American V: A Hundred Highways

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American V: A Hundred Highways
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 4, 2006 (2006-07-04)
RecordedMay–August 2003
StudioCash Cabin Studio (Hendersonville, Tennessee)
Akadamie Mathematique of Philosophical Sound Research (Los Angeles, California)
ProducerRick 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
Singles from American V: A Hundred Highways
  1. "God's Gonna Cut You Down"
    Released: July 3, 2006
  2. "Help Me"
    Released: November 1, 2006
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[4]
Pitchfork Media7.8/10[5]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[6]
Slant Magazine5/5 stars[7]
Entertainment WeeklyA-[8]
The Guardian5/5 stars[2]

American V: A Hundred Highways is a studio album by Johnny Cash. It was released on July 4, 2006, by American Recordings. As the title implies, it is the fifth entry in Cash's American series. Like its predecessors, the album is produced by Rick Rubin. It was Cash's first No. 1 album in 37 years.[9] It was certified Gold on August 18, 2006, by the RIAA.


As with the other albums in the American series, the album includes covers, originals. The originals on this album are "I Came to Believe" and "Like the 309", the latter of which was the last song Cash wrote before passing away in 2003.[10] Recorded on August 21, 2003, "Like the 309" was the next-to-last song Cash ever recorded; the last being "Engine One-Forty-Three" which was produced by John Carter Cash and released on the 2004 compilation album The Unbroken Circle: The Musical Heritage of the Carter Family.[11] The album takes its name from a lyric on the track "Love's Been Good to Me" by Rod McKuen.

Previous recordings[edit]

Three songs on the album are updated versions of songs previously recorded by Cash.

  • "Help Me" was previously recorded by Cash for his 1973 album "The Gospel Road".
  • "I Came to Believe" was previously recorded by Cash in the 1980s during the recording sessions that would ultimately result in the posthumous 2014 release Out Among the Stars.
  • "I'm Free from the Chain Gang Now" was previously recorded by Cash for his 1962 album The Sound of Johnny Cash.

Chart performance[edit]

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

Track listing[edit]

1."Help Me"Larry Gatlin2:51
2."God's Gonna Cut You Down"Traditional2:38
3."Like the 309"Johnny Cash4:35
4."If You Could Read My Mind"Gordon Lightfoot4:30
5."Further on Up the Road"Bruce Springsteen3:25
6."On the Evening Train"Hank Williams4:17
7."I Came to Believe"Johnny Cash3:44
8."Love's Been Good to Me"Rod McKuen3:18
9."A Legend in My Time"Don Gibson2:37
10."Rose of My Heart"Hugh Moffatt3:18
11."Four Strong Winds"Ian Tyson4:34
12."I'm Free from the Chain Gang Now"Lou Herscher, Saul Klein3:00
Total length:42:45


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.

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2006) Peak
U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums 1
U.S. Billboard 200 1
Canadian Albums Chart 4
UK Albums Chart 9


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[12] Gold 50,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[13] Gold 20,000^
Germany (BVMI)[14] Gold 100,000^
Ireland (IRMA)[15] Gold 7,500^
United Kingdom (BPI)[16] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[17] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ link
  2. ^ a b the guardian
  3. ^ a b mc
  4. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "American V: A Hundred Highways – Johnny Cash". AllMusic. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  5. ^ link
  6. ^ link
  7. ^ link
  8. ^ EW
  9. ^ Thomson, G. (2011). The Resurrection of Johnny Cash: Hurt, Redemption, and American Recording Jawbone Press, p. 233.
  10. ^ - EW review: Johnny Cash's brilliant finale - Jun 27, 2006
  11. ^ Robert Hilburn, Johnny Cash: The Life. (New York: Little, Brown & Co., 2013), p. 624
  12. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Johnny Cash – A hundred highways". Music Canada. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  13. ^ "Guld og platin" (in Danish). IFPI Danmark. Archived from the original on January 17, 2015. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  14. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Johnny Cash; 'A hundred highways')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  15. ^ "Irish album certifications – Johnny Cash – A hundred highways". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  16. ^ "British album certifications – Johnny Cash – A hundred highways". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved March 28, 2013. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type A hundred highways in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  17. ^ "American album certifications – Johnny Cash – A hundred highways". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved March 28, 2018. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]