On This Date: Johnny Cash Was Number One With “A Boy Named Sue”

My favorite closing line of any Johnny Cash song…

“And if I ever have a son, I think I’m gonna name him Bill or George!

Any damn thing but Sue! I still hate that name!”

Maybe Johnny Cash’s most memorable moments were his performances at San Quentin State Prison in California, including his 1969 concert which was recorded and became one of the most legendary records of his career.

Johnny Cash At San Quentin was recorded on February 24, 1969 and was released on June 16th of the same year. It only contains 9 tracks, one of which was “A Boy Named Sue,” which went Number One on the Billboard Country Charts and got all the way to Number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, the highest of Johnny’s career.

The song was actually written by Shel Silverstein, the legendary children’s author who wrote Where The Sidewalk Ends, a collection of poems that I read hundreds of times growing up. Shel released his own version of the song in the same year on his album Boy Named Sue (and His Other Country Songs). 

It takes a special man to put on the shows he did at a notoriously hard prison, but another thing all together to release only that live version of a song and still have it be as huge as it is.

But that’s The Man In Black for you.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock