Every week, Rich Terfry looks back in our Rear-view Mirror at a great song from the good ol’ days. This week, Johnny Cash with "Ring of Fire".
When Johnny Cash took a chance and recorded a song in a style very much outside of his usual sound, the gamble paid off. The song became the biggest hit of his career. The idea came to him in a dream.
Listen to Rich tell you about "Ring of Fire" by hitting the play button.
When June Carter started falling in love with her future husband, Johnny Cash, she was deeply conflicted. He was a pretty wild guy in those days, but she had a hard time resisting his charms. She decided to try to sort out her feelings in a song. She wrote a song called "Ring of Fire" and offered it to her sister Anita to record.
After Johnny Cash heard June and Anita's song, he had a dream about it. In his dream, the song was given a Mexican twist - he heard it with Mariachi horns. He was sure the horns would make it a hit. He made a deal with his wife-to-be: if her sister Anita's version of the song didn't become a hit after six months, he would record the song the way he heard it in his dream.
When Anita Carter's version failed to chart, Cash hit the studio. The song he recorded was completely unlike anything he did before, but the public loved it. His hunch was proven right. The song shot to number one on the charts and stayed there for seven weeks, becoming the biggest hit of his career.
Here are some other great editions of Rear-view Mirror:
The Kinks/You Really Got Me
Al Green/Let's Stay Together
Simon and Garfunkel/The Boxer
Smokey Robinson and the Miracles/Tracks of my Tears
Elvis Presley/Heartbreak Hotel
Bruce Cockburn/Lovers In A Dangerous Time
The Doors - Light My Fire
Bob Dylan & Jimi Hendrix/All Along The Watchtower
The Clash/London Calling
Phil Spector and the Ronnettes/Be My Baby
Os Mutantes/Ando Meio Desligado
The Diamonds/Little Darlin
Captain Beefheart/Yellow Brick Road
Elton John/Bennie and the Jets
Hank Williams/Long Gone Lonesome Blues
R.E.M./What's the Frequency, Kenneth?
Tom Waits/Jockey Full of Bourbon
Neil Diamond/Sweet Caroline
The Who/Pinball Wizard
Buffalo Springfield/For What It's Worth
Five Man Electrical Band/Signs
Band Aid/Do They Know It's Christmas
The Ugly Ducklings/Nothin
Bob Dylan/Tangled Up In Blue
The Beatles/Norwegian Wood
The Pursuit of Happiness/I'm An Adult Now
Bruce Springsteen/Born To Run
Arcade Fire/Wake Up
Big Joe Turner/Shake Rattle and Roll
Martha and the Muffins/Echo Beach
Wilson Pickett/In The Midnight Hour
The Band/The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
Fleetwood Mac/Go Your Own Way
The Animals/House of the Rising Sun
Ian and Sylvia/Four Strong Winds
James Brown/Please Please Please
John Cougar Mellencamp, 'Pink Houses'
The Ramones/I Wanna Be Sedated
The Guess Who/American Woman
U2/I Still Have't Found What I'm Looking For
Janis Joplin/Me and Bobby McGee
Gordon Lightfoot "If You Could Read My Mind"
The Byrds "Eight Miles High"
Simon and Garfunkel "The Sound of Silence"
Bill Haley and his Comets "Rock Around The Clock"
The Velvet Underground "I'm Waiting For The Man"
Johnny Cash "Folsom Prison Blues"
Bobby Fuller "I Fought The Law"
Big Star "September Gurls"
The Hollies "Bus Stop"
Joy Division "Love Will Tear Us Apart"
Booker T and the MGs "Green Onions"
Jimi Hendrix "Hey Joe"
Neil Young "Rockin' in the Free World"
Dolly Parton "Jolene"
The Left Banke "Walk Away Renee"
Lou Reed "Walk On The Wild Side"
James Taylor "Fire And Rain"
The Clash "Should I Stay or Should I Go"
Marvin Gaye "Sexual Healing"
Radiohead "Paranoid Android"
M.I.A. "Paper Planes"
The Animals "We Gotta Get Out of this Place"
Dusty Springfield "Son of a Preacher Man"
Screamin' Jay Hawkins "I Put A Spell On You"
Cheap Trick "Surrender"
Mott The Hoople "All the Young Dudes"
Beach Boys "Sloop John B"
Amy Winehouse "Rehab"
New York Dolls "Personality Crisis"
Modern Lovers "Roadrunner"
George Jones "He Stopped Loving Her Today"
Bruce Springsteen "Born in the USA"
The Beatles "With A Little Help From My Friends"
Rolling Stones 'Miss You'
The Coasters 'Run Red Run'
Elvis Costello, 'Alison'
James Brown, 'Hot (I Need to be loved loved loved)'
Inner Circle, 'Tenement Yard'
Ray Charles, 'I Don't Need No Doctor'
Curtis Mayfield, 'Freddy's Dead'
Gang Starr, 'Beyond Comprehension'
Bo Diddley, 'Bo Diddley'
Aretha Franklin, 'Rocksteady'
CCR, 'Have You Ever Seen the Rain'
Howlin' Wolf, 'Smokestack Lightning'
Bobby Womack, 'Across 110th Street'
Roy Orbison, 'In Dreams'
Foggy Hogtown Boys, 'Man of Constant Sorrow'
Pink Floyd, 'Wish You Were Here'
Neil Young, 'Cortez The Killer'
Bob Dylan, 'Subterranean Homesick Blues'
Little Eva, 'Loco-Motion'
Elvis Costello, 'Watching the Detectives'
Jimmy Cliff, 'The Harder They Come'
The Verve, 'Bittersweet Symphony'
Roberta Flack, 'Killing Me Softly with his Song'
R.E.M., 'Radio Free Europe'
Radiohead, 'No Surprises'
Led Zeppelin, 'Ramble On'
Rolling Stones, 'Beast of Burden'
Glen Campbell, 'Wichita Lineman'