Johnny Cash’s 1976 Hit, And Last Number One, “One Piece At A Time” Is Pure Country Comedy Gold

Johnny Cash country music
Johnny Cash/Columbia Records

They don’t make lunch boxes or country songs like they used to, huh?

Released in 1976, Johnny Cash’s classic “One Piece At A Time” tells the story of an assembly line worker hell-bent on getting one of the new cars he’s been building, but since he doesn’t have the money, he decides to bring individual parts home, one by one, year by year, (a hilariously named practice called Salami Slicing) and then reconstruct a brand new GM at his house.

Of course, this only kinda works and he ends up with a 1949, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59 automobile…

Written by Wayne Kemp, it was his final single to peak at number one, exactly 47 years ago to this day. It was also his last to reach the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at 29.

I’ve loved this song since the first time I heard it, but I need to know, how big is that lunch box?

I mean, I’m no auto-tech, but there’s not many parts that will fit in a typical lunch pail, and bringing the motorhome out to pick up the rest had to be quite the project, so they probably didn’t do it too often.

I guess it’s just the magic of The Man In Black.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock