Daddy Sang Bass

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"Daddy Sang Bass"
Single by Johnny Cash
from the album The Holy Land
B-side"He Turned the Water Into Wine"
ReleasedOctober 1968
GenreCountry, gospel
LabelColumbia, 4-44689
Songwriter(s)Carl Perkins
Producer(s)Bob Johnston
Johnny Cash singles chronology
"Folsom Prison Blues"
"Daddy Sang Bass"
"A Boy Named Sue"

"Daddy Sang Bass" is a 1968 single written by Carl Perkins, with lines from the chorus of "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" and recorded by Johnny Cash. "Daddy Sang Bass" was Johnny Cash's sixty-first release on the country chart. The song went to No. 1 on the Billboard country chart for 6 weeks and spent a total of 19 weeks on the chart.[1] The single reached No. 56 on the Cashbox pop singles chart in 1969.[2] "Daddy Sang Bass" was also released on the Columbia Records Hall of Fame Series as a 45, #13-33153, b/w "Folsom Prison Blues" (live version). The record was nominated in the CMA awards category of Single of the Year by the Country Music Association (CMA) in 1969.

"Daddy Sang Bass" was Cash's thirty-sixth entry on the pop charts and the last before his "A Boy Named Sue" became his first and only top ten hit there. No other act has ever started off a pop career with a longer such drought on the charts that was finally broken.[3] The song appeared originally on the 1969 album The Holy Land, the 1971 Johnny Cash: Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 collection, the 1999 Johnny Cash greatest hits compilation 16 Biggest Hits, and the 2002 The Essential Johnny Cash collection.

According to Johnny Cash's book, The Man in Black, the singer overcame his amphetamine-addiction by finding God, and then helped his friend and frequent tour-mate Carl Perkins to overcome his alcoholism. Feeling inspired, Perkins wrote the song, "Daddy Sang Bass" in 1967. Cash says the line, "Me and little brother will join right in there" was written about Cash's brother Jack, who died when they were both boys. In the song the line is sung by Don Reid and Lew DeWitt of The Statler Brothers who are uncredited on the record, as is Jan Howard who sang the line "Mama sang tenor" also in the song's chorus. Howard's part is frequently incorrectly credited to June Carter who would sing the line in concert with Cash.

Carl Perkins also recorded the song for his 1969 Greatest Hits compilation album on Columbia Records, which became a Top 40 hit on the Billboard country album chart that year.

The line "Daddy sang bass" is sampled in They Might Be Giants' song "Boat of Car" from their self-titled debut album.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1968–1969) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[4] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[5] 42
U.S. Cashbox Top 100 Singles 56
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1
Canadian RPM Top Singles 49

Cover versions[edit]


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 75.
  2. ^ Cashbox Top 100 Singles.
  3. ^ Casey Kasem, American Top 40, 28 January 1978: 36 includes 2 listed flips.
  4. ^ "Johnny Cash Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  5. ^ "Johnny Cash Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  6. ^ Second Hand Songs: Daddy Sang Bass by Glenn Campbell.
  7. ^ Second Hand Songs: Daddy Sang Bass by Kitty Wells.
  8. ^ Second Hand Songs: Daddy Sang Bass by Skeeter Davis

External links[edit]