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CBC: First Play: Johnny Cash, 'Out Among the Stars'


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Releasing a posthumous album can be a tricky thing.

The result can be a jumbled collage of musical thoughts or half-done sketches, something that just doesn't represent the dead artist's vision. At worse, it can come off as a scheme to cash in on an artist's legacy.

However, this new release by the legendary Johnny Cash is something special. Discovered by Cash's son, John Carter, Out Among the Stars is an album that Cash recorded in the '80s, but was shelved by his label.

Here is a work that was lovingly restored, considered and released for a reason. Here, you've got an accurate recording of the album Cash wanted to make at a pivotal point in his career.

Here, you've got previously unheard music from a country music giant, the way he wanted you to hear it.

Listen to Out Among the Stars a week before it's released. And you can pre-order the album on iTunes.

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Sounds great so far.

Any reason this album was shelved originally?

I wondered that as well and found this.

So how on earth do you lose an album by a bona fide country icon? Well, it helped that back in the early ‘80s, Cash was not exactly flavor of the month, C&W-wise. “Johnny Cash did not quite fit,†says John Carter Cash, the producer son of Johnny and June Carter Cash. Cash recorded the tracks with producer Billy Sherrill who at the time was the A&R chief at CBS Records Nashville, but even his imprimatur couldn’t get the collection released at the time. “I think he made the record which was correct for Johnny Cash,†says John Carter. “However, Columbia didn’t know what to do with it so this record was literally shelved.â€


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