Sixteen Tons is a classic coal mining song was written by Kentucky musician Merle Travis. Capitol Records released the song in 1947, and it quickly became a gold record. A recording by Tennessee Ernie Ford shot to number one on the Billboard charts in 1955.
Since then, Sixteen Tons has been recorded by thousands of musicians. Today we are sharing three different versions of the song. Scroll down to watch Merle Travis’ original version of the song, followed by a version by Tennessee Ernie Ford and an unique recording of ZZ top and Jeff Beck performing Sixteen Tons at a benefit for trade unions in 2016.
Merle Travis Sixteen Tons
Tennessee Ernie Ford Sixteen Tons
ZZ Top w. Jeff Beck Sixteen Tons