This day in 1988, Roseanne Cash’s remake of Johnny Cash’s song “Tennessee Flat Top Box” earned her a #1 Billboard spot. The song had originally been written and recorded by her father in 1961, but Rosanne didn’t know that until she cut it. Daddy’s response? He took out full-page ads in the trades congratulating her on the accomplishment.
The song is a story of a little boy aspiring to be a country singer, who starts his career at a local cabaret in a South Texas border town. He has no physical abilities, only his ability to play the guitar, which he loves so much that making money is secondary to him. He becomes so popular that girls “from there to Austin” would secretly leave home and pawn jewelry for money to make the trip to hear him play, and “all the girls from nine to ninety, were snapping fingers, tapping toes, and begging him: ‘Don’t stop.'”
Ultimately he disappears from the local scene, only to re-emerge on television, having fulfilled his dream.