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Rosanne Cash

The history of popular music is littered with the careers of the children of famous artists, performers who manage to carve out some small measure of success based far less on talent than on the recognition that their famous names afford them. Perhaps no greater exception to this trend was Rosanne Cash, the daughter of Johnny Cash, whose idiosyncratic and innovative music made her one of the preeminent singer/songwriters of her day.

Born May 24, 1955, to her father and his first wife, Vivian Liberto, Rosanne was raised by her mother in Southern California after her parents separated in the early '60s. She was largely uninfluenced by her father's music until she joined his road show following her graduation from high school; over a three-year period, she was promoted from handling the tour's laundry duties to performing, first as a backup singer and then as an infrequent soloist. Still, Cash remained unsure about choosing a career in music, and took some acting classes; not wishing to succeed solely on the basis of her family's influence, she also worked as a secretary in London and traveled extensively abroad.

After releasing an eponymously titled solo record -- later disavowed -- in Germany in 1978, Cash signed with Columbia Records, and began performing with Texas singer/songwriter Rodney Crowell, who produced three songs for her American debut, 1979's Right or Wrong. The record featured three Top 25 hits, including "No Memories Hangin' Round," a duet with Bobby Bare. The same year, she and Crowell also married. Cash issued her commercial breakthrough, Seven Year Ache, in 1981; not only did the album yield three number one singles, the title track even crossed over into the Top 30 on Billboard's pop chart. However, the follow-up, 1982's Somewhere in the Stars, was a rush job, recorded during Cash's pregnancy. While failing to repeat Seven Year Ache's success, it did produce two more Top Ten singles, "Ain't No Money" and "I Wonder."

After a three-year hiatus, Cash returned with her most significant artistic statement yet in Rhythm & Romance, a deft fusion of country and pop that won wide acclaim from both camps. The record earned her two more number ones, "I Don't Know Why You Don't Want Me" (co-written with Crowell) and a cover of Tom Petty's "Never Be You." In 1987, she issued King's Record Shop, a meditation on country music traditions that generated four successive number one hits in John Hiatt's "The Way We Make a Broken Heart," "Tennessee Flat Top Box" (a hit for her father in 1961), "If You Change Your Mind," and John Stewart's "Runaway Train." Also hitting number one was "It's Such a Small World," a duet with Crowell from his Diamonds & Dirt LP; not surprisingly, she was named Billboard's Top Singles Artist in 1988.

The next year, Cash assembled the retrospective Hits 1979-1989; one of the record's few new songs, a cover of the Beatles' "I Don't Want to Spoil the Party," pushed the consecutive number ones streak to five. By 1990, her marriage to Crowell was beginning to dissolve; Interiors, an essay on the couple's relationship, was released the following year, and while the record was the subject of great critical acclaim, it was a commercial failure that generated only one Top 40 hit, "What We Really Want." In 1991, Cash and Crowell divorced; The Wheel, released in 1993, was an unflinchingly confessional examination of the marriage's failure that ranked as her most musically diverse effort to date.

After a three-year hiatus, Cash returned with a vengeance in 1996; not only did she publish her first book, a short-story collection titled Bodies of Water, but she also issued her first release on Capitol Records, 10 Song Demo, an 11-cut collection of stark home recordings released with minimal studio gloss. In 2003, Cash returned with Rules of Travel, an album five years in the making and her first full-fledged studio release since The Wheel. Sony reissued Interiors, King's Record Shop, and Seven Year Ache in 2005, as well as the greatest-hits collection Blue Moons and Broken Hearts: The Anthology 1979-1995. Cash returned to the studio that same year, releasing Black Cadillac in January of 2006.

