March 5

The Novelty Song “In the Jailhouse Now” Comes in Different Versions


Jimmie Rodger’s Version

In old times, prison songs are commonly written and performed by artists. One song is known to be recorded numerous times by notable names in country and western music. “In the Jailhouse Now” was a song that originated in the 20th century, but often it has been credited to Jimmie Rodgers.

in the jailhouse now jimmie rodgers webb pierce
Photo Credit: Jimmie Rodgers/ nashvillesongwritersfoundation.com

Rodgers’ first recording was in 1928, and as always he included his signature style of singing which is his yodeling.

About “In the Jailhouse Now”

“In the Jailhouse Now” has an interesting story to it. In the song, the narrator tells the story of his friend Ramblin’ Bob who cheats, steals, and gambles all the time that he ended up in the jailhouse.

“I told him once or twice quit playin’ cards and shootin’ dice
He’s in the jailhouse now”

However, as the song progresses, we found out that the narrator this time got caught up in the world of his old friend. He met a girl and went out gambling. Now like Ramblin’ Bob, the narrator finds himself in the jailhouse.

“We started to spend my money
Then she started to call me honey
We took in every cabaret in town
We’re in the jailhouse now”

This classic blues has been covered numerous times. Let’s take a look at some of the known version of “In the Jailhouse Now.”

Different Versions

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash is known to cover or record songs about prison or life in prison. Cash included his rendition in his 1962 album The Sound of Johnny Cash. Furthermore, he released his song as a single in the same year, and it climbed the Billboard country chart at number eight.

Webb Pierce

In 1954, Webb Pierce released his cover as the A-side to his “I’m Gonna Fall Out of Love with You.” It is known that Pierce made his version reach number one on the country chart.

Sonny James

Sonny James released a live version of his performance at the Tennessee State Prison. He was backed up by the Tennessee State Prison Band.

Other Versions

Other versions are released by Suzy Bogguss and Chet Akins, Merle Haggard, Doc Watson, and more.


in the jailhouse now, jimmie rodgers, Webb Pierce

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