Album: Bitter Tears (Ballads of the American Indian)
As Long as the Grass Shall Grow
Talking Leaves, The
Ballad of Ira Hayes, The
Vanishing Race, The
Also available in a 3-pack with RING OF FIRE and BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS.
Producers: Don Law, Frank Jones.
Reissue producer: Bob Irwin.
Includes liner notes by Hugh Cherry.
Personnel: Johnny Cash (vocals, guitar); Al Casey (guitar).
Liner Note Author: Hugh Cherry.
Photographer: Bob Cato.
In his anthem "Man in Black," Johnny Cash declares "I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down." BITTER TEARS provides ample evidence of Cash's fascination with those marginalized by American society, as well as his sympathies for their suffering. The album might be a bit monochromatic for some--the focus is adamantly on the injustices committed on the Indian nations by whites--but there is no denying the intensity of Cash's commitment to the material nor the power of his performances.
More than half the songs were written by Native American folkster Pete LaFarge, among them the hit "The Ballad of Ira Hayes," which tells the true, tragic story of the Pima Indian who fought at Iwo Jima and later died in poverty. The best, however, are Cash's originals, "Apache Tears" and "The Talking Leaves," both of which demonstrate his gift for storytelling and his genius for detail.
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