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Bootleg, Vol. 1: Personal File


  • 0. DISC 1:
    1. Letter Edged In Black, The - (previously unreleased)
    2. There's a Mother Always Waiting At Home - (previously unreleased)
    3. Engineer's Dying Child, The - (previously unreleased)
    4. My Mother Was a Lady - (previously unreleased)
    5. Winding Stream, The - (previously unreleased)
    6. Far Away Places - (previously unreleased)
    7. Galway Bay - (previously unreleased)
    8. When I Stop Dreaming - (previously unreleased)
    9. Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes - (previously unreleased)
    10. I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen - (previously unreleased)
    11. Missouri Waltz - (previously unreleased)
    12. Louisiana Man - (previously unreleased)
    13. Paradise - (previously unreleased)
    14. I Don't Believe You Wanted To Leave - (previously unreleased)
    15. Jim, I Wore a Tie Today - (previously unreleased)
    16. Saginaw, Michigan - (previously unreleased)
    17. When It's Springtime In Alaska (It's Forty Below) - (previously unreleased)
    18. Girl In Saskatoon - (previously unreleased)
    19. Cremation of Sam McGee, The - (previously unreleased)
    20. Tiger Whitehead - (previously unreleased)
    21. It's All Over - (previously unreleased)
    22. Fast Song, A - (previously unreleased)
    23. Virgie - (previously unreleased)
    24. I Wanted So - (previously unreleased)
    25. It Takes One To Know Me - (previously unreleased)
    0. DISC 2:
    1. Seal It In My Heart and Mind - (previously unreleased)
    2. Wildwood In the Pines - (previously unreleased)
    3. Who At My Door is Standing - (previously unreleased)
    4. Have Thine Own Way Lord - (previously unreleased)
    5. Lights of Magdala - (previously unreleased)
    6. If Jesus Ever Loved a Woman - (previously unreleased)
    7. Lily of the Valley, The - (previously unreleased)
    8. Have a Drink of Water - (previously unreleased)
    9. Way Worn Traveler, The - (previously unreleased)
    10. Look Unto the East - (previously unreleased)
    11. Matthew 24 (is Knocking At the Door) - (previously unreleased)
    12. House is Falling Down, The - (previously unreleased)
    13. One of These Days I'm Gonna Sit Down and Talk To Paul - (previously unreleased)
    14. What On Earth (Will You Do For Heaven's Sake) - (previously unreleased)
    15. My Children Walk In Truth - (previously unreleased)
    16. No Earthly Good - (previously unreleased)
    17. Sanctified - (previously unreleased)
    18. Lord, Lord, Lord - (previously unreleased)
    19. What is Man - (previously unreleased)
    20. Over the Next Hill (We'll Be Home) - (previously unreleased)
    21. Half a Mile a Day, A - (previously unreleased)
    22. Farther Along - (previously unreleased)
    23. Life's Railway To Heaven - (previously unreleased)
    24. In the Sweet Bye and Bye - (previously unreleased)
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  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 8869783015

  • Credits
    ProducerGregg Geller
    EngineerCharlie Bragg

    Personnel: Johnny Cash (vocals, guitar).
    Liner Note Author: Greil Marcus.
    Recording information: 01/11/1977; 01/28/1974; 02/03/1982; 02/18/1976; 03/14/1980; 04/30/1980; 05/13/1974; 06/18/1974; 07/11/1973; 07/16/1973; 07/18/0193; 07/18/1973; 07/19/1973; 07/20/1973; 10/01/1973; 10/04/1974; 12/08/1976; 12/1982.
    Photographers: Jim Marshall ; JT Phillips.
    This double-disc collection of unreleased material from Legacy is a rare thing. These tapes are not dead-dog files from Columbia's vaults. Instead, they contain songs Johnny Cash cut at his home studio in Hendersonville, TN between July of 1973 and December of 1983. While closing down the House of Cash studio, museum, and store, John Carter Cash invited Steve Berkowitz and some colleagues to sort through the material and tapes housed in Cash's personal vault. They found some tidy white tape boxes marked "Personal File"; these are those tapes. Some of the songs here are traditional and spiritual songs Cash sang as a boy or heard from his companions. He tells stories to introduce many of the tunes, and these recollections become as important as the songs themselves. When he introduces "Far Away Places," he tells a story about one of his first talent contests (he got only two votes) and reveals that his selection of material cost him first place. You can hear the memories, painful and hopeful, float back through his delivery, spoken and sung. His reading of "Saginaw, Michigan" contains no peremptory tale, but the song says it all, and Cash brings the tune's tragic narrative to life in the listener's present. Likewise, three other Northern-themed numbers -- "When It's Springtime in Alaska" "Girl from Saskatoon" (co-written with Johnny Horton), and a devastating read of Robert Service's poem, "Cremation of Sam McGee" add to this narrative. "It's All Over" is an original that comes from Cash's early days but was never recorded properly. There are also covers of tunes by the Louvin Brothers, John Prine, Doug Kershaw, Rodney Crowell, and Carlene Carter. Disc two is primarily made up of devotional songs; they range from well-known hymns -- "Lily of the Valley," "Farther Along," and "The Way Worn Traveler" -- to provocative tunes of unknown origin -- "If Jesus Ever Loved a Woman" (it was Mary Magdalene)." There are gorgeous original songs such as "No Earthly Good," "What Is Man?," and the track Greil Marcus bases his new liner notes on, "A Half a Mile a Day." Marcus does his usual riff, appropriating French critical theory to (mis)interpret the American experience with claims that "the songs sing the singer," and Cash "disappears into the songs"; but he's wrong. Both the original and historical songs become the stuff of myth and pathos (instead of quaint, dusted-off reflections from musical history) as we eavesdrop on Cash's voice; he delivers them from the ashes with his authority as an artist because he couldn't help but do that. Cash recorded the cover tunes, folk songs, and hymns because they meant something to him; he cut the songs he wrote in order to simply not forget them. Bootleg Vol. 1: Personal File is a slice of musical autobiography cut in a setting of solitude for the sake of getting documenting it audio-journal style. For Cash fans, this is simply essential listening. ~ Thom Jurek

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