Famous Artists Turn Johnny Cash’s Poetry and Letters into New Album

‘Johnny Cash: Forever Words’ will contain 16 tracks that were derived from artist’s interpretation of Cash’s poetry and letters.

photo: Johnny Cash Facebook

‘Johnny Cash: Forever Words’ will contain 16 tracks that were derived from artist’s interpretation of Cash’s poetry and letters.

When famous country music couple Johnny and June Cash passed away in 2003 they left what their son calls a “monstrous amassment” of things. These things included Johnny Cash’s handwritten letters to his wife June, various poems and random documents.

The idea came to Johnny Cash’s son to invite muscians that had a connection to his father to take these written words and turn them into songs. Now, 2 years in the making, plans to release an album with 16-tracks have been announced from album producers John Carter Cash and Steve Berkowitz.

The cast of artists on the album, titled Johnny Cash: Forever Words, includes Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Ruston Kelly, Kacey Musgraves, Brad Paisley, Chris Cornell, Alison Krauss and Union Station, T. Bone Burnett, Rosanne Cash, John Mellencamp, Jewel, Elvis Costello, Carlene Carter, Daily and Vincent, I’m With Her, Robert Glasper, Ro James, Anu Sun, The Jayhawks and Jamey Johnson.

“Determining the artist for each song was truly a matter of the heart,” said John Carter Cash. “I picked the artists who are most connected with my father, who had a personal story that was connected with Dad. It became an exciting endeavor to go through these works, to put them together and present them to different people who could finish them in a way that I believed that Dad would have wanted.”

Each song will have the artist’s personal touch on it. One in particular that we are excited about is the interpretation of a letter to June Carter from Cash which will be sung by Kacey Musgraves and her husband Ruston Kelly. The letter was titled “To June This Morning”.

I'm so honored + thrilled to be included on the upcoming 'Johnny Cash: Forever Words' project, an album featuring unknown poetry, lyrics, and letters written by Johnny Cash set to music by my husband, @rustonkelly, and I + an incredible gathering of other artists. There are many reasons this was so special for it being our first creative project together. We put music to a sweet poem of Johnny’s called “To June, This Morning” – written in 1970 for a very pregnant June – and we recorded it out at Johnny’s cabin. We then shot the video among the ruins of the iconic lovers’ home. There was definite magic in that room and in the recording. I really can’t wait for y’all to hear it. April 6 🖤 Link in bio (photos by @reid_long)

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Look for the album in early April with all the wonderful tracks below:

Johnny Cash: Forever Words Track List:

1. “Forever/I Still Miss Someone” – Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson
2. “To June This Morning” – Ruston Kelly and Kacey Musgraves
3. “Gold All Over the Ground” – Brad Paisley
4. “You Never Knew My Mind” – Chris Cornell
5. “The Captain’s Daughter” – Alison Krauss and Union Station
6. “Jellico Coal Man” – T Bone Burnett
7. “The Walking Wounded” – Rosanne Cash
8. “Them Double Blues” – John Mellencamp
9. “Body on Body” – Jewel
10. “I’ll Still Love You” – Elvis Costello
11. “June’s Sundown” – Carlene Carter
12. “He Bore It All” – Daily and Vincent
13. “Chinky Pin Hill” – I’m With Her
14. “Goin’, Goin’, Gone” – Robert Glasper featuring Ro James,and Anu Sun
15. “What Would I Dreamer Do?” – The Jayhawks
16. “Spirit Rider” – Jamey Johnson

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