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Johnny Cash’s ‘Bootleg IV’ Gospel Album Set for April Release

Johnny Cash passed away eight years ago, but his spirit continues to live on through his music. Columbia/Legacy will release a new set of tunes, ‘Bootleg Vol. IV: The Soul of Truth,’ a two-disc, 51-song collection of out-of-print and seldom-heard gospel recordings on April 3. The collection includes collaborations with some of the Man in Black’s family members and close friends.

The first disc includes every song on his 1979 record, ‘A Believer Sings the Truth,’ plus five outtakes, which were produced by Cowboy Jack Clement and Jack Routh (who was at one time married to Johnny’s stepdaughter, Carlene Carter). Also included in the set is an entire ten-song album from 1975, currently out of print, ‘Johnny Cash-Gospel Singer,’ plus four never-heard outtakes, which was produced by Marty Stuart.

In addition to collaborations with June Carter Cash, Rosanne Cash, Cindy Cash, Anita Carter, Helen Carter, Rodney Crowell, Jessi Colter and his bassist, Marshall Grant, the compilation also includes a 1,500-word essay by John Carter Cash, his only child with wife June.

“The music set a foundation for J. R. Cash and upon it he established the motivation for his existence,” notes John Carter (quote via Paste Magazine). “With the songs of the gospel came faith, and along with faith, a fortitude and persistence that would not be denied. If you were convinced of my Dad’s honesty, it is because he was confident of his purpose, and that purpose was defined by gospel music. Though he would sing many kinds of music in his life, he was never truer than when he sang songs of faith.”

‘Bootleg Vol. IV: The Soul of Truth’ is being released as part of an ongoing celebration of Johnny’s 80th birthday, which would have been on Feb. 26. The collection will be released on April 3 at all digital and retail outlets.

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