During a studio session while preparing for his album Gone Girl, Johnny Cash and his producer, Larry Butler, decided to cover a song that would become an iconic hit in country music. It was Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler,” but at the time, they had no idea how successful it would be.
While recording the song, Butler urged Cash to keep his version on the LP as a final product. However, Butler, who also produced Rogers’ version of the song, was not impressed with Cash’s take and advised Rogers’ label to release his version instead.
Cash’s version of the song has a distinct style, with sing-talking added throughout, and was not released until after Rogers’ version had already topped the charts for multiple weeks. Despite this, Cash’s recording became a hidden gem of country music and a favorite among fans.
Listen to Johnny Cash’s unique version of “The Gambler” below and share your thoughts in the comments!