"Get Rhythm" is a song written and recorded by American country music singer-songwriter Johnny Cash. It was released in September 1969 as a single.


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The song is about optimism, centering on a shoeshine boy who "gets rhythm" to cope with the tedious nature of his job.

Critical reception[edit]Edit

Alice Randall in the book "My Country Roots: The Ultimate MP3 Guide to America's Original Outsider Music" asks the question, "racist, racialist, or race appreciating? You decide. Maybe the grinning "boy" hides something worth knowing in his mask as well as behind his mask."[2]

Chart performance[edit]Edit

"Get Rhythm" was released in 1956 as the B-side to Cash's first Number One hit, "I Walk the Line." In 1969, the original recording of "Get Rhythm" was released as a single itself, with sound effects dubbed in to simulate the sound of a live recording.[1] This rerelease went to #23 on the country charts.

Chart (1969) Peak


U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 23
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 60
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1
Canadian RPM Top Singles 59
Preceded by

"To See My Angel Cry" by Conway Twitty

RPM Country Tracks

number-one single November 15-November 22, 1969

Succeeded by

"Groovy Grubworm" by Harlow Wilcox

Martin Delray version[edit]Edit

"Get Rhythm"
Single by Martin Delray
from the album Get Rhythm
B-side "The Very Thought of You"
Released 1991
Format CD single
Genre Country
Length 2:52
Label Atlantic
Producer(s) Blake Mevis, Nelson Larkin
Martin Delray singles chronology


"Get Rhythm"


"Lillie's White Lies"


In 1991, Martin Delray recorded a cover of the song on his debut album, also entitled Get Rhythm. Released as his debut single, Delray's version featured guest vocals from Cash, as well as a guest appearance by him in the music video.[3] It peaked at #27 on the country charts.

Chart performance[edit]Edit

Chart (1991) Peak


Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[4] 18
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[5] 27
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