Johnny Cash - Sixteen Tons

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Music video by Johnny Cash performing Sixteen Tons.

(C) Mercury Records

"Sixteen Tons" is a song about a coal miner, based on life in coal mines in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. It was written and first recorded by Merle Travis at the Radio Recorders Studio B in Hollywood, California on August 8, 1946. Cliffie Stone played bass on the recording. It was first released by Capitol on the album Folk Songs of the Hills (July 1947). The song became a gold record.

The line, "You load sixteen tons and what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt," came from a letter written by Travis' brother John. Another line came from their father, a coal miner, who would say, "I can't afford to die. I owe my soul to the company store."

A 1955 version recorded by Tennessee Ernie Ford reached number one in the Billboard charts, while another version by Frankie Laine was released only in Western Europe, where it gave Ford's version competition.

On March 25, 2015, it was announced that Ford's version of the song will be inducted into the Library of Congress's National Recording Registry.

In 1987 Johnny Cash released a country version on his album Johnny Cash Is Coming to Town

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Artist: Johnny Cash
Video title: Sixteen Tons

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Category: Country
Views: 31425
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