Johnny Cash told Sheryl Crow their duet would be 'cornerstone' of her LP
- Bang Showbiz
- 28 June 2019
Sheryl Crow has revealed Johnny Cash told her their duet 'Redemption Day' would be "the cornerstone" of her album before he died in September 2003
Johnny Cash told Sheryl Crow their duet 'Redemption Day' would be the "cornerstone" of her album before he passed away.
The country pop legend originally recorded the song for her self-titled 1996 album and she has re-released it for her upcoming collaborations LP 'Threads'.
Sheryl penned the emotional track after a trip to war-torn Bosnia with Hillary Clinton in 1996 and she was later invited to perform the song at the funeral of Johnny's wife June Carter Cash in May 2003, four months before the music legend himself tragically passed away in the September.
Speaking at a playback for 'Threads' in London this week, Sheryl recalled: "I wrote a song about the questions that I had about [her trip to Bosnia].
"Many years later and I was dear friends with June Carter Cash (Johnny's wife) and when she passed, the family asked if I would sing at her funeral and a couple of weeks later."
Johnny had been given a copy of the song from June's son and told Sheryl that it reignited his desire to continue making music after the devastating loss of his wife.
She continued: "I got a call from Johnny and he said, 'My son-in-law's given me this song that you wrote and I would like to record it.'
"Having seen him a few weeks before just completely destroyed by losing his wife, he said, 'I feel like I'm not done musically.'
"So he asked me all sorts of questions about the lyrics and why I'd written certain lines, which I think is why we believe it's his song he makes it his own.
"He recorded it, he sent it to me and we had another discussion about whether I liked it or not and of course, it was brilliant and very heartfelt, and then he passed away.
"Before he passed away he said, 'This is going to be the cornerstone of this record and it needs to come out now.'
And that's exactly how I felt when I wrote it because I felt it had everything to do with that moment."
The 'All I Wanna Do' hitmaker sought the permission of Johnny's family to re-release the song – which also featured on his posthumous 'American VI: Ain't No Grave' LP in 2010 – with his vocals over her piano playing to feature on 'Threads', because she felt the song is all about "this moment" with the state of politics in the US and knowing that the 'A Thing Called Love' hitmaker was such a "great patriot" and outspoken on current affairs.
She said: "Cut to making this project and we're experiencing what we're experiencing and in America the truth is really under attack and our constitution is really being challenged when it comes to free press and I felt like, 'This is the moment'.
"So I stripped out his vocal from the demo and I played piano to it and then I sent it to his family and said 'Would you be okay if used his vocal and we released it?' And they were very supportive and generous about it and now we have this version."
She added: "I think the thing for me that was profound is that Johnny, knowing who he was when he was alive, he was a great patriot, a great American songwriter, poet, rock'n'roll icon, he was very outspoken about a lot of things that were not necessarily popular and I think if he were alive today, he would be speaking about these things, it would matter to him and it makes so much more of a difference to me to hear him on it than anyone I could ever imagine."
'Threads', released on August 30, also features Fleetwood Mac legend Stevie Nicks and Maren Morris on 'Prove You Wrong', Bonnie Raitt and Mavis Staples on 'Live Wire', plus songs with the likes of Eric Clapton, Sting and Willie Nelson.
Sheryl returns to Glastonbury festival to perform on The Pyramid Stage for the first time in 22 years on Friday (28.06.19).