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The eldest child of Johnny Cash and his first wife, Vivian Liberto, Rosanne Cash was born in Memphis, Tennessee on May 24, 1955. After her parents separated she and her three sisters grew up in California.

At 18 she joined The Johnny Cash Show, further absorbing his influence along with that of his legendary touring show partners Carl Perkins and the Carter Family. The Carter Family's June Carter later became Rosanne's stepmother when she married Cash in 1968.

Rosanne went on to study drama at Nashville's Vanderbilt University and at the Lee Strasberg Institute in Los Angeles before focusing on her music. In the 30 years since she has released 12 albums including Right or Wrong, Seven Year Ache,Somewhere in the Stars, Rhythm and Romance, King's Record Shop, Interiors, The Wheel, 10 Song Demo, Rules of Travel, Black Cadillac, and most recently, The List. She has also recorded 11 No. 1 singles, blurring the genres of country, rock, roots and pop. In 1985 she won the Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance, Female, for her hit "I Don't Know Why You Don't Want Me," and has received nine other nominations.

Her highly personal yet universally appealing writing style is also manifest in her parallel prose career. Rosanne published a collection of short stories, Bodies of Water, in 1995, and a children's book, Penelope Jane: A Fairy's Tale, in 2000. Composed, her long-awaited memoir, was published in 2010. Additionally, her essays and fiction have appeared in various collections and publications, including The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Time Magazine, The Oxford American and New York Magazine.

The mother of five children, Rosanne lives in New York City with her husband, producer and guitarist John Leventhal, and her youngest child.

For more:  Rosanne's Wikipedia entry




June 14, 2011

Hello, all you who wander the Virtual World,

I haven’t posted a ‘picks’ in a long while, so those seven or eight of you
who asked me to please do a new picks post, here you are:

I’ve been listening still, and often, to The King Is Dead, the
Decemberists latest record. It’s so lyrically dense and literate, and so
melodic that I haven’t tired of it on repeated listening in a short period.
Also I must confess to a crush on Colin Meloy’s voice. I hope he is okay
with that.

I just got in the mail a copy of the new Blackie and The Rodeo Kings' 'Kings
And Queens’, and it’s a fantastic record. The ‘queens’ are Lucinda Williams,
Emmylou Harris, Sara Watkins, Cassandra Wilson, and several others,
including me, and each track seems tailor-made for the female guest. The
songs are badass but sweet. A tough trick to pull off, and a really
satisfying record.

Also, I just received an advance of Mike Doughty's newest release, and I am
crazy about it. I think it’s his best yet. This man knows his way around a
catchy melody, and yet, each song is so unique and lyrically wondrous. Also,
there’s that sexy, gravely voice that makes you swoon. Nothing not to like
about Mr. Doughty.

Finally, Is it too self-absorbed to say how proud I am of my new
Essential’? I can’t believe I’ve put in 32 years as a songwriter and
singer, and that those years are so well-represented on this record. It’s
quite moving to me, and humbling. I’m so honored Sony came to me and
suggested it was time. I don’t feel old, I feel rich.

I got nothing. I saw ‘Super 8' and although I liked it, and it hit all
the right notes, I left feeling I’d seen it before. And I had. Seems like
every Spielberg movie ever made was somehow borrowed from or represented.
But I suppose there’s a generation who hasn’t seen every Spielberg movie
ever made, so…

I’m still stuck on Nurse Jackie. Addiction, marital strife,
affairs, child with mental health problems, bone-crushing exhaustion,
stressful work relationships, crazy and funny boss… what’s not to like?

