Get Rhythm

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"Get Rhythm"
Single by Johnny Cash
B-side "Hey Porter"[1]
Released September 1969
Format 7" single
Recorded 1956
Genre Rock and roll,[2] rockabilly
Length 2:13
Label Sun 1103
Writer(s) Johnny Cash
Producer(s) Sam Phillips
Johnny Cash singles chronology
"A Boy Named Sue"
"Get Rhythm"

"Get Rhythm" is a song written and recorded by American singer-songwriter and musician Johnny Cash. It was originally released as the B-side to the single release "I Walk the Line" in 1956 on Sun 241. It was re-released with overdubbed "live" effects in September 1969 as an A-side single and reached number 60 on the Billboard Pop chart.


The song is about optimism, centering on a shoeshine boy who "gets rhythm" to cope with the tedious nature of his job.

Critical reception[edit]

Alice Randall in the book "My Country Roots: The Ultimate MP3 Guide to America's Original Outsider Music" asks the question, "racist, racialist, or race appreciating? You decide. Maybe the grinning "boy" hides something worth knowing in his mask as well as behind his mask."[3]

Chart performance[edit]

"Get Rhythm" was released in 1956 as the B-side to Cash's first Number One hit, "I Walk the Line." In 1969, the original recording of "Get Rhythm" was released as a single itself, with sound effects dubbed in to simulate the sound of a live recording.[1] This rerelease went to #23 on the country charts.

Chart (1969) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 23
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 60
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1
Canadian RPM Top Singles 59
Preceded by
"To See My Angel Cry"
by Conway Twitty
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single

November 15-November 22, 1969
Succeeded by
"Groovy Grubworm"
by Harlow Wilcox

Cover versions[edit]

Martin Delray version[edit]

"Get Rhythm"
Single by Martin Delray
from the album Get Rhythm
B-side "The Very Thought of You"
Released 1991
Format CD single
Genre Country
Length 2:52
Label Atlantic
Writer(s) Johnny Cash
Producer(s) Blake Mevis, Nelson Larkin
Martin Delray singles chronology
"Get Rhythm"
"Lillie's White Lies"

In 1991, Martin Delray recorded a cover of the song on his debut album, also entitled Get Rhythm. Released as his debut single, Delray's version featured guest vocals from Cash, as well as a guest appearance by him in the music video.[4] It peaked at #27 on the country charts.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1991) Peak
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[5] 18
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[6] 27

Other cover versions[edit]

  • In 1986 British pub rock band Dr. Feelgood released a cover on their album Brilleaux.
  • A cover by the guitarist Ry Cooder on his album Get Rhythm released in November 1987


  1. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 84. ISBN 0-89820-177-2. 
  2. ^ Get Rhythm - AllMusic Retrieved 29 November 2015
  3. ^ Randall, Alice; Carter Little; Courtney Little (2006). My Country Roots: The Ultimate MP3 Guide to America's Original Outsider Music. Thomas Nelson, Inc. p. 92. ISBN 1-59555-860-8. 
  4. ^ Vinopal, David. "Martin Delray Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2007-11-24. 
  5. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 1520." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. May 18, 1991. Retrieved August 16, 2013.
  6. ^ "Martin Delray – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Martin Delray.

External links[edit]