I think people sometimes forget that Johnny Cash had a sense of humor.
I discovered this over at No Depression. How it eluded me until now, I have no idea.
Here’s all I know about “The Chicken in Black.” From Wikipedia:
Cash’s recording career and his general relationship with the Nashville establishment were at an all-time low in the 1980s. He realized that his record label of nearly 30 years, Columbia, was growing indifferent to him and wasn’t properly marketing him (he was “invisible” during that time, as he said in his autobiography). Cash recorded an intentionally awful song to protest, a self-parody. “Chicken in Black” was about Cash’s brain being transplanted into a chicken. Ironically, the song turned out to be a larger commercial success than any of his other recent material. Nevertheless, he was hoping to kill the relationship with the label before they did, and it was not long after “Chicken in Black” that Columbia and Cash parted ways.
It was released as a single only. It peaked at #45 on the country chart in 1984.
Johnny Cash – “The Chicken in Black”
Happy birthday, Johnny Cash!