Why Johnny Cash Is Cool Again

“One person can’t save another person, but almost,” Rosanne Cash once said about her father meeting the super-producer Rick Rubin. The union between the veteran country singer and the famed producer began in 1993 and resulted in a series of six albums that revitalized Cash, both critically and commercially. He had spent the best part of 20 years in the wilderness, but the recordings re-established Johnny Cash as a great American artist – doubtless helped by their mythic banner name of “American” – and slowly restored him to public favor, too. However, there are ironies here: ‘Out Among the Stars,’ the new Cash release, is being put out by a division of Columbia (now under the ownership of Sony), the label that dropped Cash in 1986, soon after these songs were recorded.

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