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UMS presents Roseanne Cash

By James Leija

Roseanne Cash

When Rosanne Cash was 18 and on the road with her father, Johnny Cash, he became alarmed at the number of important songs that she didn’t know. As the tour progressed, he developed a list on a legal pad — “100 Essential Country Songs” — and gave it to her with a thinly veiled admonishment that she needed to do her homework.

Now, more than 30 years later, Cash has selected a dozen songs from her father’s syllabus and has recorded her first album of covers, filtered through her own unique, sophisticated perspective.

Cash performs 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25 at Hill Auditorium.

“I think he was alarmed that I might miss something essential about who he was and who I was,” she said. “He had a deeply intuitive understanding and overview of every critical juncture in Southern music — Appalachian songs, early folk songs, Delta blues, Southern gospel, right up to modern country music.

“These songs are as important as the Civil War to who we are as Americans.”

Rosanne Cash embraces her heritage with this concert of songs that have shaped who she is as an artist.

The eldest child of Johnny Cash and his first wife, Vivian Liberto, Rosanne Cash was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on May 24, 1955. After her parents separated, she and her three sisters grew up in California. At 18 she joined The Johnny Cash Show, further absorbing his influence along with that of his legendary touring show partners Carl Perkins and the Carter Family. The Carter Family’s June Carter later became Rosanne’s stepmother when she married Cash in 1968. Rosanne went on to study drama at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University and at the Lee Strasberg Institute in Los Angeles before focusing on her music. In the 30 years since, she has released 12

Rosanne Cash: The List Page 1 of 4albums including Right or Wrong, Seven Year Ache, Somewhere in the Stars, Rhythm and Romance, King’s Record Shop, Interiors, The Wheel, 10 Song Demo, Rules of Travel, Black Cadillac, and, most recently, The List. She has also recorded 11 No. 1 singles, blurring the genres of country, rock, roots and pop. In 1985 she won the Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for her hit “I Don’t Know Why You Don’t Want Me,” and has received nine other nominations.

Her highly personal yet universally appealing writing style is also manifest in her parallel prose career. Rosanne published a collection of short stories, Bodies of Water, in 1995, and a children’s book, Penelope Jane: A Fairy’s Tale, in 2000. Composed, her long‐awaited memoir, was published in 2010. Additionally, her essays and fiction have appeared in various collections and publications, including The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Time Magazine, The Oxford American, and New York Magazine.

The mother of five children, Rosanne lives in New York City with her husband, producer and guitarist John Leventhal, and her youngest child.

Quick Facts: Sponsored by the University of Michigan Health System. Hosted by the Mainstreet Ventures, Thomas B. McMullen Company, Jane & Edward Schulak, and Rick & Susan Snyder. Media Partners WEMU 89.1 FM, Metro Times, and Ann Arbor’s 107one. Rosanne Cash previous UMS appearances: This concert is Rosanne Cash’s UMS debut. Additional information: