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Unreleased until now: Love is a Gambler (1987)

Posted by on in The Songs
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In 1987 or early 1988, Johnny Cash entered a studio in Hollywood, California and cut several songs for a Peter Bogdanovich comedy called Illegally Yours, which starred Rob Lowe and Colleen Camp.  All songs, including tracks titled "One Wish" and "Lady of Love" remain officially unreleased.  It appears that Cash cut at least three different versions of a song called "Love is a Gambler" for the film.  Two versions appear in in the film--one during the opening credits, the other during the closing credits. 


A third version, recorded as a duet between Cash and his daugther Rosanne Cash (who earned three much-deserved Grammys this year for her amazing Americana album, The River and the Thread), was actually the very first version recorded!  Johnny and Rosanne cut the song hoping for a hit record, rather than a movie theme.  Even after being produced by the great muse Jack Clement, in Nashville, the song remained unreleased. This rare duet has finally surfaced.


Thanks to Earl Poole Ball and Peter Bogdanovich, you can now hear a very young Rosanne and her father rocking together on what should be considered a classic Cash tune.


Recording Date: 1987-1988

Location: Nashville, TN.

Produced by Jack Clement.

Initial recording engineer: David Ferguson.

Written by Earl Poole Ball and Peter Bogdanovich.

Vocals: Johnny Cash, Rosanne Cash.

Piano: Earl Poole Ball.

Remaining musicians unknown, possibly Jim Soldi, Kerry Marks on guitar, Kenny Malone on drums.

Remastered by Gary Hickenbotham at Fire Station Studios, San Marcos, TX.



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I've been a Cash fan since 2006. My appreciation of the man and his music has only grown since then. I am especially drawn to the humanitarian work and activism that Cash championed during his lifetime, through his songs and through his actions. I am studying to become an educator and it has been my pleasure to help out on the Johnny Cash Infocenter website however I can.


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Guest Wednesday, 20 September 2017