Johnny Cash was having a rough go at things in the early 1980’s. Columbia Records had paired him with Nashville legend Billy Sherrill, who is credited with the beginnings of the pop-influenced country music that many of us know today. He recorded what was known as the Out Among the Stars album between 1981 and 1984, but it was dropped when Columbia shelved him. Thankfully, the archivists at Legacy Recordings and John Carter Cash (Johnny’s son with June Carter Cash) worked together to find the recordings, which didn’t surface until last year.
In an interview with Billboard, Cash said “They never threw anything away. 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.” He continued, saying “We were so excited when we discovered this. 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.” The record will be released on 25 March and is 12 tracks long, including a duet with Waylon Jennings and two tracks with June Carter Cash.