July 4, 2006 ~ Johnny Cash releases what becomes his first #1 album in 37 years. Like the earlier installment to the “American” series, it’s produced by the legendary Rick Rubin.
When legends gather …
May 23, 2006 ~
Never was I so happy to see an album as I was this one. Dixie Chicks release their first album since the controversy that followed Natalie Maines’ comments on then-President George Bush in 2003.
Natalie and the band didn’t deserve the hate. And, country radio for the most part were perfect assholes.
So when The Chicks came back, they came back with a vengeance. They teamed with Rick Rubin to produce and with the help of some heavy-hitters like Sheryl Crow, Gary Louris, Mike Campbell and Neil Finn, the album wins 5 out of the 7 nominations for Grammy Awards.
Run-D.M.C. release their third album on May 15, 1986.
It’s co-produced by Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin, was nominated for a Grammy and was inducted into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or artistically significant” in 2018.
It’s #123 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. It also features the cover of “Walk This Way” with Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, helping to launch Aerosmith’s second-coming.
The 81st (that number is just stupid) album from Johnny Cash is released on April 26, 1994.
It’s the beginning of a resurgence for The Man In Black. The album is produced by the legendary Rick Rubin and is recorded in Rubin’s living room, Johnny’s cabin, and in LA’s Viper Room. The result was an Americana masterpiece.
It won a Grammy and is #366 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
March 14, 1998 ~ Weeks after Johnny Cash‘s “Unchained” wins the Grammy for Best Country Album, his producer Rick Rubin takes out this full-page ad in Billboard.
The photo of course is the classic from the lens of Jim Marshall taken at the legendary San Quentin prison concert Johnny put on in 1969. (Cash made the gesture after being asked to “do a shot for the warden.”)
The photo was not widely seen until Rubin used it in the ad to make the point that Cash got the Grammy win even without support from country radio, which had little use for the aging legend on their playlists. But while country stations remained enamored with the likes of Shania Twain and Garth Brooks, Cash found a wider audience with Unchained, which had cross-genre appeal.
The photo hangs on the walls of many. It’s on my office wall. Willie Nelson even hangs it in his tour bus as an emblem of real country music.
March 9, 1986 ~ The Toxic Twins weren’t crazy about it and neither was Jam Master Jay. But everyone listened to the legendary Rick Rubin, who was producing the latest Run-D.M.C. album and insisted on having Tyler and Perry add something to the remake of “Walk This Way.” It was a stroke of genius — reviving Aerosmith’s career and opening up rap to a whole new audience — white rockers.