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"Don't Take Your Guns to Town" is a 1958 single by Johnny Cash. The single was his fifth release to reach the number one position on the country chart, where it stayed for six weeks.[1] "Don't Take Your Guns to Town" was also a crossover hit peaking at number thirty-two on the pop chart.[2] The song is also included in the live album VH1 Storytellers: Johnny Cash & Willie Nelson. The song was covered by U2 as the B-side of their 2001 single "Elevation".

"Don't Take Your Guns to Town"
Jcash - Dont Take Guns.jpg
Single by Johnny Cash
from the album The Fabulous Johnny Cash
B-side"I Still Miss Someone"
ReleasedDecember 1958
Format7" single
Recorded1958
GenreWestern, country folk
Length3:03
LabelColumbia
Songwriter(s)Johnny Cash
Producer(s)Don Law
Johnny Cash singles chronology
"What Do I Care"
(1958)
"Don't Take Your Guns to Town"
(1958)
"It's Just About Time"
(1959)

Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.[3]

ContentEdit

The song tells the story of a young cowboy who, ignoring the titular advice from his mother, gets into a gunfight at a saloon and is killed.

Chart performanceEdit

Chart (1958–1959) Peak
position
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[4] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[5] 32

RerecordingsEdit

As was the case with many of his hits, Cash re-recorded the song on several occasions. In 1974, he recorded it in a more modern arrangement for the album The Junkie and the Juicehead Minus Me which also updated some of the lyrics. A more straight remake was recorded for the 1988 album Classic Cash: Hall of Fame Series. He also recorded a live version with Willie Nelson for the 1998 release VH1 Storytellers: Johnny Cash & Willie Nelson.

Alternate versionEdit

During an early-1990s guest appearance on the children's program Sesame Street, Cash performed a version of this song with new child-friendly lyrics titled "Don't Take Your Ones to Town".

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 74.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 110.
  3. ^ Western Writers of America (2010). "The Top 100 Western Songs". American Cowboy. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014.
  4. ^ "Johnny Cash Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  5. ^ "Johnny Cash Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.

External linksEdit