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Johnny Cash

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Classic Johnny Cash Performance Of 'Bonanza' Theme Song - More Music

The classic Johnny Cash performance of the ‘Bonanza’ theme song has the internet feeling nostalgic. A vintage video of Johnny on the Old Opry Show recently resurfaced on YouTube, and it’s going viral with over 632,473 views. The performance is a little over two minutes in length, and it was far longer than the theme song on the show. 

In a deep calm bass-baritone, he begins with, “The claim we hold is as good as gold, bonanza. Hand in hand, we built this land, the Ponderosa Ranch. Our birthright is this Cartwright bonanza. We here belong, and standing strong, wrong ain't got a chance.” 

Before he sings the beloved chorus line we all know by heart, “Day by day, work or play, ready side by side. Hello friend, come on in, the gate is open wide. Bound to be a fightin' free bonanza. Singing pines of boundary lines for the Ponderosa Ranch.” 

Bonanza ’stheme song was written in 1961 by Al Caiola and His Orchestra for the show Bonanza. One year later, Johnny Cash created his own rendition of Bonanza, and it became a beloved classic household song for the last four decades. The first version that was released actually flopped. One year later, Johnny and a friend took another try and created a better version with their own lyrics of the song when it became a hit. 

We are so glad this video resurfaced. Some fans are surprised that the theme song to the show actually had lyrics. One viewer commented, “Wow. 65 years old, and I'm still learning.” Another chimed in and shared his surprise and said, “I think that is very possibly the only song that I have never heard Johnny Cash sing before.” 

No matter whether you knew the classic version or heard Johnny’s version, it became a part of our lives with its catchy western beat of conquering the Midwest. We hope you enjoy watching the iconic Johnny Cash performing his version of Bonanza.