Johnny Cash was an iconic figure in the world of music when he died ten years ago, and now his family is making sure his fans have access to all of his work, including long-lost recordings that were stashed away.
John Carter Cash, Johnny’s son with wife June, has been working with archivists to find anything the legendary musician did that might be of public interest, in part because of the ten year anniversary of his death. It hasn’t been an easy process.
“They never threw anything away,” said Cash. “They kept everything in their lives. They had an archive that had everything in it from the original audio tapes from The Johnny Cash Show to random things like a camel saddle, a gift from the prince of Saudi Arabia.”
A rare gem was discovered last year, however, in the form of an album that never got released. Out Among The Stars was Cash’s work with Billy Sherrill, a producer and writer who was also the president of CBS Records Nashville. The work was a definitive lean away from Cash’s unique sound and more towards the pop-country sound that, in the ’80s, was all the rage.
“Dad was always uniquely himself,” Carter-Cash said. “And later on the world would come back around. He never modified himself. But Nashville at the time was in a completely different place. It was the Urban Cowboy phase. It was pop country, and dad was not that. I think him working with Billy was sort of an effort by the record company to put him more in the circle of Music Row and see what could happen at the heart of that machine.”
The album, which features duets with June Carter Cash and Waylon Jennings, was remastered with new parts from Marty Stuart, who was an original musician on the tracks. The 12-song album will be available March 25.
Image: Wikimedia Commons