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Kansas Travel and Songs With a Kansas Connection - July 28, 2017

Johnny Cash and crew in a promo shot for his 1976 hit "One Piece At A Time" (where he steals an entire car, part by part, over several years working at the factory).

Q: What's the name of the song that mentions all of these towns: Wichita, Ottawa, Oskaloosa, El Dorado, Kansas City and Dodge City? (Hint: versions of this song were made popular in America by Hank Snow and later, by Johnny Cash.)


 
A: "I've Been Everywhere"  
Originally written by Australian country singer Geoff Mack in 1959, "I've Been Everywhere" was first made popular by Lucky Starr in 1962. The song originally listed Australian towns. Later, it was adapted for American audiences and included mostly North American towns and locales. Canadian country singer Hank Snow had a number-one hit with the Americanized song in 1962. The song was also recorded by Lynn Anderson, Asleep at the Wheel, the Statler Brothers, Johnny Cash and many other artists.
 
The original recording artist, Lucky Starr, later recorded four different versions of "I've Been Everywhere." He produced versions for the United Kingdom, United States, New Zealand and Australia - using local place names for each country.
 
While the American lyrics include the names of six different Kansas towns, it's unknown whether the references to Ottawa, Oskaloosa and El Dorado are meant to imply the Kansas versions of those towns or other places with the same name. Wichita and Dodge City seem to be safe bets for Kansas but the Kansas City mentioned in the song could be a reference to the city that exists in Kansas or Missouri. Or, indeed... both.  

 

 

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