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A Heartbeat and a Guitar: Johnny Cash and the Making of Bitter Tears

Antonino D'Ambrosio

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Music, Prose: non-fiction

A Heartbeat and a Guitar tells of the collaboration of two distinct yet connected musicians- iconoclast Johnny Cash and pioneering folk artist Peter La Farge- Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian , the album that influenced the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan. In this intimate portrayal of the two musicians, D'Ambrosio interviewed surviving members of Cash's band, his producers, and admirers Pete Seeger and Kris Kristofferson. He renders a dramatic picture of both an era of radical protest and the making of one of the most controversial and enduring works of political pop art of the 1960s. A Heartbeat and a Guitar is the inspiration for the new album Look Again to the Wind: Johnny Cash's Bitter Tears revisited" featuring a collective of top Americana artists including Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Gillian Welch, and Kris Kristofferson.

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