Johnny Cash Is Coming to Town

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Johnny Cash Is Coming to Town
Studio album by Johnny Cash
Released April 13, 1987
Recorded September 1986 - January 1987
Genre Country, country rock, rockabilly[1]
Length 32:37
Label Mercury
Producer Jack Clement
Johnny Cash chronology
Columbia Records 1958-1986
(1987)Columbia Records 1958-19861987
Johnny Cash is Coming to Town
Classic Cash: Hall of Fame Series
(1988)Classic Cash: Hall of Fame Series1988

Johnny Cash Is Coming to Town is the 73rd album by American country singer Johnny Cash, released in 1987, and his first for Mercury Records. It was re-released in 2003, paired with Boom Chicka Boom on a single CD. "Sixteen Tons" was previously a hit for Tennessee Ernie Ford, "The Big Light" is an Elvis Costello song from his album King of America, released the previous year and "Let Him Roll" is from Guy Clark's debut, Old No. 1. The album reached #36 on the country charts, while the only released single, "The Night Hank Williams Came to Town", peaked at #43.[2]

"Ballad of Barbara" is a rerecording of a track that had been a hit single for Cash in the early 1970s. A number of tracks left over from the album's recording sessions would later surface on Cash's final Mercury album, The Mystery of Life, released in 1991.

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars link
Robert Christgau (B+) link

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "The Big Light" Elvis Costello 2:41
2. "Ballad of Barbara" Johnny Cash 4:21
3. "I'd Rather Have You" Cash 3:11
4. "Let Him Roll" Guy Clark 4:29
5. "The Night Hank Williams Came to Town" (with Waylon Jennings) Bobby Braddock, Charlie Williams 3:24
6. "Sixteen Tons" Merle Travis 2:46
7. "Letters from Home" J.C. Crowley, Jack Wesley Routh 3:21
8. "W. Lee O'Daniel and the Light Crust Doughboys" James Talley 2:46
9. "Heavy Metal (Don't Mean Rock and Roll to Me)" Clark, Jim McBride 2:50
10. "My Ship Will Sail" Allen Reynolds 2:46


Additional personnel[edit]

  • Produced by Jack Clement
  • Assistant producer: David Ferguson
  • Recorded at the Cowboy Arms Hotel and Recording Spa
  • Engineers: Rich Adler (chief engineer and technical director), David Ferguson
  • Mixing engineers: Dave Ferguson (all except "Heavy Metal...") and Rich Adler ("Heavy Metal...")
  • Executive producer: Joey Miskulin
  • Mastering: Glenn Meadows, Masterfonics
  • Production manager: Coley Coleman
  • Linear notes: John Lomax III
  • Eyes courtesy: Dr. Marie Kelly, Dr. Burkett Nelson
  • Photography: Slick Lawson
  • Art design: Virginia Team
  • Design: Jerry Joyner, Joe Rogers

Chart performance[edit]


Chart (1987) Peak position
U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums 36


Year Single Peak positions
US Country
1987 "The Night Hank Williams Came to Town" 43
"Sixteen Tons" -
"Let Him Roll" -
"W. Lee O'Daniel (And the Light Crust Doughboys)" 72


  1. ^
  2. ^ C. Eric Banister -Johnny Cash FAQ: All That's Left to Know About the Man in Black 1617136085 2014 "“Sixteen Tons,” written by Merle Travis, fits, asone would expect, likea coal miner's glove, while “Letters from Home,” by Jack Wesley Routh and John Charles Crowley, finds Cash in a sentimental mood."

External links[edit]