Country music icons and powerhouse couple Johnny Cash and June Carter recorded several songs together during their lifetime. One of their most notable recordings turns 52 today. This is no other than the Billy Edd Wheeler and Jerry Leiber-penned song entitled “Jackson.”
One of the songwriters, Wheeler, was the first to record the song. He covered it in the same year of its release in 1963. His version did not sell, but in 1967, the song became a breakthrough record for two pairs of famed singers.
Cashand Carter recorded “Jackson” on January 11, 1967. The following month,Columbia Records released the single on the album Carryin’ On with Johnny Cash and June Carter. Their record became a runner up on Billboard Country Singles chart peaking at No. 2. It was the highest spot that the song reached on the charts. Moreover, it won them a Grammy Award for Best Country & Western Performance Duet, Trio or Group in 1968.
The song has attracted many non-country audiences in recent years. Its use in different films significantly helped in boosting its audience reach. For example, the song was used in the 2005 biographical drama film featuring two autobiographies that Cash wrote. In addition, “Jackson” appeared on the soundtrack of the 2011 period drama film The Help. This further resulted in Cash’s continued popularity.
Watch Cash and Carter’s liver performance of the song.
Cash and Carter may have probably inspired other singers with their “Jackson” record. Country and pop singer Lee Hazlewood teamed up with Nancy Sinatra to make a version of the song in 1967. Their cover dropped in the middle of the year and was also a successful hit for the pair. The song entered not just one but two music charts in the U.S.
It became a Top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 where it peaked at No. 14. Additionally, the song was able to secure a spot on the Easy Listening chart reaching No. 39. Sinatra’s 1967 TV special called Movin’ With Nancy also featured the song.
Listen to Hazlewood and Sinatra’s rendition of “Jackson” below.