthumous album by Johnny Cash released on July 4, 2006. As the title implies, it is the fifth entry in Cash's American series. Like its predecessors, American V: A Hundred Highways is produced by Rick Rubin and released on Rubin's American Recordings record label via Lost Highway Records, as they currently distribute country releases from the American Recordings label. It was certified Gold on 8/18/2006 by the RIAA.

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars link
NME (9/10)
Robert Christgau (2-star Honorable Mention) link

3.5/5 stars link

Pitchfork Media (7.8/10) link
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars
Slant Magazine 5/5 stars link

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Help Me" (Larry Gatlin) – 2:51
    Previously recorded by Kris Kristofferson for Jesus Was a Capricorn (1972) Originally recorded by Johnny Cash for "The Gospel Road" (1973)
  2. "God's Gonna Cut You Down" (Traditional) – 2:38
    Previously recorded by Odetta for Sings Ballads and Blues (1956), by Elvis Presley for How Great Thou Art (1967), and by The Blind Boys of Alabama (as "Run On for a Long Time") for Spirit of the Century (2001)
  3. "Like the 309" (Johnny Cash) – 4:35
  4. "If You Could Read My Mind" (Gordon Lightfoot) – 4:30
    Originally recorded by Lightfoot for Sit Down Young Stranger (1970)
  5. "Further On Up the Road" (Bruce Springsteen) – 3:25
    Originally recorded by Springsteen for The Rising (2002)
  6. "On the Evening Train" (Hank Williams) – 4:17
  7. "I Came to Believe" (Johnny Cash) – 3:44
    Cash originally wrote this song prior to the sessions for this album
  8. "Love's Been Good to Me" (Rod McKuen) – 3:18
    Originally recorded by Frank Sinatra for A Man Alone & Other Songs of Rod McKuen (1969)
  9. "A Legend in My Time" (Don Gibson) – 2:37
    Originally recorded by Gibson for Sweet Dreams (1960) and Roy Orbison for Lonely and Blue (1961)
  10. "Rose of My Heart" (Hugh Moffatt) – 3:18
    Written in 1981 or 1982 and recorded by many artists, including Moffat for Troubadour (1989)
  11. "Four Strong Winds" (Ian Tyson) – 4:34
    Previously recorded by Ian and Sylvia, John Denver and Neil Young
  12. "I'm Free from the Chain Gang Now" (Lou Herscher, Saul Klein) – 3:00
    Originally recorded by Cash for The Sound of Johnny Cash (1962)

Song information[edit]

The liner notes of Unearthed, a box set composed of outtakes from the first four entries in Cash's American series, claim "around 50" songs were recorded during the American V sessions before Cash's death on September 12, 2003. However, only two albums worth of material will be released, including American VI: Ain't No Grave, which was released in February 2010.

As with the other American series albums, the album includes covers, originals, and a re-recording of a song. The originals on this album are "I Came to Believe" and "Like the 309", the latter of which was the last song Cash ever wrote before passing away.[1]

The album takes its name from a lyric on the track "Love's Been Good to Me" by Rod McKuen; the opening verse begins (emphasis added):

I have been a rover
I have walked alone
Hiked a hundred highways
Never found a home


Cash engineer David "Fergie" Ferguson (assisted by Jimmy Tittle) and Rubin oversaw the completion of the recordings. Other musicians on the album include keyboardist Benmont Tench and guitarists Mike Campbell, Smoky Hormel, Matt Sweeney and Jonny Polonsky.


  • Johnny Cash – vocal, guitar
  • Laura Cash – fiddle
  • Dennis Crouch – bass guitar
  • Smokey Hormel – guitar
  • Pat McLaughlin – guitar
  • Larry Perkins – guitar
  • Jonny Polonsky – guitar
  • Randy Scruggs – guitar
  • Marty Stuart – guitar
  • Benmont Tench – organ, piano, harpsichord
  • Pete Wade – guitar
  • Mac Wiseman – guitar

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Martyn Atkins – photography
  • Christine Cano – art direction, design
  • John Carter Cash – executive producer
  • Lindsay Chase – production coordination
  • Greg Fidelman – mixing
  • Paul Figueroa – mixing assistant
  • Dan Leffler – mixing assistant
  • Vlado Meller – mastering
  • Rick Rubin – producer, liner notes
  • David Campbell - string arranger
  • Mark Santangelo – mastering assistant
  • Jimmy Tittle – assistant engineer

Chart performance[edit]

Even in death, Johnny Cash topped the Billboard 200 with the album American V: A Hundred Highways. It is his first No. 1 album since 1969's Johnny Cash at San Quentin with 88,000 copies sold in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Chart (2006) Peak
U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums 1
U.S. Billboard 200 1
Canadian Albums Chart 4


External links[edit]

Preceded by
Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship by India.Arie
Billboard 200 number-one album
July 16–22, 2006
Succeeded by
Now 22 by Various Artists
Preceded by
Taking the Long Way by Dixie Chicks
Top Country Albums number-one album
July 22 – August 4, 2006
Succeeded by
If You're Going Through Hell by Rodney Atkins