Never-before-heard music from Johnny Cash will be released posthumously. The late singer's estate has announced that a newly-found album by Cash, "Out Among the Stars", is set to hit the shelves on March 25, 2014, more than ten years after his death.
The country icon recorded the long-lost album in the early 1980s with Billy Sherrill but it was never released by Columbia Records. The album then disappeared when the company dropped Cash in 1986. It wasn't until last year that Cash's son, John Carter Cash, and archivists at Legacy Recordings found the tapes among other recordings and souvenirs kept by Cash and his wife, June Carter Cash.
"They never threw anything away," says the young 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."
"Dad was always uniquely himself. And later on the world would come back around. He never modified himself. But Nashville at the time was in a completely different place It was the 'Urban Cowboy' phase," Cash's son tells the Associated Press of the era, when his father was paired with music producer Sherrill, who was pushing country music in a pop direction.
"It was pop country, and dad was not that. I think him working with Billy was sort of an effort by the record company to put him more in the circle of Music Row and see what could happen at the heart of that machine."
While Columbia thought the album wasn't good enough to be released, the young Cash has a different opinion. "We were so excited when we discovered this," he recalls. "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 feature 12 tracks that include a duet with Waylon Jennings and two with June Carter Cash.