Daddy Sang Bass

Album: The Definitive Collection (1968)
Charted: 42
Play Video


  • This was written by rockabilly legend Carl Perkins, who was a member of Johnny Cash's traveling show at the time. Perkins wrote it about the sing-a-longs that many families in the Bible Belt would have after a hard day's work. He received permission from the Carter family to use the refrain of "Will The Circle Be Unbroken?" and incorporated it into the song. The other voices on the recording are June Carter Cash and the Statler Brothers, who were also members of Cash's traveling show. This song was #1 on the Country chart for six weeks in early 1969. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Chris - Bristolville, OH
  • They Might Be Giants sampled this on their song "Boat of Car." It appears on their 1986 self-titled debut album. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Timothy - Columbus, OH

Comments: 12

  • Woowoo from MissouriOn the recording, Mama sang tenor was sung by Jan Howard not June Carter.
  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenCarl Perkins was a good man and I always loved this song, one of many treasures he left us.
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaThank you Carl.
  • Kelly from Staunton, VaYes, tenor is traditionally the high male voice, but many women in their lowest range can and do match the pitch. And that isn't Jimmy you hear up there, it's Lew DeWitt, the Statler's original tenor along with Don Reid on "Me and little brother...". Nothing better than Cash with my hometown boys!
  • Briar from Hazard, KyMy family used to sing this on long car trips.
  • Dave from Des Moines, IaI thought I heard the Statlers on this. Thanx! I saw this performed once on tv and I believe Jimmy Fortune did the tenor.
  • Mark from Byrdstown, TnCarl Perkins wrote this great song.Perkins was a great songwriter.He also wrote "Blue Suede Shoes" and was poised to go on Ed Sullivan and become a national idol because his career was on fire but a severe car crash almost killed him and instead Presley went on the show and instead became the rock n roll king.Elvis didnt have a quarter of the sheer musical talent that Perkins did.
  • Mel from Random, PaIn Sacred Harp (shape note) singing, men and women sing tenor, which is the melody part. Sacred Harp is very common in the rural South, where Cash and Carter are from.
  • Dale from Wisconsin Rapids, WiActually June Carter Cash isn't the female tenor on this record, then tenor was provided by Grand Ole Opry artist Jan Howard.
  • Annabelle from Eugene, Or"Daddy Sang Bass, Mama Sang Tenor". Isn't the tenor voice actually the highest range of a male singer?
  • Jon from Oakridge, OrA great spiritual song. CASH RULES.
  • Louis from Jacksonville, FlI have listen to country music all of my life and love it. keep up the good work. Thanks A lot.Louis
see more comments

Editor's Picks


DevoSongwriter Interviews

Devo founders Mark Mothersbaugh and Jerry Casale take us into their world of subversive performance art. They may be right about the De-Evoloution thing.

Waiting For The Break of Day: Three Classic Songs About All-Nighters

Waiting For The Break of Day: Three Classic Songs About All-NightersSong Writing

These Three famous songs actually describe how they were written - late into the evening.

Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat World

Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat WorldSongwriter Interviews

Jim talks about the impact of "The Middle" and uses a tree metaphor to describe his songwriting philosophy.

Did They Really Sing In That Movie?

Did They Really Sing In That Movie?Fact or Fiction

Bradley Cooper, Michael J. Fox, Rami Malek, Reese Witherspoon, Gwyneth Paltrow and George Clooney: Which actors really sang in their movies?

Amy Lee of Evanescence

Amy Lee of EvanescenceSongwriter Interviews

The Evanescence frontwoman on the songs that have shifted meaning and her foray into kids' music.

Ian Astbury of The Cult

Ian Astbury of The CultSongwriter Interviews

The Cult frontman tells who the "Fire Woman" is, and talks about performing with the new version of The Doors.