Don't Take Your Guns to Town

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"Don't Take Your Guns to Town"
Single by Johnny Cash
from the album The Fabulous Johnny Cash
B-side "I Still Miss Someone"
Released December 1958
Format 7" single
Genre Country, folk
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Johnny Cash
Producer(s) Don Law
Johnny Cash chronology
"What Do I Care"
"Don't Take Your Guns to Town"
"It's Just About Time"

"Don't Take Your Guns to Town" is a 1958 single by Johnny Cash. The song tells the story of a young cowboy who, ignoring the titular advice from his mother, gets into a gunfight at a saloon and is killed. The single became his fifth release to reach the number one position on the country chart, where it stayed for six weeks.[1] "Don't Take Your Guns to Town" was also a crossover hit peaking at number thirty-two on the pop chart.[2] The song is also included in the live album VH1 Storytellers: Johnny Cash & Willie Nelson. The song was covered by U2 on their 2001 single "Elevation".

Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.[3]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1958–1959) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 32


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 74. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 110. 
  3. ^ Western Writers of America (2010). "The Top 100 Western Songs". American Cowboy. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Billy Bayou" by Jim Reeves
Hot C&W Sides
number one single

February 23, 1959 - March 30, 1959
(six weeks)
Succeeded by
"When It's Springtime in Alaska (It's Forty Below)" by Johnny Horton