The Phono Project

Exploring the history of the groove

“I Walk the line” by Hoagy Carmichael

The song “I Walk The Line” was written and recorded in 1956 by Johnny Cash.  Hoagy Carmichael recorded a version of this song on the A side of a 7″ vinyl record under the Coral record label, released the same year as Johnny Cash’s version, in 1956. In this cover of the hit song, you can hear Hoagy Carmichael sing the famous verse, which clearly is not quite the same as “The Man in Black” original version. Hoagy Carmichael was able to relate to meaning behind the song as many others did too. Cash wrote “I Walk The Line” as a reminder to stay true, which it turned out was not very easy to do. As Cash’s recording became known to the world, other artists became intrigued and decided to do a cover of the song. Some of those artists included Everly Brothers, Dean Martin, Burl Ives, and Dolly Parton. It was clear that this recording by Johnny Cash influenced a lot of people, especially the artists that I named above, who all decided to do their own covers of the hit song because they were interested and able to relate to it!

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