When talking about friendships, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash were one of the most famous. At one point, they were even roommates. Over the years, Cash and Jennings collaborated for a lot of occasions, the most notable in the country supergroup The Highwaymen. The group consisted of some of the biggest stars of those times, including Jennings, Cash, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson.
Outside the group Highwaymen, Cash and Jennings worked on a song titled “There Ain’t No Good Chain Gang.” The true definition was “outlaw” image that the duo represented, “Thre Ain’t No Good Chain Gang” was written by Hal Bynum and Dave Kirby.
The way the song was told was from the point of view of an inmate who relays the important lessons he had learned in life. This inmate named those lessons in the chorus, including the fact that you shouldn’t “go writing hot checks down in Mississippi.” In conclusion, the inmate sings that the main thing he has learned is that “there ain’t no good chain gang.” Can a song really get any more “outlaw” than that?
Jennings and Cash’s combined star power helped drive “There Ain’t No Good Chain Gang” near the top of the country chart. It peaked at the No.2 position on that particular chart, and also reached the No.5 spot on the Canadian country chart.
As great as the recorded version of the song was, it’s even better to listen to Jennings and Cash perform it live. The two did just that during an appearance on The First 25 Years TV special in 1980.
Jennings and Cash placed their rough and rowdy personas on full display that day as they chugged through their famous duet. They fed off of each other’s energy throughout the song, resulting in an entertaining performance that everyone surely enjoyed.
We know that as a country fan, you’re eager to see how the live performance went. With no further ado, enjoy the performance of Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash singing “There Ain’t No Good Chain Gang.”