Johnny Cash's 'Lost' Album: Son John Carter Cash Shares the Story of 'Out Among The Stars'

Johnny Cash, Out Among the Stars
 Sony Legacy

On the shelves of his former label Columbia since 1984, Johnny Cash's "lost" album "Out Among The Stars" has finally been released, via Sony Legacy. Despite its long, rocky road to an official release, "Stars" holds up among Cash's best work -- even if it took 30 years to officially complete it.

"Columbia Records had lost interest in Johnny Cash at the time, they didn't know what to do with him," says Cash's son, John Carter Cash, who was around 14 during the album's initial recording with guests like Waylon Jennings and Carter Cash's mother, June. "And when I listened to these tracks, it showed the lack of sincere interest that was there – some of these tracks didn't have guitar solos."

So Carter Cash helped recruit musicians like "Stars"' original guitar-mandolin player Marty Stewart as well as Buddy Miller to lay down additional baritone guitar and Barry Douglas on steel and dobro, to flesh out the original recordings with the instrumentation necessary to fill in the holes. The result is an authentically live, vintage-sounding classic country album – one that didn't fit in with the pop-crossover sound Nashville was experiencing at the time but still finds Cash at his most refreshed. He'd just completed another stint at the Betty Ford Center after relapsing from drug addiction in 1983, and Carter Cash recalls his father at being in his "real spiritual, mental, physical prime – he was signing better than he had in years and as good as he ever did, really."

Carter Cash walked Billboard through the stories behind each of "Out Among The Stars"' 12 tracks – read on for more details. "I just always remember everything that Dad ever did, he gave his full heart to," he says. "We always try to stay true to that in the estate, doing things as he would have done, and basically act as if he is in the room. This is something I know my father would have worked on tirelessly."

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