Cash’s version of this Shel Silverstein poem, performed without rehearsal at California’s San Quentin State Prison and released on the At San Quentin album, was Cash’s biggest hit on the Billboard Hot 100. I love listening to his backing band negotiate his erratic delivery (he claims to have only read the poem twice before hitting the stage), trying their best to intuit chord changes when Cash deviates from the standard form of the song. What a great recording of a master showman, great band, and classic poem.
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