Daddy Sang Bass

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"Daddy Sang Bass"
Single by Johnny Cash
from the album The Holy Land
B-side "He Turned the Water Into Wine"
Released October 1968
Genre Country
Length 2:19
Label Columbia, 4-44689
Writer(s) Carl Perkins
Producer(s) Bob Johnston
Johnny Cash singles chronology
"Folsom Prison Blues"
(1968)
"Daddy Sang Bass"
(1968)
"A Boy Named Sue"
(1969)

"Daddy Sang Bass" is a 1968 single written by Carl Perkins, with lines from the chorus of "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" and recorded by Johnny Cash. "Daddy Sang Bass" was Johnny Cash's sixty-first release on the country chart. The song went to No. 1 on the Billboard country chart for 6 weeks and spent a total of 19 weeks on the chart.[1] The single reached No. 56 on the Cashbox pop singles chart in 1969.[2] "Daddy Sang Bass" was also released on the Columbia Records Hall of Fame Series as a 45, #13-33153, b/w "Folsom Prison Blues" (live version). The record was nominated in the CMA awards category of Single of the Year by the Country Music Association (CMA) in 1969.

"Daddy Sang Bass" was Cash's thirty-sixth entry on the pop charts and the last before his "A Boy Named Sue" became his first and only top ten hit there. No other act has ever started off a pop career with a longer such drought on the charts that was finally broken. The song appeared originally on the 1969 album The Holy Land, the 1971 Johnny Cash: Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 collection, the 1999 Johnny Cash greatest hits compilation 16 Biggest Hits, and the 2002 The Essential Johnny Cash collection.

According to Johnny Cash's book, The Man in Black, Carl Perkins had been an alcoholic. Cash helped Perkins, who spent a lot of time on the road with Cash. Cash was a drug addict, and overcame those addictions through spirituality. Cash eventually found God, and helped Carl Perkins. Feeling inspired, Perkins wrote the song, "Daddy Sang Bass" in 1967. Johnny says the line, "Me and little brother will join right in there" was written about Johnny's brother Jack, who died when they were both boys. In the song the line is sung by Don Reid and Phil Balsley of The Statler Brothers.

Carl Perkins also recorded the song for his 1969 Greatest Hits compilation album on Columbia Records, which became a Top 40 hit on the Billboard country album chart that year.

The line "daddy sang bass" is sampled in They Might Be Giants' song "Boat of Car" from their self-titled debut album.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1968–1969) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 42
U.S. Cashbox Top 100 Singles 56
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1
Canadian RPM Top Singles 49

Cover versions[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Wichita Lineman"
by Glen Campbell
Billboard Hot Country Singles
number-one single

January 4-February 9, 1969
Succeeded by
"Until My Dreams Come True"
by Jack Greene
Preceded by
"Mr. Brown"
by Gary Buck
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single

March 3, 1969
Succeeded by
"The Girl Most Likely"
by Jeannie C. Riley