Anyone who’s read Cash’s autobiography is familiar with the story of his spiritual experience in Nickajack Cave, but if you’re not the bookish sort, listen to Allan’s take on it. Nickajack Cave is currently home to over 100,000 bats, meaning that anyone seeking their own spiritual awakening in the cave will probably just end up covered in guano.
2. “The Cave” – Johnny Paycheck
This might just be the best single ever written about a teenage boy who survives a nuclear holocaust (by getting lost in a cave, of course). The chilling song was a #32 hit in 1967, and the fact that it sounds like the plot to a Twilight Zone episode is surely a bonus.
Catchy and creepy, this is a fantastic song—penned by Harlan Howard—that just happens to be about a double murder. Whether you’ve got Snow’s version, Bobby Bare’s, The International Submarine Band’s or some other artist’s recording, the song is a must-listen for all country fans. Unless your nickname happens to be Big Dave.
Juli Thanki is the editor of Engine 145 and a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, Bluegrass Unlimited, and M Music & Musicians Magazine. In 2011 she received the International Bluegrass Music Association Print Media Person of the Year award.