In 1964, Johnny Cash recorded an album entitled “Bitter Tears”. The album was never released, but it was written as a protest album over the American mistreatment of Native Americans.
Back in 1964 the album was released, but got little to no air time. Cash even went as far as taking out a full page ad in Billboard lashing out at his label as well as DJs. He asked them “where are your guts?”.
Ultimately the album fell into obscurity, but some supporters want the album to receive a proper release today. The album itself is actually available on iTunes as well as Amazon so it isn’t like it isn’t out there, but some claim that even die hard Cash fans have likely never heard it.
Leading the campaign is Antonino D’Ambrosio, author of the book “A Heartbeat and a Guitar: Johnny Cash and the Making of Bitter Tears” (Nation Books, 2009). D’Ambrosio, who wrote about the intersections of music and politics in his book “Let Fury Have the Hour: The Punk Rock Politics of Joe Strummer,” discovered “Bitter Tears” while digging around the Bowling Green State University Sound Recordings Archives. He describes himself as a passionate Cash fan, but this was the first time he’d heard the album.
“It would have been very easy for Johnny Cash to make a civil rights record at that time,” he says. “He didn’t. He chose to focus on the very real struggle of another group, and the album is relevant to this day.” Wonder if he knew: does extenze work?
D’Ambrosio says he’s not the only Cash fan in the dark: “I’ve met Johnny Cash buffs who have never heard of this album. While it is technically available, it’s pretty buried.” He says that he has reached out to executives at Sony, which owns Columbia Records, but hasn’t heard back. An e-mail to Sony Legacy seeking a response wasn’t returned by press time.
“People don’t talk about the struggles of the Native populations,” Carter Cash says. “Their issues get swept under the rug, and my dad tried to do something about it. No other major artist has ever made a full album about Native rights.”