This is a good book, telling the story that lead up to the making of Rosanne's most recent album release - "The List". Plus, it contains a very candid story about Rosanne's professional & personal life. In 1973, when Rosanne was 17, her father (Johnny Cash), gave Rosanne a 'list' of 100 songs, mainly from "southern traditional songs", that he felt a young musician had to know. Apparently the "list" her father gave her got lost, and Rosanne was not able to find it. The book does not contain this list. So, when Rosanne decided to start working on her concept album "The List", she had to resort to memory of the list, her father had given her. She knew it ended with songs from 1973, and she knew it contained 100 songs.
So, as best as she could remember, the songs on the list, must have came from the Appalachian region, folk songs, gospel songs, country songs, & even delta blues. It must have included songs from artists such as Jimmie Rodgers, the Carter Family, Lefty Frezell, Sister Rosetta Thorpe, Don Gibson, Hank Williams, Porter Wagoner, Hank Snow, Willie Nelson and others. So, basically she and her husband & producer, John Leventhal sort of reconstruted the list her father had given her.
It was the "Spirit" of the list that really mattered.
The first Chapter covers Rosanne's Brain Surgery, and how she had to adjust afterwards. This book covers both Rosanne's professional life along with her adult personal life. When Rosanne was a young adult, she spent a lot of time in Europe, and she even lived in Germany for a while. The book tells the story of Rosanne's professional career, and how she has to "jugggle" her tours, recording, & etc. to make time to spend with her children. She really cares deeply for her children. Rosanne does not tour very much. When Rosanne was living in Europe, her father, Johnny wanted her to come back home. She tried to settle into Nashville, but she just didn't feel like that was the right place for her. She wanted to move to New York, and her dad, Johnny encouraged her to do that, if that was what she wanted to do. Rosanne is just not your typical Country Music Star. However, the main focus of the book is about putting together her new album "The List".
This book explains Roanne's artistic, creative process, along with her husband & producer's input. Her husband is John Leventhal, he is both her husband and her producer. Rosanne considers many things in the process of putting together her album "The List". She thinks about her own legacy, and her own identity, but she also enjoys being connected to her famous father Johnny Cash and his legacy. When she performs before a live audience, she performs some of her Dad's songs, but there are some of his songs that she just won't perform. She does not perform "Walk the Line", but she has performed "I still miss someone". The "List" project is her way of "reconnecting" with her father. She is definitely proud of her father, and proud of the Cash name.
Rosanne admits that Southern Music has had a great influence on her creativity, her music, and her writing. Plus, she wants to continue the legacy of the "Spirit" of Southern Music. She's like a link in a chain, she's connected to fathers music and his "list" from the past, and she also wants to pass the tradition on to future generations.
The book covers Rosanne's process & struggles of narrowing down the "list" from 100 songs to 12 songs for her new album, "The List". Also, Rosanne has struggles with the "list", her daddy gave her in 1973. She ponders about what songs from that list should go on her new album "The List". She considers things such as "do the songs have to stop at 1973"? Should the exact song from the list be selected, or can an "up-dated" song containing the "spirit" of the song in the list be included?. She considers can a song not even on the list, be included in her new album?. For example, she decided to include "Motherless Children", even though it did not meet her criteria, for the songs that must have been included in the list her father had given her.
She did get to spend a lot of time with her father, around the time of June's death, and up until her father died. The picture on the cover was taken just 2 months before her Dad's death. Rosanne would sing Carter Family Songs to her Dad.
Page 203 of the book concludes with "The List". A list of the final 12 songs selected for her new album.
The album "The List" includes the following songs:
1. Miss the Mississippi and You (An old Jimmy Rodgers song)
2. Motherless Children
3. Sea of Heartbreak (Features Bruce Springsteen)
4. Take These Chains From My Heart
5. I'm Movin' on
6. Heartaches by the Number (Features Elvis Costello)
7. 500 miles
8. Long Black Veil (Features Jeff Tweedy of Wilco)
9. She's Got You
10.Girl From the North Country
11.Silver Wings (Features Rufus Wainwright)
12.Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow (an old Carter Family Song)
This is a great, easy to read, 12 chapter book, with over 60 photographs and covering 223 pages including the index. The author of the book is Michael Streissguth. He authored the book "Johnny Cash: The Biography", and other books.
Overall, this is a great book, and I highly recommend it. Thanks, and May God Bless!!!