I just finished ‘Dead End Gene Pool' by Wendy Burden, who I used to
know, back in the old days (aka 1992) when I lived in Greenwich Village.
Wendy comes from Old New York society and Old Money, and this is a
fascinating, funny, dark, honest look at the incredible dysfunction of a
complex, super-rich family. I’d love to see the film version of this book.
Now I’m reading yet another biography of Elizabeth I, by Christopher
.  It’s so well-written, and doesn’t veer off into the dry pedantry
of so many of these historical bios. I really loved Hilary Mantel’s ‘Wolf
’, which sent me on this latest Tudor excursion. This is my kind of
escapist, pleasure reading, along with Jane Austen, of course, my go-to
author for comfort.  Speaking of her, I re-read ‘Pride and Prejudice' on my
iPad, to see what the experience of reading 19th century fiction would be
like on this new device, and must say it was very pleasurable. Took me a
couple days, and I don’t think I missed any nuance.

Just saw ‘Jerusalem' starring the sublime Mark Rylance. Is there
any other stage actor who is his equal? I think not. The play is wordy,
funny, full of metaphors and provocation, and I was intrigued, more than
entertained. Sometimes that’s very, very good.

March 4, 2011


I read my ex-husband Rodney Crowell’s memoir, ‘Chinaberry Sidewalks’ and was very moved by it. I did approach it with some trepidation, as no matter how friendly a divorce there are always little stings and arrows that are remembered and exaggerated, but I had nothing to fear. The book is almost entirely about his childhood, and his upbringing near Houston, TX in a spectacularly dysfunctional and impoverished family. He has such a clear-eyed take on it, completely lacking in self-pity, and you can see how the experience seeded his future art and writing.

He is a vivid storyteller and so many scenes resonate in my mind still, full of detail and tone of voice and a good look into the inner life of a sensitive, but resilient child. There was one scene that I’ll never forget: Rodney was 8 yrs old when his parents took him to an outdoor concert of Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and my father. My father was 26 years old. I would have been 3 yrs old. Rodney described my dad so well, his performance style, his charisma and the impact he made on the crowd in the midst of an epic rainstorm, that it felt like a personal gift to me to read it. 

Here is a great review by Jonathan Yardley in the Washington Post, in which Mr. Yardley also gives a nice nod to my own memoir.

The ITV’s ‘Downton Abbey' is the best series (do they call them 'mini-series' anymore?) in years. It is nothing short of spectacular. Every note - in casting, dialogue, set decoration and costumes - is perfect. The series begins in April 1912, the day the Titanic sinks. On the Titanic is the heir to Downton Abbey, a grand English estate owned by Lord and Lady Grantham, the parents of three daughters, none of whom can inherit because the estate is entailed to a male heir. The next male heir is the third cousin of the Earl, a lawyer in Manchester. He brings the lawyer, Matthew, to Downton Abbey to immerse him in the village, and the lives of the family, since it appears nothing can be done to break the entail. The parallel story to the family takes place downstairs among the servants to the great house, and their lives, love interests, secrets and dreams are no less compelling than those going on upstairs. I have an admission to make: I bought the UK version of the series online, which apparently has a few more minutes of cut scenes than the American version, and I've watched the entirety four times. That's how much I love it. I”m waiting impatiently for Part 2, which I hear has just begun filming.   

One record has not left my player since it was released; The Decemberists ‘The King Is Dead’. This is a staggering record on all levels. The lyrics are enough to make a songwriter throw herself on the bed in utter frustration. Yeah, me. But they are also great enough to inspire me to be better. The arrangements, melodies, subject matter, roots-and-post-REM mashup— it all speaks to me deeply. This is one of those records I feel grateful to have discovered, and I have the deepest admiration for Colin Meloy as a writer and a voice.

I co-created an art poster with Steve Mockensturm, a great graphic designer/ artist in Toledo, Ohio.  By ‘co-create’, I mean I gave him a line from my memoir and asked him to come up with a visual, and he more than rose to the occasion. The first 25 were donated to The Secret City, a fabulous organization for artists, and one in which I serve on on the board of directors.  The remainder of the small edition are now available here. Take a look.

