Johnny Cash (1932-2003) was one of the most celebrated and honored country singers of all time. His signature song was "I Walk the Line." His other hits included "Folsom Prison Blues," "Ring of Fire," and "A Boy Named Sue." He was a member of the country supergroup The Highwaymen in the late 1980s, with Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. Cash was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1980, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.
Cash guest starred in Sesame Street Episode 0558 in season 5, performing "Nasty Dan" to Oscar the Grouch, "Five Feet High and Rising" with Biff, and "One and One Make Two." The former two were re-aired as inserts. Cash also rerecorded "Nasty Dan" and "One and One Make Two" for his 1975 album The Johnny Cash Children's Album. "Five Feet High and Rising" dates back to 1959 and was based upon an event from Cash's childhood.
Cash returned in season 23 when he performed "Don't Take Your Ones to Town," a spoof of his 1958 hit "Don't Take Your Guns to Town" featuring Big Bird, Count von Count, and the Countess, and "Tall Tale" with Noel Cowherd. The latter is the only song that Cash did not record other than for his appearance on Sesame Street.
Kevin Clash said that for his later appearance, the entire cast and crew wore black in tribute to the singer's famous choice in wardrobe. Cash's two latter-day appearances on Sesame Street were recorded in 1992, on the eve of Cash beginning a series of successful recordings with Rick Rubin's American Recordings label, which served to rejuvenate his career in the final years of his life.
The Muppet Show
- "Riders in the Sky" (a.k.a. "Ghost Riders in the Sky")
- "Dirty Old Egg Sucking Dog" with Rowlf
- Medley: "Orange Blossom Special"/"Jackson", the latter in duet with Miss Piggy
The performance of "Jackson" with Miss Piggy marked one of the only recorded occasions where Cash performed the song with someone other than his wife, June Carter Cash.
- Cash was also spoofed on Sesame Street in 1992 with a Muppet singer named Ronnie Trash, who sang a Cash-inspired tune about the environment.
- In Episode 1856 of Sesame Street, Forgetful Jones' favorite country artist, Polly Darton, comes to visit. Forgetful forgets this, however, thinking Johnny Cash will be visiting instead.