Wednesday, December 28, 2011

If It's Wednesday It Must Be On Fire

I know, I posted about the X-Files earlier but it's Wednesday and so it's Johnny Cash cover day, too.  Today we're going to explore a song that many people think is a Cash original, "Ring of Fire."  First, a trivia question:  What does Johnny Cash have to do with the endangered status of the California Condor?  The answer's at the end.

Anyway, this song was actually written by Cash's wife June Carter and Merle Kilgore and was first recorded by her sister Anita Carter in 1963.

Anita's version didn't really do all that well so Johnny switched it up, added a mariachi band and backing vocals from the Carter Sisters and Mother Maybelle.  My question is how must it feel to sing a passionate song that was written about you by the love of your life?  How cool is that?

Cash's version has been covered several times, including by Social Distortion, Frank Zappa (the vid is really shaky but totally worth it on YouTube), and nearly got Adam Lambert booted from American Idol.  If I remember correctly he scared the judges with that one.

So the trivia question up there?  The answer is that in 1965 Johnny Cash started a fire that burned 508 acres of the Los Padres National Forest in California, wiping out all but four Condors who were being nurtured in the preserve there.  In true county style, he blamed his truck.   


  1. I didn't know about the condors but I do remember that Johnny Cash was responsible for a forest fire. I learned about that on your blog. :)

  2. LOL, your education is coming along nicely, bccmee...muwahaha!

  3. my mother thinks this is a drug addiction song.

  4. Nope, straight up adultery song. Not really going to rest her soul, is it?


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