Johnny Cash has released a lot of hits in his career. Let’s take a look at one of them with “Sunday Morning Coming Down,” a song that wasn’t even originally his.
All About Johnny Cash and “Sunday Morning Coming Down”
Though most of us know this song as one of Johnny Cash’s greatest hits and a certified country music classic, the song was actually originally written by Kris Kristofferson and was first recorded by Ray Stevens in 1969.
Johnny Cash eventually recorded his own version of it and became the more popular version. His version of the song took the top spot in the US Hot Country Songs in 1970 and the Canadian RPM Country Tracks in the same year.
In addition, his version of the song also won the Song of the Year in the 1970 Country Music Association Award.
Before officially recording the song, however, the popularity of the “Sunday Morning Coming Down” came after Johnny Cash performed the song in The Johnny Cash show as a part of the Ride This Train segment. Cash introduced the song with a monologue saying:
“You know, not everyone who has been on ‘the bum’ wanted it that way. The Great Depression of the 30s set the feet of thousands of people—farmers, city workers—it set ’em to ridin’ the rails. My Daddy was one of those who hopped a freight train a couple of times to go and look for work.
He wasn’t a bum. He was a hobo but he wasn’t a bum. I suppose we’ve all….all of us ‘been at one time or another ‘drifter at heart’, and today like yesterday there’s many that are on that road headin’ out. Not searchin’ maybe for work, as much as for self-fulfillment, or understanding of their life…trying to find a *meaning* for their life.
And they’re not hoppin’ freights much anymore. Instead, they’re thumbin’ cars and diesel trucks along the highways from Maine to Mexico. And many who have drifted…including myself …have found themselves no closer to peace of mind than a dingy backroom, on some lonely Sunday morning, with it comin’ down all around you.”
After this performance, Cash came out with an official recording which became a hit among fans.
Check out this duet of “Sunday Morning Coming Down” by the greats, Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson in the Johnny Cash Show.