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The Angle of Johnny Cash’s Back from the Wings

by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Johnny Cash Poster from Carnegie Hall PerformanceOne of the wonderful stories Rosanne Cash shares in this week’s show is about an intimate moment with her father before his appearance at Carnegie Hall in 1994. This performance marked the revival of his recording career with the release of his album American Recordings. An important moment to be sure.

In the rehearsal room at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis, Rosanne Cash tells Krista Tippett a story about rejecting her father’s repeated pleas for her to sing “I Still Miss Someone” with him on stage. Just as he turns to leave, she sees the flat of his back “bathed in light” and relents.

As we were producing this segment, all the producers at On Being longed to hear the actual performance. What did they sound like together? How did Johnny Cash introduce his daughter? How did the crowd respond?

Well, we looked around for a copy, any copy of this special moment — but came up empty. That is, until we found a bootleg copy. The quality is far from stellar but it does answer these questions. The way this legendary country music performer and father calls his daughter onto the stage is warm and endearing. The music they make together is worth hearing. And, in some ways, the feel from the seats of Carnegie Hall adds to the pleasure.

Listen in and tell us about the experience from unfettered ears.

Audio produced by Susan Leem and Trent Gilliss.

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