From the Archives: “The Johnny Cash Children’s Album”

Even with an extensive career writing songs largely about sorrow and tribulation, believe it or not, something seems very natural about iconic singer-songwriter Johnny Cash releasing a children’s album. Maybe it’s because like his catalog, children’s music is rooted in folk and gospel, and the tradition of storytelling and singing along.

For me, the highlight of “The Johnny Cash Children’s Album” is the abundance of Cash-penned songs. The thinking wasn’t merely “let’s do a children’s record with old standards for the sake of doing a children’s record.” What else? The delivery is very classic Cash: he’s not patronizing, dumbing it down for children or trying to be cute or too silly (though there are goofy songs like “Ah Bos Cee Dah”). Throughout, it’s simply an excellent country-folk record for all generations.

I recommend the 2006 reissue with four bonus tracks not included on the 1975 record (although if you can find it on vinyl, by all means get it!).

Recommended listening:

  • Nasty Dan
  • Dinosaur Song
  • There’s a Bear in the Woods
  • Little Green Fountain
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