Joanne Cash Interview:
How Johnny Cash’s Final Song Ended Up On Her New Album
Joanne Cash has celebrated over 40 years of serving the Lord through music. The little sister of the late great Johnny Cash is set to release her new album of Gospel duets, “Breaking Down Barriers,” on April 1, with a star-studded list of artists that include Larry Gatlin, T Graham Brown, brother Tommy Cash, The Fox Brothers, Razzy Bailey, Dan Haseltine (Jars of Clay), Kevin Max, Rick Florian (Whiteheart), Rider’s in the Sky’s Ranger Doug, and John Schlitt (Petra). She will cover many Christian music genres, including an historical and final recording with George Hamilton IV and the last song written by her brother Johnny Cash, called “My Lord Has Gone,” that she sings with brother Tommy Cash; and she calls the song 100% Cash.
Being that it was the last song that country legend George Hamilton IV ever recorded, how did you pick “On The Rock Where Moses Stood” as your duet together?
I have always loved that song, and I always wanted to record it, and we asked George if he knew that song and if he could sing it with me. He said, “Oh yeah, let’s do it.” So we recorded it and he did a great job and I am so proud of that song, that he was a part of his last recording session with me.
Could you discuss the song you recorded with your brother Tommy, “My Lord Has Gone.”
As far as we know, and I think I am pretty right about it, those were the last words that Johnny Cash ever wrote. And he was going to record it but the Lord took him home. He (Johnny) had taken the lyrics to his recording studio and said he wanted to record this next. But the Lord took him home, and then we got permission from John Carter Cash (Johnny’s son) to record the song. And we had a tune to it, and Glenn Tubb worked with Johnny many many years and was one of his writers. So we prayerfully asked Glenn, could he put a tune to it, and he said, “Oh yes.” He said, “John and I wrote together a lot.” So he put the music to it, and I said, “Glenn, I want the music to be 100% Cash,” and that is what he did, and I think it is the best song on the album, actually, because it means more to me because of that story. And I examined that song and each verse comes from the Bible. When you listen to it, every verse is from a scripture in the Bible. And I knew Johnny so well, and I believe that he was thinking, “This is going to be my last song to give to this world, and I want to give them the Word of God.”