Rosanne Cash joins RI students for conversation

(WPRI-TV)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash — the daughter of the influential singer-songwriter Johnny Cash — joined several local students Monday morning for a conversation about her cultural legacy.

The conversation followed Cash’s performance at The Vets auditorium in Providence Sunday night, as part of the FirstWorks Artistic Icons Series of concerts.

Cash took questions at the Gloria Dei Church from students of differing ages. She noted that she’ll look in prose for a melody, theme or concept to use in her country and folk music — including works like Shakespeare’s plays.

Her father played a seminal role in her maturing as an artist, giving her a list when she was 18 of one hundred “greatest” songs — he may have billed them as the greatest ‘country’ songs, but she reasoned it was the greatest ‘American’ songs, because it included folk ballads. “I saved it; [my father] said, this is an education. A lot of people ask me, are you making a list for your own kids? and does it overlap?…

“There are definitely some things that overlap… But I grew up in a different time than he did, [with] Neil Young, the Beatles, and Bruce Springsteen.” The rule of thumb includes whether the songs stand the test of time.

The Grammy-Award-winning Cash has released 15 albums, including 21 that were top-40 hits. Also like her father, she is the author of four books, including the best-selling memoir “Composed.”

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