Interest in the late country legend Johnny Cash has grown even stronger since his death in 2003. Over the last year and a half, multiple books and music projects have marked the singer’s 80th birthday as well as the tenth anniversary of his passing. Cash’s fans can now rejoice that his estate will release all new music from his archives this March:
Cash’s estate is releasing “Out Among the Stars,” an album he recorded with Billy Sherrill in the early 1980s that was never released by Columbia Records, then disappeared when the company dropped Cash in 1986. Turns out Cash and his wife, June Carter Cash, stashed the tapes — along with just about everything else that came into their possession.
“They never threw anything away,” said their son, John Carter 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.”
They stored away so much, in fact, the younger Cash and archivists at Legacy Recordings didn’t find the material until last year, long after the family began issuing archival music by Cash. “Out Among the Stars” will be out March 25, and continues an intense period of interest in the singer, who helped shape modern country and rock ‘n’ roll music and became an American pop cultural figure before his death 10 years ago at age 71.
The album will contain material from sessions in 1981 and 1984, an era when country music swung more toward pop sounds. The record company refused to release the material at the time and dropped him from the label in 1986. Out Among The Stars will include duets with Cash’s wife, June Carter Cash, as well as Waylon Jennings. In addition to the original tracks, John Carter Cash called in musicians such as Buddy Miller and Marty Stuart to enhance the songs. Cash is pleased with the results and believes they will be a welcome addition to his father’s legacy:
“We were so excited when we discovered this,” Cash said. “We were like, my goodness this is a beautiful record that nobody has ever heard. Johnny Cash is in the very prime of his voice for his lifetime. He’s pitch perfect. It’s seldom where there’s more than one vocal take. They’re a live take and they’re perfect.”
Out Among The Stars will certainly meet with excitement from Cash’s loyal – and growing – fan base when it finally sees the light of day next Spring.