FLASHBACK: JOHNNY CUTS A CLASSIC
When Johnny Cash kicked off his career for Memphis' Sun Records in the mid-1950s, one of his songwriting buddies was another star-in-waiting, Carl Perkins. One night during a tour, Carl helped him with the title for a song that became Johnny's first No. 1 smash. Johnny told Carl that he was writing a song about being true to yourself and those who love you, and ran some titles by him, including "Because You're Mine" and "I'm Walking the Line." Carl suggested something a little snappier: "I Walk the Line." "I liked that idea so much," Johnny later recalled, "that I wrote it as fast as the pencil could get the words on the paper." He finished the song in Texas, as a way of reminding himself to resist the temptations of the road. Johnny recorded "I Walk the Line" on March 30, 1956, and released it on June 9. The straight-talking anthem, delivered in Johnny's signature deep voice, hit No. 1 the following month and stayed at the top for six weeks.