In case you didn’t know, Rosanne Cash was the first child born to Johnny Cash and Vivian Liberto in Memphis, TN in 1955. Johnny had moved to Memphis shortly after a stint in the Air Force to begin a new life with his Texas-born wife with dreams of making it big in the music business. Cash’s early years in Memphis yielded three more daughters and a legendary collaboration with Sam Phillips of Sun Records (we’re super good with the obvious!). In three short years the family would move to Southern California where Rosanne would spend most of her youth.
Rosanne would go on to make a huge mark of her own. Moving back to Tennessee, she would go on to score 11 No. 1 hits on the Billboard country singles chart . A marriage to Rodney Crowell also led to a family of her own. However, a divorce and disenchantment with the Nashville star-making machine would eventually drive her from the South (you can read a great recent piece by Ken Tucker for the NY Times HERE). Rosanne moved to New York City and continued to perform all around the world while recording a string of Grammy-award winning albums. She hasn’t looked back. Until now.
“Arkansas State University called me in 2008,” she said. “They wanted to purchase my dad’s boyhood home in Dyess Ark.” – a dilapidated Depression-era, W.P.A. – built house – “and restore it very accurately and asked if I wanted to be involved. I said yes right away. So many Johnny Cash projects come across this table that I say no to: books, movies, and plays and records; that’s the work of other people. But this was instantly compelling to me”.
Each song on her new album, The River & The Thread, was co-written by Rosanne and her husband & producer John Leventhal over the course of many car trips down South. Rooted in the Southern soil, this album powerfully connects the old Cash homestead in Arkansas to the family’s ancestral Virginia homeland, expanding to survey the family’s artistic roots in Alabama and Tennessee.
This week’s Top Tune is the first single. You can hear the complete work, available now on Blue Note Records.
Check out what Oxford American calls “the best music of her career”. Tune in tomorrow night, Jan 16th for her performance on Late Show with David Letterman!
Contact & Licensing info:
Rosanne Cash published by Chelcait Music (BMI)/Measurable Music LLC, A Notable Music Co. Contact: Damon Booth / firstname.lastname@example.org. Administered by Downtown Music Publishing. Contact: Sean McGraw / email@example.com. John Leventhal is published by Lev-A-Tunes (ASCAP). Master controlled by Blue Note Records. Contact: Doug James / firstname.lastname@example.org