April 26, 2009

Tribute to Cash's Bitter Tears

Tribute to Johnny Cash

Michael Bucher and Joanne Shenandoah release ‘Bitter Tears--Sacred Ground’Michael Bucher and Joanne Shenandoah, in conjunction with Hondo Mesa Records have recently released “Bitter Tears--Sacred Ground,” a tribute to the 1964 album “Bitter tears: Ballads of the American Indian” by legendary country artist Johnny Cash.

Cash’s album has long been a subject of controversy by mainstream media because of its graphic portrayals of the hardships faced by Indians. The album was removed from stores soon after its release, but has since remained popular in Indian country.

Cash, who believed he was of Cherokee descent, created the album in response to Native musician Peter Lafarge’s poem “As Long as the Grass Shall Grow,” based on the forcible relocation of the Seneca Nation after the construction of the Kinzua Dam in the 60s.

The controversy surrounding the album, the attention paid to struggles of American Indians and an admiration for Cash is what prompted Shenandoah and Bucher to create “Bitter Tears--Sacred Ground.”
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Interview with Johnny Cash and Cash DVD Highlights Indians.

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