For other news from Mrs. L, check out her recent blog post here

February 28, 2011

Hello friends,

I’ve been on vocal rest for nearly a month now, for a vocal polyp, sometimes called a ‘singer’s node’. It’s an occupational hazard, and comes partly from over-use. I had to cancel or reschedule a few concerts, so it’s vexing, but not serious. My vocal doc is sure we can resolve this with rest and steroids.

My inner life has been strange during this time. The combination of steroids, which rev me up, and silence, which shuts me up, creates the emotional equivalent of a hurricane in a phone booth. I’ve gone a little crazy. But the craziness did lead to some interesting stuff. I wrote two series of tweets called Jane Austen at the Super Bowl, and Jane Austen at the Oscars, and a lot of people on Twitter joined in. You can read about the Austen-fever here and here.

I’ve also been obsessively watching and re-watching Masterpiece Theatre shows, particularly ‘Downton Abbey’, which is my new favorite thing ever. The clothes alone are enough to drive a woman mad.

I was nominated for a Grammy this year, for my album ‘The List’. I lost, which was a little disappointing, but it was really an honor to lose to Mavis Staples, a legendary artist and one I admire deeply. She had never won a Grammy, at the age of 71, so it was time for her.

Sony is releasing my ‘Essential’ 2-disc compilation in May, which is very exciting. It covers my entire career and every record I made from 1978 to 2009. Some people have said it makes them feel old to warrant a place in the ‘Essential’ series, but it makes me feel like I showed up for work for the last thirty years. And that’s a good feeling.

It’s been a long, cold winter here in New York City, but I’ve enjoyed it.  I like winter to feel like winter, instead of Spring, and Spring to feel like Spring, instead of summer. Every season in it’s proper place, thank you.

I will begin recording a new album in the next few months. It will not be a follow-up to ‘The List’, as some might expect. It’s time to return to my songwriter self. I will revisit a List, Part Two in the future, I’m certain.
For now,

Love from Mrs. L
aka Rosanne Cash

January 6, 2011

Happy New Year!

Hello Friends,

Happy New Year!

I slept so much over the holidays. It was divine. I think I was paying off a sleep debt that went back to October, 2009.

But the engine is starting up again, and concerts are on the books. Mr. L and I head over to Scotland at the end of January for a Bob Dylan tribute concert on the 24th, and our own show on the 25th. Check out those dates here: http://rosannecash.com/index.php/appearances

I’m also still out there talking about my book, Composed, which was chosen one of the best books of the year by both Kirkus and Publishers Weekly! I have achieved legitimacy, I think. Perhaps. In any case, I will be in Birmingham, Albany, and DC at three different book events. REALLY looking forward to all.

I will begin recording again this winter—my own project in February, and a trio project with Joe Henry and Billy Bragg in March. Joe will be producing the trio project and we are very excited. We have been wanting to record together for years now, and this is our first opportunity. We plan on it being a true collaborative effort, with co-penned songs, sharing vocals. Anti Records will be releasing that. Not sure when, exactly.

The other exciting news is that Sony will be releasing an Essential boxed set—an overview of all my records, both on Columbia and EMI, from 1978 to the present. I am thrilled about this. I have been talking over the exact track listing for the last month with Gregg Geller, the consultant to the project, and I’ve listened to some recordings of mine that I haven’t heard in literally decades. It’s been quite a trip through my own memory. Life is long. Music is forever.

I am beginning to write songs again, which feels great. I was touring so much last year, and finishing my book in the early part of the year, and there didn’t seem to be any time for songwriting. It’s a relief to go back to the the thing I know best. I just finished writing a song with Rhett Miller, and am working on a couple others—with Cory Chisel, and with my daughter Chelsea Crowell. I am finding co-writing to be really inspirational.

I hope you all have an exciting, productive and joyous new year. It certainly appears to be off to an interesting start.

