“We got married in a fever
Hotter than a pepper sprout
We been talkin’ ’bout Jackson
Ever since the fire went out”
Written by Jerry Leiber/Billy Edd Wheeler
Produced by Don Law
Taken from the album Carryin’ On With Johnny Cash & June Carter
Also released on At Folsom Prison, The Essential Johnny Cash, Keep On The Sunny Side: June Carter Cash – Her Life In Music, The Legend Of Johnny Cash, The Legend and Duets
Nowhere is the on-record chemistry between Johnny Cash and June Carter more apparent than on ‘Jackson’. Their all-time classic recording, almost always referred to as their definitive duet, also happens to bring together two country legends singing a legendary country song. It goes without saying that this is something really special.
‘Jackson’ tells the story of a married couple who are over their union and have decided to each travel to Jackson, where apparently they’ll be received with much fan fare and adoration from the opposite sex. This causes the other to mercilessly mock them, being the catalyst for some great moments, including June’s “HA!”, which has to number one on a list of legendary musical “HA”s.
June actually outshines Johnny here, which is pretty unthinkable when you remember that no matter how amazing she was alone, she’ll always be remembered as “Johnny Cash’s wife”. They really do play off each other though, and this song would be empty if one of them was replaced or the song was sung by different people – witness the rendition from the film Walk The Line. When their two voices blend for the final chorus, you wonder if country music could possibly get any better than this.