Charles Wesley Godwin Slow Steps into Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line”
Photo credit: Michael Putland/Getty Images/Charles Wesley Godwin/Instagram
Stepping into the “Man in Black’s” shoes with a slower tempo, as it was first intended.
Let’s face it. Johnny Cash is an iconic outlaw country artist that many musicians through the years have given reverence and looked up to with dreams to have not only the success but the undeniable appeal that made him a country music legend. His recognized, hard to mimic, vocals, artistic guitar strumming, and chart-busting songwriting skills continue to remind us he may be gone, but he is here to stay. He is a gift that keeps on giving.
One of the most recent country artists to cover Johnny Cash is Charles Wesley Godwin. As Godwin stood in front of a Wyoming weathered fence line with the Grand Tetons majestically behind him his friends raised their glasses, proclaiming, “Go Ahead Daddy!” The artist let a friendly laugh escape as he brought his guitar closer to his tux and his fingers released onto the steel strings. Like a glass of good merlot, the song recorded by the man in black, in 1956, “I Walk the Line,” poured into a smooth, slower rendition that flowed through the meadows and found a place in the hearts of many.
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Apple Music’s “Country Riser of the Month,” seemed to ease right into Johnny Cash’s first #1 Billboard Chart hit that sold over two million copies, like a warm pair of pajamas. Interestingly, when Charles Wesley Godwin was growing up it seems singing and playing guitar weren’t on his list of passions until after his teenage years. Later, when attending West Virginia University, he picked up some serious songwriting with acoustic accompaniment, and a country-folk voice that would later grace us with his first album, Seneca, in 2019. Another album released in 2021, How the Mighty Fall, gave us another look into Godwin’s growing passion for country music. Ever evolving, he gave us a deeper look into what is most important to him with his recent album, Family Ties, in September of 2023.
The song, “I Walk the Line,” hit the number one on the billboard charts sixty-three years ago by Johnny, who wrote the song at the age of twenty-four for his first wife, Vivian Liberto. She would later write a book, “I Walked the Line,” where Liberto laid text to her first love and spoke of the many facets of their relationship before they divorced. Later, he married June Carter. So popular was the life of Johnny Cash and the song that stood for a large part of his life, that on November 18, 2005, the biopic Walk the Line, movie was released. The film starred Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny and Reese Witherspoon as June Carter Cash.
Suffice it to say, Charles Wesley Godwin continues to charm his audiences and evolve into a prolific songwriter and artist on his own, as shown in the recently released official music video, “The Family Ties,” below, but we are pleasantly pleased to hear him slow dance into Johnny’s, “I Walk the Line.”