George Strait & Martina McBride Sound Amazing On Johnny Cash Classic “Jackson”

George Strait and Martina McBride performed a fiery cover of the Johnny Cash classic “Jackson” in Arlington, Texas. McBride is a perfect foil for Strait musically and their voices sound superb together. Luckily for us, the performance was professionally shot for Strait’s live album The Cowboy Rides Away: Live from AT&T Stadium.

The tune is a great one for anyone who likes old time country. The band laid down a slithering rhythm while Strait and McBride sang the opening verse together. Strait’s booming baritone laid the perfect foundation for McBride’s breathy soprano to soar over the top. The King of Country then added a lively acoustic guitar part underneath and the song took off like a rocket.

The song opens with the iconic line “We got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout” and then recounts a marriage on the rocks due to the husband’s philandering in Jackson town. Strait and McBride playfully delivered the tune, adding the right cheekiness and indignation at various points to make for a rollicking good time.

The song is a real showcase for how great both Strait and McBride are as vocalists, and the ending, where they lower the intensity back down for an intimate finish, is a real treat. Fans online loved hearing the two stars work together and added comments such as, “Best rendition since Cash and Carter!” and “They rocked it – awesome duet. They should do more songs together.” You can check out a classic performance of Johnny and June Carter Cash performing “Jackson” below.

“Jackson” was penned in 1963 by Billy Edd Wheeler and Jerry Leiber. The song entered country music folklore when Johnny and June Carter Cash released their version in February 1967, which hit number two on the US Country charts. The Cash version was also a critical success, picking up a Grammy Award for Best Country & Western Performance Duet, Trio or Group in 1968.

Wheeler recalled how the song was written, saying, “When I played it for Jerry [Leiber], he said ‘Your first verses aren’t good enough,’ or words to that effect.” Leiber then instructed him to start the song with the last verse, which opened with “We got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout.” Wheeler added that “When I protested to Jerry that I couldn’t start the song with the climax, he said, ‘Oh, yes you can.’ So I rewrote the song and thanks to Jerry’s editing and help, it worked.”

Enjoy more of George Strait’s incredible country music by following him on his social media platforms. Visit and like his Facebook page, follow him on Instagram, and enjoy the superb performances like the fiery cover of Johnny Cash’s “Jackson” with Martina McBride. You’re in for a rollicking good time with the King of Country!

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