In late 2007 Cash announced that she had been diagnosed with Chiari malformation, and was due to have brain surgery. After successful treatment for the condition, her slow route to recovery -- which included periods of being confined to her bed, as well as a fair amount of time being assisted in relearning certain patterns of speech -- led to a late-2008 return to the studio and the stage. Her subsequent project, The List, which appeared in 2009, featured songs from a personal list her father gave her when she turned 18 of what he considered the 100 most essential American songs, and the result was both a personal and a testimonial statement. Another hiatus from album preparation followed and in 2010 she published the acclaimed memoir Composed before founding and hosting the Johnny Cash Music Festival in 2011, in order to raise money for the restoration of her father's childhood home in Arkansas. Next, her 2012 song "Land of Dreams" was used in a worldwide campaign to promote the American tourist industry, before 2013 brought sessions for her first album of original material in eight years. The River & the Thread was expected in early 2014. ~ Jason Ankeny & Steve Leggett, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Land Of Dreams (Single)

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Track List: Modern Blue (Single)

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Track List: Night School (Single)

Comments

love Rosanne's voice and music
love the river and the thread
this lady has charisma and the amazing voice
emily.stehle
Great interview on CBS Sunday Morning where she went on a journey home (to her dad's house) and reconstructe d the inspiration for her newest album, The River and the Thread. Still listening to Black Cadillac and The List!
Great artist. Stands on her own. love her music, always have!
sl.york1
play
thats the way we make a broken Heart by rosanne Cash
kellyledford 1 9 8 2
It's hard to believe she has SO few likes - especially when she's so accomplished ! ! ! !
t_stout0
We should all Worship at the altar of her talent. Exceptional singer, songwriter and arranger, no one should ever confuse her talents with her revered father, who we miss terribly. Never heard a song from her I didn't appreciate.
r.c and the witter of 7year ache--what a great song with meaning!
I feel she has the best voice of ANY female performer! She has her own style but is not afraid to maintain the integrity of her father's songs but is not afraid to go her own way with them either. Case in point? Big River, she gave it a New Orleans Jazz flavor!
twidol
She gave a great radio interview recently at On Being (http://bein g . p u b l i c r a d i o . o r g / ) . They spent a lot of time discussing Black Cadillac, inspired by the life (and death) of Johnny Cash. It appears she puts a lot of her life's journey in her music.
kate9838
Somehow I heard something about The Wheel, saw it in a music store and grabbed it. Immediately hooked. When Roseanne came to San Francisco a few years later to play a small stage, i nearly dragged a friend with me. Another convert -- she had tears in her eyes as Roseanne sang. Amazing live performer -- authentic, warm, wry personality.
I once heard a conversation and duet with David Byrne on the Coloumbia Radio Hour (recording) and fell immediately in love with her, as I'm sure David Byrne did. Big fan since ....
After hearing her being interviewed on radio, I bought "The List" and listened to it approximatel y 5000 times. Naturally, I had to read her memoir "Composed" when I ran across it on the new book shelf. Interesting, well-written & not by a ghost.
I love her music. King's Record Shop is all great work - zero filler. I have to disagree with the first paragraph of this review. Rosanne is an exception to the "famous kids" rule, but not the greatest exception. Hank Williams, Jr. carried more weight and worked under a bigger shadow and became a bigger star than Rosanne by conciously moving away from his father's style/sound.
"Seven Year Ache" is an all time great song. Rosanne did it all on her own, no pop needed.
markjake8
Couldn't agree more with T.A. Roach. Where is Black Cadillac???
flowerlandgc
You need to add "Black Cadillac" to your selection of Rosanne Cash recordings.
It is her BEST album!!!!

T.A. Roach
I love her music, doesn't matter who her father was. She is great in her own right. No mediocre here. She asked her father to sing with her on one song and Johnny said he would have to read the words before he would commit. It was always about the music - he didn't even give his daughter a break. She earned everything herself.
Great folk/country . Progressive
No she ain't Pop, she's Rosanne and totally under-rated.
She is not her father...exc e p t i o n a l l y mediocre.
alisagc1
Rosanne's talent stand alone - no 'cash' needed...wha t an amazing songwriter, and a great singer. Fantastic live!
love to see her on david letterman,lo v e her!!
perfect pitch
smokeyoke
Rosane Cash is no one's followup class. She is one talent who has to take the back seat...Smoke y o k e ' . . .
smokeyoke
It would make no difference to people who's child she was. She is most definitly a great singer in her own right..Keep going, Ms.Cash...Ok e '

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