Chris Cornell’s new song “You Never Knew My Mind” was premiered today on Beats 1 on Apple Music as Zane Lowe’s World Record. The song is featured on ‘Johnny Cash: Forever Words’ out April 6th on Legacy Records. The album is comprised of Cash’s unknown poetry, lyrics, and letters, now set to music by an all-star array of contemporary artists. John Carter Cash (son of Johnny and June Carter Cash and the album’s co-producer) chats with Zane Lowe about Chris Cornell and the album.
John Carter Cash said, “Through the years there were things that he wrote that he set aside. There were songs that he had lyrics for, maybe he had music maybe didn’t that that he never recorded. There were also things that he wrote, he wrote ‘You Never Knew My Mind’ in 1967. I assume and I’m fairly certain it was written for his first wife, Vivian. That was the year that their divorce was legal. It was also the year where his love for my mother flourished.
So ‘You Never Knew My Mind’ was not something that he would have released at that time because my mother was standing beside him. And Chris, there were actually two pieces, There was ‘You Never Knew My Mind’ and I Never Knew Your Mind, they were they were basically the same lyric that was written from two different standpoints. And Chris took the two pieces and put them together in this one. I know man, it’s still I can’t listen to it without it laying me down. I mean it still and it did that before Chris passed.”
He also said, “We looked through 300 pieces of written material. And out of these there were 60 or 70 that just stood out as very very strong. He wrote a love song for my mom that Brad Paisley put to music that is also coming out on the Forever Words album that was called ‘Gold All Over the Ground’. I reached out to Chris Cornell and I said would you like to be a part of this. He was very excited. Chris told me that he loved my dad, not only when country wasn’t cool with all his friends but you know not that many of them knew who Johnny Cash was but Chris said that he was listening to those live albums of my dad’s and his concept records from the 60’s.
You know when nobody else knew in his circle of friends exactly who Johnny Cash was. and so he was connected on a level, you know my father being one of the most influential artists in his life. He also had felt everything that was in those words. He had been there. He had gone through the loss of relationships. I can’t help but listen to it and still be brought back to the first time that I heard the song. It immediately impacted me. The guitar and the tempo were almost exactly the same. It’s been quite a journey to go through these works of my father and everyone followed their heart and that’s what this project Forever Words is about.”