Johnny Cash's Bitter Tears
About This Episode
Based on Antonino D'Ambrosio's book "A Heartbeat and a Guitar: Johnny Cash and the Making of Bitter Tears," this film tells the story behind Cash's lost Native American-themed concept album and his unique collaboration with folk artist Peter Lafarge.
With the still largely unknown recording, Cash placed himself in the middle of the fervent social upheavals gripping the nation in the mid-1960s. Facing censorship and an angry backlash from radio stations, DJs and fans for speaking out on behalf of Native people, Cash decided to fight back.
The film also chronicles the reimagining of Cash's highly controversial 1964 record on its 50th anniversary, as recorded at Nashville's historic Sound Emporium Studios by such artists as Kris Kristofferson, Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, Norman Blake, Nancy Blake, Rhiannon Giddens, Gillian Welch, Dave Rawlings and The Milk Carton Kids, working with album producer Joe Henry and legendary studio musicians Dennis Crouch, Patrick Warren and Jay Bellerose.