Big River (Johnny Cash song)

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"Big River"
Single by Johnny Cash
from the album Sings the Songs That Made Him Famous
Released March 1958
Genre Rockabilly
Length 2:35
Label Sun
Writer(s) Johnny Cash
Producer(s) Sam Phillips, Jack Clement
Johnny Cash singles chronology
"Ballad of a Teenage Queen"
"Big River"
"Guess Things Happen That Way"

"Big River" is a song written and originally recorded by Johnny Cash. Released as a single by Sun Records in 1958, it went as high as #4 on the Billboard country music charts and stayed on the charts for 14 weeks.[1] A verse omitted from the original recording was later performed during Johnny Cash's live performances.[2]

Cover versions[edit]

Delbert McClinton performed the song on a couple of albums. Ian Tyson (of Ian and Sylvia) included a spirited version of Big River on the duo's "Lovin' Sound" album released in 1967, with David Rae on lead guitar. The Grateful Dead played a cover version of this song in 396 live performances.[3] It appears on many of their concert recordings, such as Dick's Picks Volume 1 (Grateful Dead Records). It was also included in a 2003 tribute to Johnny Cash, Johnny's Blues: A Tribute To Johnny Cash (Northern Blues), in a version by Colin Linden. Trick Pony recorded a version of Big River with Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings on their debut album. Australian band Cold Chisel included a live version of the song on their 2003 Ringside reunion tour and DVD. Hank Williams Jr. covered this song on his 1970 album; Singing My Songs - Johnny Cash, which contains exclusively songs by Johnny Cash. The Secret Sisters also recorded a version of the song in 2011, with Jack White playing backing guitar.[4] Bob Dylan and The Band also recorded a version of the song in 1967 during The Basement Tapes sessions. It was never officially released, but can be found on many bootlegs. Johnny Cash was featured in a cover performed by The Highwaymen, a country supergroup featuring Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson. This cover is slightly more upbeat, skewing to "Outlaw Country."

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1958) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 4
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 14

Song information[edit]


External links[edit]