When given the chance to take on a song performed by a country legend and written by a music icon, Michael Ray decided to cover “Sunday Morning Coming Down” by Johnny Cash for the “Forever Country Cover Series.”
The song, which was originally written by Kris Kristofferson, brings a solemn yet beautiful tone to the outlook on life after feeling lost and lonely on that one day. Ray kept the simplicity of the track as he performed the cover solo, with just his voice and an acoustic guitar to purify the sound of the classic.
“The song that I picked to cover was ‘Sunday Morning Coming Down’ by Johnny Cash, written by Kris Kristofferson,” Ray told Sounds Like Nashville exclusively. “The reason why I picked it is because to me, it embodies country music. To me, it’s real. The lyrics were real. You know? You could feel the pain in this guy and what he was going through on that Sunday morning coming off of Saturday night. And in honor of the 50th anniversary of the CMAs and what the CMAs stand for and what songs stand for in country music, first one that came to my mind was ‘Sunday Morning Coming Down.”
“Sunday Morning Coming Down” by Cash won Song of the Year back in 1970. Many artists have covered it since then and it’s remained a staple of Cash’s catalogue for years and years.
Fans can find more coverage of the “Forever Country” celebration and more on their website, which includes videos, sweepstakes and other interactive social parts to the site. The collaborative music video, featuring 30 country artists, can also be found on the site to view before the 50th Annual CMA Awards.
The 50th Annual CMA Awards will air live on Wednesday, November 2 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.