Recording information: Camden, NJ (02/15/1928-??/??/1970); Hollywood, CA (02/15/1928-??/??/1970); Los Angeles, CA (02/15/1928-??/??/1970); Memphis (02/15/1928-??/??/1970); Nashville, TN (02/15/1928-??/??/1970); New York, NY (02/15/1928-??/??/1970).
Photographers: Les Leverett; Henry Diltz.
Arranger: Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
Released around the same time in 2006 as Johnny Cash's posthumous AMERICAN RECORDINGS V, Hip-O's ROOTS & BRANCHES features a well-selected set of songs by some of the artists that influenced the Man in Black. While Cash's country predecessors are prominently represented on this collection--which includes Hank Williams's melancholy train tune "(I Heard) That Lonesome Whistle" and Jimmie Rodgers's playful cautionary tale "In the Jailhouse Now"--the disc also offers up tracks by less-obvious kindred spirits such as gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe (the passionate "There Are Strange Things Happenin' Every Day") and rock crooner Roy Orbison ("You're My Baby"), who was one of Cash's closest friends. A wonderfully varied compilation, ROOTS & BRANCHES accurately (and thoughtfully) calls attention to performers that helped shape Cash's beloved signature sound.