Various Cash CD, Video Projects Due
Purely coincidentally and unrelated to his death today (Sept. 12), several Johnny Cash audio and video projects will be released in the coming weeks.Purely coincidentally and unrelated to his death today (Sept. 12), several Johnny Cash audio and video projects will be released in the coming weeks.
On Tuesday, Columbia Legacy will release a 12-track collection, "Christmas With Johnny Cash." The set features the legendary country artist performing such traditional favorites as "I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day," "Silent Night" and "Joy to the World."
On Sept. 23, Eagle Rock Entertainment will issue "Johnny Cash, A Concert: Behind Prison Walls" on CD and DVD/VHS. Shot in 1976, the film features shows Cash performing for inmates at Nashville's Tennessee State Penitentiary accompanied by Linda Rondstadt and Roy Clark.
The latest edition in the Starbucks Coffee Company/Hear Music series "Artist's Choice" series was assembled by Cash. The set features tracks by Eddy Arnold, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Glenn Campbell and Mahalia Jackson, among others, with comments on each in the liner notes.
For album opener, Hank Williams' "Lovesick Blues," Cash wrote: "We came to a point, my voice teacher and I, where she was ready to throw up her hands because I was not going to budge from the way I was singing. And she said, 'Okay, sing something you like.' So I sang Hank Williams' 'Lovesick Blues.' And she put down her books and closed them up and said, 'Don't ever let anybody try to give you voice lessons again.' And so that was the beginning of my professional career, I guess."
The 14-track compilation is currently available exclusively through Hear Music and Starbucks outlets in the U.S. and Canada. It will be available beginning Sept. 23 via traditional retailers.
As previously reported, Cash and producer Rick Rubin had been working on a box set that may see release before Christmas. Tentatively titled "Unearthed," the collection will most likely span five discs, four of which will be composed entirely of previously unreleased material. The fifth disc would be a compilation of tracks highlighting past four Cash studio albums, each recorded and produced by Rubin for his American Recordings label.
The previously unreleased material will come from recording sessions for the four "American Recordings" albums Cash released over the past decade. It's also possible that more recently recorded fare could make the set, as Rubin told Billboard.com last month he and Cash had began working on songs after his wife, June Carter Cash, died in May.
"He kind of made a decision," Rubin said. "He called me a couple of days after June passed and said that he really has dedicated his life to work and wants to be busy all the time and focused on songs. That's what he wants to do, so that's what we're going to do [and] that's what we've been doing."