Saturday 25 January 2020

Last of Cash recordings released

Johnny Cash's voice can be heard on the final American Recordings disc
Johnny Cash's voice can be heard on the final American Recordings disc

The sixth and final part of Johnny Cash's American Recordings series is to be released on what would have been his 78th birthday.

Like the series' fifth disc, also released posthumously in 2006, American VI: Ain't No Grave contains mostly recordings made by Cash in the last few months of his life, working with producer Rick Rubin.

The Ring Of Fire singer dealt with his grief over his wife June's death, also in 2003, by working as much as his health permitted.

Poignantly, on the latest disc, he sings that there "ain't no grave that can hold my body down".

"When we first went back and listened to the recordings after he had passed, it really just felt like this voice coming back from another place," Rubin said. "It had all this weight and gravity to it. It was scary."

When he had finished the fourth disc of the series, that gave him a professional rebirth, Cash thought the run was over. He was a little melancholic -- until Rubin told him they should start the next one tomorrow.

"His eyes lit up," he said. "He really got excited. He didn't know if he could do it, he didn't know if anybody cared that he could do it. He felt like he'd given what he had to give. The possibility that there was more for him to give really excited him and from that moment on, he was really on."

Along with the title track, the songs Cash sings include numbers by Kris Kristofferson, Sheryl Crow, Tom Paxton and an original he wrote in his last three years.

PA Media

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