Country Rewind: Chris Stapleton Crushes Johnny Cash’s ‘Folsom Prison Blues’

by Katie Maloney
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Have you heard Chris Stapleton’s cover of the iconic Johnny Cash song, “Folsom Prison Blues”?

Undoubtedly, Johnny Cash is a legend. His outlaw music and natural edge helped carve him a spot of his own in the country music world. One song, in particular, became one of his most iconic tunes, “Folsom Prison Blues.” Cash wrote and recorded the song himself in 1955. The song was the 11th track on his debut album, With His Hot and Blue Guitar. But it wasn’t until 13 years later that “Folson Prison Blues” became a hit. Cash re-recorded the song in 1968 as a live recording at Folsom Prison. The recording was part of his album, At Folsom Prison. Upon its re-release, the song soared to the number one spot on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, and it even reached number one in Canada.

Since then, countless country musicians have covered the Johnny Cash hit including Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Brooks & Dunn, and Chris Stapleton. Stapleton performed his version during a concert in 2014 before he hit it big. His version of “Folsom Prison Blues” also features his wife, Morgane, who sings background vocals and the last few lines. Stapleton definitely brings his signature soulfulness to the song.

Chris Stapleton covered “Folsom Prison Blues”

Chris Stapleton’s Hit Songs Come To Him During Dreams

When you love what you do, it can be difficult to shut off the inspiration, even when you’re sleeping. At least, that was the case for Chris Stapleton when he wrote the hit song “Parachute” for his debut album, Traveller. The chorus for the song actually came to him while he was asleep. During a recent interview, Stapleton opened up about how his hit song came to be…while he was sleeping.

“‘Parachute’ was actually a chorus I dreamed. I woke up from a dream, and had dreamed the entire chorus to ‘Parachute,'” said Stapleton. “And I walked into a writing point with Jim Beavers and said, ‘You’re gonna think I’m crazy, but I dreamed this chorus last night. We should write this song.’ And that’s what that song is.”

Although he hasn’t dreamed up any other songs lately, Chris Stapleton has certainly released quite a few more hits since “Parachute.” In fact, just last night Stapleton won the Album of the Year award at the ACMs for his record, Starting Over. During the same interview, Stapleton shared the inspiration behind the album and how he and songwriter Mike Henderson developed the songs.

“I’d show up about 8 o’clock in the evening to his house. We’d have a few cocktails and talk about life,” said Stapleton. “And this particular evening we were talking about times in life when you have to kind of start over whether by choice or whether life sort of presents that to you. And also the fact that there’s a hope in that. There’s a hope in a new beginning and getting to travel down the road hopefully to something better. Even if you don’t know what that is. So the song was sort of born from there.”

Chris Stapleton talks about his new album, Starting Over
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