On This Day: Johnny Cash Takes Home Grammy for ‘American Recordings’ in 1995

by Jacklyn Krol

Johnny Cash took home the Grammy Award for his American Recordings record on March 1, 1995.

A Big Win For Johnny Cash

The music legend took home the award for Best Contemporary Folk Album at the 37th Annual Grammy Awards. He was also nominated for Best Country Vocal Collaboration for “The Devil Comes Back to Georgia.” Unfortunately for Cash, “I Fall to Pieces” by Aaron Neville and Trisha Yearwood took home that honor.

American Recordings was released on April 26, 1994, and it marked the 81st album from Johnny Cash. The record is also the name of the label he signed to in 1993 that was originally called Def American. The album was created in his record label executive, Rick Rubin’s living room near Sunset Strip. Overall, they recorded over 70 demos during the month-long session. Over the years, the album became one of the widely critically acclaimed country acoustic records of all time.

“The song is the thing that matters, before I can record, I have to hear it, sing it, and know that I can make it feel like my own, or it won’t work,” Cash told Classic Rock of his new work before his passing in 2003. “I worked on these songs until it felt like they were my own.”

His Grammy History

Overall, Johnny Cash has received 13 wins and 35 nominations. His first Grammy nomination was at the 6th annual awards show in 1963. He was up for the Best Country and Western Recording for “Ring of Fire.” His first Grammy win wasn’t until 1967 for Best Country and Western Performance Duet, Trio or Group for “Jackson.”

His most recent win was posthumously for Best Short Form Music Video for “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” in 2007. Finally, Cash’s At Folsom Prison record was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2018.

In 2004, his 1986 Grammy trophy for Best Spoken Word or Non-Musical Recording sold for $160,000. The award was for  Class of ’55: Memphis Rock & Roll Homecoming. According to CMT, it was originally expected to be sold for only $5,000-$6,000.