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"Ballad of a Teenage Queen"
Cash Ballad of Teenage Queen.jpg
Single by Johnny Cash
from the album Sings the Songs That Made Him Famous
A-side"Ballad of a Teenage Queen"
Big River
ReleasedJanuary 6, 1958
RecordedNovember 12 and 22, 1957
Genre Rockabilly [1]
Label Sun
Songwriter(s) Jack Clement
Producer(s) Sam Phillips, Jack Clement
Johnny Cash singles chronology
" Home of the Blues"
"Ballad of a Teenage Queen"
" Big River"

"Ballad of a Teenage Queen" is a song written by Jack Clement and recorded by Johnny Cash, with background music by The Tennessee Two. Recorded for his 1958 album Sings the Songs That Made Him Famous, it hit #1 on the US Country charts and #14 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is 2 minutes and 13 seconds long. [2]


The song tells the story of a small-town teenage girl with golden hair and blue eyes who is considered the prettiest the townsfolk have ever seen. She is so pretty that all the boys want to have her. But the girl prefers and loves the boy next door, who is employed at the candy store.

The boy saves enough money to buy a ring and plans to marry her "next spring", but suddenly, a movie scout from Hollywood comes to take her away. Mesmerized by what Hollywood has to offer, she leaves the boy and her hometown and heads to the big city.

Very soon, the girl becomes famous and enjoys the big-city pleasures like a fancy house and a swimming pool. However, she begins to miss "her old hometown" and the boy who still works at the candy store, and becomes very unhappy. One day, the girl gives up all that she had, including her fame, and takes a train ride back to her hometown, and finally comes back to the boy from the candy store, whom she still loves. [3]

Chart positions

Chart (1958) Peak
Australia ( ARIA) [5] 2
US Hot Country Songs ( Billboard) [6] 1
US Billboard Hot 100 [7] 14


During his brief stint with Mercury Records, Cash re-recorded the song in 1987 featuring guest vocals by his daughter, Rosanne Cash and The Everly Brothers. This version was first released on the 1988 duets album Water from the Wells of Home and is one of only a handful of recordings of Cash performing with his daughter to be released. It received a nomination for Vocal Event of the Year at the 1989 Country Music Association Awards.

Chart (1989) Peak
US Hot Country Songs ( Billboard) [6] 45


  1. ^ Beck, Richard (2019). Trains, Jesus, and Murder - The Gospel According to Johnny Cash. Fortress Press. p. 19. ISBN  9781506455594. Retrieved 7 October 2022.
  2. ^ - Discography - Johnny Cash - The Sun Years
  3. ^ "Song lyrics at". Retrieved 2012-06-11.
  4. ^ "7HO Top 40 - 13 August 1958 - Hobart TAS Australia - RYM/Sonemic". Retrieved 26 April 2021.
  5. ^ " {{{artist}}} – {{{song}}}". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  6. ^ a b "Johnny Cash Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  7. ^ "Johnny Cash Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.