Stars Come Together for Johnny Cash ‘Bitter Tears’ Tribute Album
In honor of the 50-year anniversary of Johnny Cash‘s ‘Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian’ album, several artists have joined together to re-record the tracks as an all-star tribute album to the Man in Black.
Cash originally released the record as a way to honor the history of Native Americans, while calling attention to the difficulties they faced.
“Prior to ‘Bitter Tears,’ the conversation about Native American rights had not really been had,” producer Joe Henry says (quote via Radio.com), “and at a very significant moment in his trajectory, Johnny Cash was willing to draw a line and insist that this be considered a human rights issue, alongside the civil rights issue that was coming to fruition in 1964. But he also felt that the record had never been heard, so there’s a real sense that we’re being asked to carry it forward.”
The album will be released on Aug. 19, right after the fourth annual Johnny Cash Music Festival, which occurs on Aug. 15. Held at Arkansas State University, the day will include performances by Loretta Lynn, Reba McEntire and Bobby Bare, among others. Proceeds benefit the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home Project, which is working to restore Cash’s childhood home in Dyes, Ark. More information on the festival is available here.
‘Look Again to the Wind: Johnny Cash’s Bitter Tears Revisited’ Track List:
1. ‘As Long as the Grass Shall Grow’ (Gillian Welch & David Rawlings)
2. ‘Apache Tears’ (Emmylou Harris w/the Milk Carton Kids)
3. ‘Custer’ (Steve Earle w/the Milk Carton Kids)
4. ‘The Talking Leaves’ (Nancy Blake w/Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings)
5. ‘The Ballad of Ira Hayes’ (Kris Kristofferson w/Gillian Welch and David Rawlings)
6. ‘Drums’ (Norman Blake w/Nancy Blake, Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings)
7. ‘Apache Tears (Reprise)’ (Gillian Welch and David Rawlings)
8. ‘White Girl’ (Milk Carton Kids)
9. ‘The Vanishing Race’ (Rhiannon Giddens)
10.’As Long as the Grass Shall Grow (Reprise)’ (Nancy Blake, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings)
11: “Look Again to the Wind’ (Bill Miller)