Johnny Cash Poems Turned Into Song On ‘Forever Words’

Previously unrecorded lyrics, letters and poems from the late country music legend Johnny Cash are being transformed into song by an all-star lineup for a collaborative album Johnny Cash: Forever Words.

The album includes contributions from close friends of Cash like Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson, family members such as his daughter Rosanne and step-daughter Carline Carter, as well as new music written by Nelson, Alison Krauss, and the late Chris Cornell. Others on the track list include Elvis Costello, T Bone Burnett, John Mellencamp, Brad Paisley and Kacey Musgraves.

Co-produced by Cash and wife June Carter Cash’s son John Carter Cash, the album draws much inspiration from the 2016 book Forever Words: The Unknown Poems, a collection of Cash’s previously unpublished writing.

Carter Cash described the project as a "monstrous amassment" of his father’s handwritten documents, love letters like “To June This Morning” to the icon’s final poem “Forever/I Still Miss Someone” that were only discovered after the deaths of his parents.

"Determining the artist for each song was truly a matter of the heart," Carter Cash revealed in a statement. "I picked the artists who are most connected with my father, who had a personal story that was connected with Dad. It became an exciting endeavour to go through these works, to put them together and present them to different people who could finish them in a way that I believed that Dad would have wanted.”

The 16-track album was primarily recorded at the Cash Cabin  Studio in Henderson, Tennessee over the past two years and is available for pre-order in CD, two-LP vinyl and digital formats.

Johnny Cash: Forever Words arrives April 6th.

Watch the album trailer and see the full track list below:

1. “Forever/I Still Miss Someone” — Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson

2. “To June This Morning” — Ruston Kelly and Kacey Musgraves

3. “Gold All Over the Ground” — Brad Paisley

4. “You Never Knew My Mind” — Chris Cornell

5. “The Captain’s Daughter” — Alison Krauss and Union Station

6. “Jellico Coal Man” — T. Bone Burnett

7. “The Walking Wounded” — Rosanne Cash

8. “Them Double Blues” — John Mellencamp

9. “Body on Body” — Jewel

10. “I’ll Still Love You” — Elvis Costello

11. “June’s Sundown” — Carlene Carter

12. “He Bore It All” — Daily and Vincent

13. “Chinky Pin Hill” — I’m With Her

14. “Goin’, Goin’, Gone” — Robert Glasper featuring Ro James and Anu Sun

15. “What Would I Dreamer Do?” — The Jayhawks

16. “Spirit Rider” — Jamey Johnson