Subject – A Heartbeat and A Guitar (And the Making of Bitter Tears)
Author – Antonino D’Ambrosio
In this remarkable new work, writer and filmmaker Antonino D’Ambrosio tells the astonishing and dramatic story behind Johnny Cash’s virtually unknown folk protest record Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian. Recorded four years before his live performance at Folsom Prison and six years before he recorded “Man in Black,” Cash, by making Bitter Tears, placed himself in the middle of the fervent social upheavals gripping the nation at the time Cash faced censorship and an angry backlash from radio stations, DJs, and fans, for speaking out on behalf of Native people on Bitter Tears. Cash decided to fight back.
A Heartbeat and A Guitar
The music played in this week’s episode of Book Talk can be found in the Anthology of American Folk Music released by Folkway Records in 1952.
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