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Johnny Cash's Lost Love Song

'She Used to Love Me a Lot' is vintage Man in Black

Johnny Cash
Norman Seeff
January 13, 2014 9:00 AM ET

The Eighties were not kind to the great Johnny Cash. "It was the 'Urban Cowboy' phase,'" Cash's son, John Carter Cash, recently recalled. "It was pop country, and Dad was not that."

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As the story goes, it took an unlikely pairing (with hip-hop and metal producer Rick Rubin) to right the Man in Black's career. After years of neglect, Cash spent his last decade soaking up the adulation that had pretty much eluded him since the Seventies. During those lost years in between, he hit some undeniable low points; in desperation, he was somehow talked into cutting a novelty single titled "The Chicken in Black." But it wasn't all bleak, as a newly uncovered, previously unreleased album makes plain.

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Not long before Columbia Records dropped him from the only label he'd known since 1960, Cash recorded an LP called Out Among the Stars. He hung onto the master tapes, which John Carter recently found among a huge stash of Johnny and wife June Carter's effects. The album, due out March 25th, features duets with June and his old friend Waylon Jennings. John Carter hand-picked the track "She Used to Love Me a Lot," a stout, twangy ballad of regret colored by the mandolin of a young Marty Stuart, to release ahead of the album.

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"I really love this song," he tells Rolling Stone. "The depth that's there reminds me of the real serious stuff that Dad did later in his life. And I truly think it's one of the beautiful undiscovered gems in my dad's catalog."

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Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

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