Belfast Telegraph

Cash music can't endorse his vices

Johnny Cash's son John Carter Cash has revealed he would never let his father's music be used to endorse smoking or drinking.

The country music legend - who battled alcohol addiction - died aged 71 suffering from diabetes.

John said: "My father did things in life in a certain moral way. He stayed true to what he believed in, and there are things we're offered that don't suit that moral standing. We have to carry on as if he's in the room.

"For example, my dad would never allow his name or likeness to be used for tobacco or alcohol. He smoked and he drank, like a freight train at times, so it's not a matter of disapproving of those things but trying to stop others making the same mistakes."

Out Among The Stars is a new posthumous album of unheard music by Johnny Cash. Recorded over various sessions in 1981 and 1984.

Cash took a three-year break in recording after being attacked by an ostrich, one of the exotic pets he kept at the House Of Cash, the theme-park-cum-recording studio he'd had built. The bird ripped open his stomach and broke five ribs.

The singer had been sober for years but became hooked on super-strength painkillers after being hospitalised. By the time of the second bout of recording for Out Among The Stars, he was sober again.

John said: "He was in a prime, if not the prime. Vocally, he sounded fantastic. He was physically and spiritually focused. And that's why this is an undiscovered treasure.

"It makes a statement, which all great Johnny Cash records do. Through the diversity of his music, there is always a strong statement; of his great enduring love for God, for my mom, or a look at the darkness in his spirit. There's also humour which he's perhaps not as known for, but it's there."

He added: "There are more recordings in the vaults, and they will likely be released too, but the timing has to be right. I think of it like finding a missing Van Gogh. What would you do? Keep it in the attic, or present it to the world so everyone else can enjoy it too?"

:: Out Among The Stars is out now.

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