Sunday, September 11, 2016

Song #286: "Ring of Fire"--Johnny Cash (1963)

The second and final contribution from the Man in Black in our countdown comes from a time when I didn't exist, as today's tune was released in the Spring of 1963.

Johnny Cash continues to find new fans even today, 13 years after his passing, and one major reason was the variety found in his music. He was able to balance a very difficult line of having a unique sound while being able to tinker with so many music styles.

His future wife, June Carter, co-wrote this song, and her sister Anita originally recorded it. Several months later, Cash recorded it, adding the mariachi band sound that transformed the song into a Cash classic for all-time. And, to boot, it is reported Carter wrote this song about the intense love she felt for Cash at the time, nearly five years before they were married. They stayed married for 45 years, and both died in 2003 just a few months apart.

From this song and Folsom Prison Blues, to his other Top 500 contribution, "One Piece At A Time", to the masterpiece "Hurt" released not long before his passing, the catalog of Johnny Cash is simply unbelievable.

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