Hey, Porter

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"Hey, Porter"
Hey, Porter.jpg
Single by Johnny Cash
B-side"Cry! Cry! Cry!"
ReleasedJune 21, 1955
RecordedMarch 22, 1955
LabelSun Records
Songwriter(s)Johnny Cash
Producer(s)Sam Phillips
Johnny Cash singles chronology
"Cry! Cry! Cry!"
"Hey, Porter"
"So Doggone Lonesome"

"Hey, Porter" is a song by Johnny Cash. It was recorded on September 1, 1954 and released as a single in May the following year. It tells the story of a train journey home to Tennessee, from the point of view of a very excited passenger that continually asks the porter for updates.


"Hey Porter" is Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two's first recording; Cash wrote the song with bandmates Luther Perkins and Marshall Grant after Sam Phillips (Owner of Sun Records) turned down "I Was There When It Happened", the song with which the three auditioned. Phillips reportedly "didn't want a gospel song, he wanted a fast song" in the vein of Elvis Presley's "That's All Right". Having been stationed in Landsberg, Germany, during his stint with the United States Air Force, Cash based the song on a man returning home from overseas who felt elated to be returning to his native South. "Hey Porter" was the first of many rail-themed songs that Cash would record during his career, and was soon followed by "Folsom Prison Blues", another rail-themed track.

The song is available on many compilations, such as The Complete Sun Singles, The Essential Johnny Cash, Ring Of Fire: The Legend of Johnny Cash Volume Two, and The Legend.

"Hey Porter" was covered by Ry Cooder in 1972[2] on his second album Into the Purple Valley. Cash himself re-recorded the song several times as well. Additionally, Cash contributed the vocal for the cover version of "Hey Porter" on the Earl Scruggs Revue album Anniversary Special in 1975.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ LIFE Unseen: Johnny Cash - An Illustrated Biography With Rare and Never-Before-Seen Photographs from the Archives of Sony Music Entertainment. TI Incorporated Books. 2013. rockabilly material, including "Hey Porter" and later "Cry, Cry, Cry"
  2. ^ "Hey, Porter". Second Hand Songs. 1972. Retrieved 6 January 2020.