Love from Mrs. L
aka Rosanne Cash

October 26, 2010

World Domination plan in progress

Hello from near and far,

The last month I’ve been zig-zagging to and fro, performing, talking about my book, signing and singing. I played the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival in San Francisco in early October and it was a real highlight of the month. I saw old friends Bonnie Raitt and Nick Lowe, neither of whom I had seen in years. Bonnie and I did a little catching up. It’s such a gift to see someone you’ve always loved and respected after a long time apart and find them even better- deeper, more present, more beautiful—than you remember.

The day after Hardly Strictly Mr. L and I went to Los Angeles and did the Craig Ferguson show-my third appearance on that esteemed program. He is so delightful: funny, charming and handsome. And Scottish (a big plus).

Mr. L and I also did a show at the Grammy museum in Los Angeles, and I was interviewed by Executive Director, Robert Santelli, which was a really fun evening, although a few microphone problems slowed us down. Back in New York, I was interviewed at the 92nd Street Y by the great writer A.M. Homes. She is a new friend of mine and her interview cemented my respect and admiration. She is quite amazing.

What else? I went to Rhinebeck, NY for a reading and signing and was interviewed by Joe Donahue. A really lovely afternoon.

I went to a couple of parties, I had a couple of ladies lunches, I met my four- year old great-nephew for the first time and he is a doll.

It’s a busy life but it’s a good one. I’m going back to San Francisco in mid-November and looking forward to being back in one of my favorite cities so soon.

My band, Hot Commando Bunny, was at Hardly Strictly with me and joins me again on the next West Coast trip.  I just love playing with these guys- a bunch of badass sweethearts from Brooklyn.

I saved the best for last: I signed a new publishing deal with Notable Music Co. and I am THRILLED. World Domination plan now fully operational.

Lots of love from Mrs. L.

(aka Rosanne Cash)

Posted: 11:08 AM

Latest Picks

This month I have been listening to Cory Chisel, The Low Anthem and a lot of Bob Dylan. I never really registered Dylan’s ‘Modern Love’ when it came out, but I have circled back to it, and enjoyed it tremendously. I love all the references, the mash-up of folk and blues, the re-imagining of great and seminal source material. Plus he’s singing well.

Cory Chisel’s “Tennessee” and the Low Anthem’s “Charlie Darwin” have been on near constant rotation. Both melancholy, expansive, deep, soulful, sad and transcendent.  A lot of adjectives for two songs, but they both have the power to give rise to all those feelings in me.

I’m re-reading “Pride and Prejudice” on my iPad, and enjoying the old/new mashup. It’s great for traveling as my bag isn’t nearly as heavy from being stuffed with books. I never tire of Jane Austen’s particular phrasing, her delightful use of language. I am excessively diverted.

"Never Let Me Go". The New York Times review said it was best to know as little as possible about this film before going, and I had not read the book, so I went thinking it was just a love story.

It’s science fiction, but the science and the fiction part are treated with such nonchalance and neutrality that it is even more devastating when it dawns on you what the facts and narrative actually are. The film worked for me on several levels: part love story, part science fiction, part metaphor and part existential reflection on time, potential, futility and hope. I want to see it again to see if there are even more levels I’m missing.

Posted: 11:08 AM
I signed with Notable Music Co, and they love me very, very much. (Damon Booth and Tom DeSavia)

I signed with Notable Music Co, and they love me very, very much. (Damon Booth and Tom DeSavia)

Posted: 11:07 AM
Yes, I had fun at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass!

Yes, I had fun at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass!

Posted: 11:00 AM
At 92nd St Y, talking to teenagers from local high schools before my interview with A.M. Homes.

At 92nd St Y, talking to teenagers from local high schools before my interview with A.M. Homes.

January 26, 2010
Two of my soul sisters:  Kristen DeLauer and Chantal Bacon.  My life would be so  much emptier without these women. Sisterhood is a powerful thing to pass on.

Two of my soul sisters:  Kristen DeLauer and Chantal Bacon.  My life would be so much emptier without these women. Sisterhood is a powerful thing to pass on.