Always Been There: Rosanne Cash, ‘the List’, And The Spirit Of Southern Music
In 1973, Rosanne Cash’s father gave her a list of 100 songs, many from the Southern tradition, that he felt a young musician had to know. Always Been There tells the inside story of the album that, more than thirty-five years later, resulted from “the list.” Based on original interviews conducted in the studio, at home in New York City, and on tour in Europe, Always Been There documents a pivotal episode in Rosanne Cash’s long and fascinating career. As she, along with producer and husband John Leventhal, painstakingly reconstructs what songs made “the list” and why, we gain an unmatched understanding of a longer musican continuium that includes the Carter Family and other fabled names of the Southern pantheon and their influence on her music and writing. We also see how Leventhal’s talents as an arranger and musician pair with Rosanne’s searching vocal performances to make these old songs new again. Always Been There tracks Rosanne Cash’s singular and storied career from her early commercial hits with albums like King’s Record Shop through her controversial split with Nashville tradition on albums like the mercurial Interiors to the sublime Black Cadillac. It paints an unforgettable portrait of Rosanne confronting music-making in the aftermath of serious brain surgery, her lifelong search for her legacy, and her unique creative partnerships. This work presents the candid story behind the making of Rosanne Cash’s next album, “The List”, which is based on a list of 100 essential country songs compiled by her father, Johnny Cash. In 1973, Johnny Cash scribbled down a list of 100 essential country songs for his daughter Rosanne Cash to learn.