Amidst ephemera of all sorts stored in a room behind his recording studio, Johnny Cash kept hundreds of tapes. Within that trove was a set marked "Personal File," which turned out to be a pot of gold.

Amidst ephemera of all sorts stored in a room behind his recording studio, Johnny Cash kept hundreds of tapes. Within that trove was a set marked "Personal File," which turned out to be a pot of gold.

These solo recordings, made mostly in the 1970s, find the country music icon performing everything from what producer Greg Geller describes as "late-19th century parlour ballads to mid-20th century country hits ... songs inspired by recent events and experiences ... songs of faith and inspiration."

Fans will get a taste of the revelatory material with the release this week of "Personal File." The two-disc Columbia/Legacy set boasts 49 cuts, many of which include reflections by Cash that serve as introductions.

Among the highlights are such songs as "My Mother Was a Lady," "The Way Worn Traveler," "What Is Man," "Louisiana Man," "Saginaw, Michigan" and a rendition of the Irish traditional "Galway Bay."