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Always Been There: Rosanne Cash, the List, and the Spirit of Southern Music

3.18  ·  Rating details ·  94 ratings  ·  27 reviews
In 1973, Rosanne Cash's father gave her a list of 100 songs, many from the Southern tradition, that he felt a young musician had to know. Always Been There tells the inside story of the album that, more than thirty-five years later, resulted from "the list."

Based on original interviews conducted in the studio, at home in New York City, and on tour in Europe, Always Been Th
Hardcover, 223 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by Da Capo Press (first published 2009)
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Alex Bledsoe
Jul 09, 2018 rated it liked it
The title of this book doesn't really convey its contents or approach. It's ostensibly about "The List" album, based on a list of 100 songs Johnny Cash gave his daughter in 1973. Except that Rosanne can't find the list, so she has to rely on imperfect memory for the 12 tracks she chooses. There's a blow-by-blow chronicle of recording the album, except without any of the guest artists (Springsteen, Elvis Costello, etc.) who evidently added their contributions later. And there's a detailed account ...more
Carly Thompson
Nov 10, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2010, famous-women, music
A rather fawning account of the making of Rosanne Cash's latest album, The List. The author spent considerable time interviewing his subject and was given nearly total access to the recording of the album and Cash's brief European tour in early 2009. I really enjoyed The List and Black Cadillac and it was interesting to get a look at Rosanne Cash's creative process. She seems very perceptive and the sections which focus on interviews with her about her life and career were the strongest part of ...more
Sep 27, 2020 rated it it was ok

This was mainly boring and would be to anyone who isn't either a fan of Roseanne Cash or of this list her dad gave her. It turns out, and this really isn't much of a spoiler, that Roseanne wasn't able to find the list because she hid it years before in some obscure place, but it was a list of songs her dad gave her that he said she should know if she was serious about Country Music. Some of this was interesting, and she is clearly very bright, well read and good with words because she has had es
Vickie Kulp
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
One of the most boring books I've read. Most of book was about Rosanne trying to find a piece of paper that her father Johnny Cash had written a "list" of songs on. She was going to make a recording (album) from the "list". Well she never found the "list". The main reason I kept reading the book was I hoped the "list" would be found. Besides her searching for the "list", the book also chronicled her concert tours in Europe. That was boring to me too. ...more
Colleen Mertens
Jun 05, 2022 rated it it was amazing
In this book, Michael Streissguth follows Rosanne Cash as she records "The List", based on a list of songs given to her by her father. It follows the process, her search for the original list from her dad, their relationship, her grieving her parents and her life in general around the time of this recording. It gives glimpses into why she choose what she chose and her search to connect with songs and their meanings to her and her father. It is a strong read for fans of Rosanne. ...more
Tim Armstrong
Not very interesting. The best part of the book is the interviews with Cash. It was interesting to get her insights into her past and career. Otherwise this was a padded out article at best.
Elizabeth K.
Nov 12, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011-new-reads
And then, my head exploded. This book and I did not get off to a very good start. In the first paragraph, the author writes about Rosanne Cash's brain surgery, letting us know that her family, friends, and admirers were concerned because "on the heels of her father's death only four years earlier, the prospect of living without his most legitimate artistic heir ... seemed unbearable." Because I'm sure her husband and four children and other family members were so preoccupied about the musical le ...more
Phil Doherty
May 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: music
I must confess that I picked this book up at a LIFELINE Book Sale for $4 (the Dymocks Price Sticker showed $45).
The book was a 1st Edition 2009 Hardback in pristine condition. It looked like it had never been read.
My introduction above is meant to explain why I bought this book. I had never heard of Rosanne Cash but assumed, mainly correctly, that she was a part of the very large CASH family performers.
However, Rosanne turned out to be a very different story to the one I expected.
Firstly, she wa
Jun 07, 2015 rated it did not like it
This book was a disappointment. I picked it up because I love Rosanne Cash's The List (supposedly based on a list of 100 standards her father Johnny Cash said she needed to know if she was going to have a career in music) and I thought it would offer some insight into the making of the record. I believe the author thinks he achieves this aim, but he doesn't. He observed a few recording sessions, he followed her on a brief (maybe five shows) European "tour", and he interviewed her several times, ...more
I first heard about "The List" on NPR at some point and knew this was something I wanted to know more about. But at that point in time, I was mostly interested in the album not a book about the album. To be honest, I still haven't heard the actual music, but I am on hold for it at our library.

