Rosanne Cash Has Mysterious List


Rosanne Cash photo courtesy of

April 8, 2009 — This week’s edition of "American Idol" required all of the contestants to sing a song that was a hit the same year they were born. Rosanne Cash is taking a slightly similar approach to her next album by recording songs that have a link to her youth and the mentorship of her father, Johnny Cash.

Rosanne’s titled the album The List, and it features her interpretations of some classic country material.

"The List is based on a list my father made for me when I was 18 years old," she told Billboard. "He called it the '100 Essential Country Songs' and said if I learned this list, I would be truly educated. We are culling about 15 songs from the list and re-interpreting them, with the respect of an archivist, the love of a daughter, and my own sensibility as a New Yorker for the last two decades."

One of the songs is "The Long Black Veil," an old Lefty Frizzell hit that Johnny re-recorded for a studio album in the early ‘60s and also performed live in his Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison album. She declined to name any of the other songs, providing a huge sense of mystery around the project.

Rosanne’s written much of her own material — including such hits as "Seven Year Ache," "Blue Moon With Heartache" and "I Don’t Know Why You Don’t Want Me." The List represents a bit of a departure.

"It's basically me getting a chance to be an interpreter instead of a songwriter for a change, which is really liberating, really fun," she said.

Among her previous remakes is another song that grew out of her father’s role as a musical instructor. She earned a No. 1 hit in 1987 with "Tennessee Flat Top Box," one of his own songs.