Sings the Ballads of the True West

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Sings the Ballads of the True West
Studio album by
ReleasedOriginal: September 1965
Re-issued: August 27, 2002
RecordedAugust 14, 1959 - April 26, 1965
LengthOriginal: 64:50
Re-issue: 68:25
ProducerDon Law, Frank Jones
Johnny Cash chronology
Orange Blossom Special
Sings the Ballads of the True West Everybody Loves a Nut
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic5/5 stars link

Sings the Ballads of the True West is a concept album by country singer Johnny Cash. It was his 22nd album. It was released on Columbia Records in 1965. It contains 20 individual songs, including ballads and other songs on topics related to the history of the American Old West.

The only single from the album was "Mr. Garfield". This song is about the shock of the American people after the assassination of President James Garfield.

Other songs on the album include "The Ballad of Boot Hill", written by Carl Perkins; and "Streets of Laredo", a traditional folk song. One of the songs, "25 Minutes to Go" was later be performed at Folsom Prison and appeared on Cash's famous At Folsom Prison recording in 1968.

Songs[change | change source]

No. TitleWriter(s) Length
1. "Hiawatha's Vision"  Cash 2:25
2. "The Road to Kaintuck"  Cash, June Carter 2:43
3. "The Shifting Whispering Sands, Part I"  Jack V. C. Gilbert, Mary Margaret Hadler 2:54
4. "The Ballad of Boot Hill"  Carl Perkins 3:48
5. "I Ride an Old Paint"  Traditional 2:58
6. "Hardin Wouldn't Run"  Cash 4:19
7. "Mr. Garfield"  Ramblin' Jack Elliott 4:35
8. "Streets of Laredo"  Traditional 3:39
9. "Johnny Reb"  Merle Kilgore 2:50
10. "A Letter from Home"  Maybelle Carter, Dearest Dean 2:35
11. "Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie"  Traditional 2:26
12. "Mean as Hell"  Cash 3:07
13. "Sam Hall"  Tex Ritter 3:15
14. "25 Minutes to Go"  Shel Silverstein 3:14
15. "The Blizzard"  Harlan Howard 3:53
16. "Sweet Betsy from Pike"  Jimmie Driftwood 3:57
17. "Green Grow the Lilacs"  Traditional 2:47
18. "Stampede"  Peter La Farge 4:01
19. "The Shifting Whispering Sands, Part II"  Jack Gilbert, Mary Hadler 2:28
20. "Reflections"  Cash 2:58

Bonus songs[change | change source]

Sings the Ballads of the True West was re-released in 2002 with two extra tracks. The second of these is an instrumental version of the song "Stampede" as recorded on the original version.

  1. "Rodeo Hand" (Peter La Farge) – 2:27
  2. "Stampede" (Peter La Farge) – 1:07

Charts[change | change source]

Singles - Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1965 "Mr. Garfield" Country Singles 15

Other websites[change | change source]