I found the book to be very interesting. I don't normally read celebrity biographies, but this is not a tell-all book. Much of Roseanne Cash's life is alluded to, but I don't know every detail of her career
Feb 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Once again in recent history, this book wasn't about what I expected it to be. I thought it would be a history of each song on the album 'The List'. While in some cases a brief recording history is offered, in some cases it's pretty much skimmed over. It is a biography of Cash, emphasizing what the songs mean to her and why they were chosen for the album, often in reaction to events or circumstances from her own life.

The book grew on me - Streissguth is a good writer, and he knows his American m
Oct 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Despite Mr Streissguth's infatuation with his subject matter (and the fact that I believe Ms Cash probably had the list under her pillow the whole time) I really liked this book. It made me think about the importance of one's lineage and the responsibility we each have in preserving and passing it down to future generations. Of course it just so happens Rosanne comes from a particularly impressive pedigree. If ever there was a concept album to be made it is "The List" and I admire that she follo ...more
Apr 30, 2010 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book. Before reading Always Been There, I didn't know that much about Roseanne Cash or her music. But as a fan of Johnny Cash I was curious so I read the book. Then I listened to one of her CDs. Now I am a fan of Roseanne Cash and I understand her a bit better.
One thing I got out of this book is that she is her own person and not a junior version of her famous Dad. The author (who did a great biography of Johnny Cash)did a good job of writing but his photos were a bit lacking. Gi
Apr 25, 2013 rated it did not like it
As with others who have reviewed this book on goodreads... I could not 'finish' this book. I trudged through it until I hit the middle. I skimmed the rest, only stopping to read paragraphs of interest to me. The book is bogged down with information most people will not find compelling.
Truly the only engaging parts of the book were where the author revealed the relationship of Rosanne to her father, Johnny Cash, to June Carter Cash, and to June's family... And how those relationships inspired Th
Dec 30, 2011 rated it it was ok
It just did not live up to what I thought it should. In fact, I didn't finish it - I got bored. I'm not sure "the list" was even revealed seeing as Roseanne couldn't even find it. So much written on not being able to find it - a duck is a duck no matter how many different aspects you try to describe it. "The list" is lost. Guessing does not make a Johnny Cash list. In all, I was disappointed. Did I miss anything by not finishing it? ...more
Jimmy Jones
Feb 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
What a great read. Easy to digest but with tremendous depth. Read it in 2 sittings. Covers the making of an album, the struggle of dealing with the legacy of a famous father, the impact of drug addiction on family, love, loss, passion for music and an overall independence of spirit. I don't even really know Rosanne Cash's music but that didn't matter at all. This book really spoke to me ...more
Oct 23, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommended for Rosanne Cash fans, or readers interested in singer-songwriters. A great companion to the Cash CD “The List”. For fans this book merits a higher evaluation. The writing style seems for the most part to be transcription of recorded conversations or interview notes.
Mar 13, 2015 rated it liked it
This was an "ok" read, but doesn't compare with her own memoir. ...more
Mar 21, 2014 rated it did not like it
Fascinating material completely ruined by an author who believes, falsely, that he's as important to the story he's telling as Rosanne Cash. ...more
Feb 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
An interesting book on the creative process that went into the recording of Rosanne Cash's album, The List. ...more
Patrick Donohue
Aug 31, 2012 rated it liked it
Definitely buy the album to listen to during and after you read it.
Jul 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2015
Be it CD, DVD, or book, if it has anything to do with Rosanne Cash, I'm there. ...more
Oct 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Very interesting for fans of Rosanne Cash- detailed account of her album and tour based on a list of songs given to her by her father
Feb 13, 2010 rated it liked it
Rosanne writes about her music, her father and
their relationship throughout her life and how a list of songs still connects her to him.
Great biography.
I made it to page 74. Way over my head on what was going on. Started off with a sad but good story and then lost me.
Jan 17, 2011 rated it did not like it
Couldn't finish it. The writing was incredibly dull and tedious, I stopped caring when I had to read about Roseanne's husband getting egg salad instead of eggplant. ...more
rated it liked it
May 15, 2010
Nathan Hartz
rated it it was ok
Dec 13, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Nov 20, 2019
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