Ring of Fire (song)

Ring of Fire 1963 is the title of one of the most famous songs of country music and was the biggest hit in the country charts for Johnny Cash.


As June Carter went in November 1962 Johnny Cash on tour, including Merle Kilgore took part in this. During the tour, she wrote in her free time and new songs. Probably in a book of poems was Carter the passage " Love is like a burning ring of fire ". Together with Kilgore, she began to incorporate this line into a new song they first Love's Fiery ring called. Her sister Anita Carter was at that time in the recording studio to record their LP Sings Folk Songs Old and New. To complete it lacked even a song that she asked of June Carter. Carter Kilgore and just needed a little time to complete the fragment. The text of the refrain is:

Ring of Fire Kilgore wanted the song does not call because he knew that Duane Eddy had used this title in May 1961, an original composition. That's why he initially varied it to ( Love's ) Ring of Fire. Under this title, the composition came as the first piece on the recorded in November 1962, produced by Jerry Kennedy and published in February 1963 LP Sings Folk Songs Old and New. The resulting decoupled single was titled Ring of Fire / Voice of the Bayou ( Mercury 72073 ) and also came out in February 1963 on the market.

The version of Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash desperately needed a hit, as he had for nearly four years, no single in the pop charts. He was also contractually under pressure because his recording contract with CBS Records expired at the end of 1963. Cash wanted to Ring of Fire sure to include but had difficulties in the studio, record the song with the trumpets desired by him. His long-time companion Jack Clement was asked, but he was skeptical: " Columbia will not even let me in the near Johnny Cash. Producer Don Law protects him with an iron hand. " On request of Cash Clement traveled to the admission date March 25, 1963 into the studio to Nashville.

Clement wrote the arrangements and directed the studio band in the cast Luther Perkins ( lead guitar ), Jack Clement (guitar), Marshall Grant ( bass), William Whitney "Bill" Pursell ( piano ), WS Holland (drums ), Karl R. Garvin / William K. "Bill" McElhiney ( trumpets ). Mother Maybelle Carter in the background and the siblings Carter sang. The album was produced formally Don Law and Frank Jones. The session at Columbia Recording Studios took 3 ½ hours, with cash defied all country music principles in the experimental recording and was accompanied by distinctive mariachi trumpets.

Publication and success

The Single Ring of Fire / I'd Still Be There (Columbia 42788 ) was published on 19 April 1963, arrived on 8 June 1963 in the country charts, where it reached first place on 27 July 1963, there for seven weeks remained. From the Single copies were sold over a million, and the digital version of the song has been downloaded more than 1.2 million times. The title took in the version of Cash also ranked number 17 in the U.S. pop charts.

Besides I Walk the Line Ring of Fire is developed to Cash's signature tune. The song topped the list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time magazine Rolling Stone and number 87 was chosen by CMT # 4 on the 100 Greatest Songs in Country Music.

Other cover versions

Ring of Fire is one of 91 registered with BMI versions for the average often covered songs and received a BMI Award. Ralf Bendix came in November 1963 with an English version and a text by Carl -Ulrich Blecher under the title The Big Trail to Idaho (ranked 27 in the German charts ) on the market, also with mariachi trumpets ( Electrola 22478 ).

Will be followed by Kitty Wells ( January 1964 ), Grady Martin ( April 1965 ), Jerry Lee Lewis ( November 1965 ), Tom Jones ( March 1967 ), Eric Burdon and the Animals with a 4:58 minute extended version ( December 1968 ), Ray Charles ( October 1970 ), Wall of Voodoo (EP, 1980), Dwight Yoakam ( August 1986 ), Social Distortion ( March 1990), Frank Zappa ( April 1991) or Alan Jackson ( December 2010).

The Howard Carpendale under the title Hot Like Fire ( December 1971 ) brought out version (Rank 35 in Germany ), another German text was also Blecher based; the girl quartet Les Gam 's came with a French version under the title L' anneau de feu (1964 ) on the market. Joaquin Phoenix sings the piece in Walk the Line, the biographical film version of Cash's life from the year 2005. 2006 brought the English football club Liverpool FC for the FA Cup final a cover out whose entire proceeds went to charity.