"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.
A verse omitted from the original recording was later performed during Johnny Cash's live performances. A demo recording from the Sun sessions featuring the omitted verse also exists and has been released on numerous Sun compilations.
Bob Dylan and The Band recorded two takes of the song in 1967 during The Basement Tapes sessions. They were officially released November 4, 2014 on The Bootleg Series Vol. 11: The Basement Tapes Complete.
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," and featured the verse Cash omitted when he first recorded the song for Sun (Jennings sang the verse on the studio recording and in live performances, which allowed each member of the group to sing a verse).
Tim Armstrong covered the song in 2012 during his Guitar Center session.