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In the months leading up to his passing on September 12, 2003, Johnny Cash had been recording new material with producer Rick Rubin. On July 4, 2006, American V: A Hundred Highways, the all-new Johnny Cash album taken from those sessions, will be released on the American Recordings label through Lost Highway. It will include the last song Cash ever wrote, "Like the 309".
Johnny CashJohnny Cash (February 26, 1932 - September 12, 2003) was an influential American country music and rock music singer and songwriter and the husband of June Carter Cash.Cash was known for his deep and distinctive voice, the boom-chick-a-boom or "freight train" sound of his Tennessee Three backing band, and his dark clothing and demeanor, which earned him the nickname "The Man in Black." He started all his concerts with the simple introduction: "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash."Much of Cash's music, especially that of his later career, echoed themes of sorrow, moral tribulation and redemption. His signature songs include "I Walk the Line", "Folsom Prison Blues", "Ring of Fire", "Man In Black", and a cover of the Nine Inch Nails song, "Hurt". He also recorded several humorous songs, such as "One Piece at a Time", "The One on the Right Is on the Left", and "A Boy Named Sue"; bouncy numbers such as "Get Rhythm"; and various train-related songs, such as "The Rock Island Line".He sold over 50 million albums in his nearly 50 year career and is generally recognized as one of the most important musicians in country music history.
Almost three years after his death, and with a surfeit of posthumously released compilations on the market, comes American V, the last batch of songs Johnny Cash recorded with his unlikely collaborator and soul mate, producer Rick Rubin. In many ways, it is simply more of the same: a selection of hand-picked songs that perfectly fit the enduring myth of the Man in Black, and a handful of the kind of sentimental ballads that Cash, the undimmed romantic, could never resist.
It's apparent from the song selection of American V - mostly dark songs about death and higher powers - that Johnny Cash knew that his time was short and this would likely be his final recorded statement. As the consummate showman, he also would have known that a posthumous release would make his frequent references to coffin hauling, dead man's suits and graveyard boots particularly poignant. As with his last couple of releases in the American series, his voice no longer commands attention with booming authority, but there's something about that gasping frailty that makes this proud final bow even more endearing.
Universal Music Group
“These songs are Johnny’s final statement. They are the truest reflection of the music that was central to his life at the time. This is the music that Johnny wanted us to hear.”
A hefty team was assembled to do this right...and do it right they do.
...the soundtrack to death, love, pain, strength, joy, suffering, courage, despair, and faith all at the same time.