A Heartbeat and a Guitar

Johnny Cash and the Making of Bitter Tears


By Antonino D’Ambrosio

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A Heartbeat and a Guitar tells of the collaboration of two distinct yet connected musicians–iconoclast Johnny Cash and pioneering folk artist Peter La Farge– Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian, the album that influenced the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan. In this intimate portrayal of the two musicians, D’Ambrosio interviewed surviving members of Cash’s band, his producers, and admirers Pete Seeger and Kris Kristofferson. He renders a dramatic picture of both an era of radical protest and the making of one of the most controversial and enduring works of political pop art of the 1960s.

A Heartbeat and a Guitar is the inspiration for the new album “Look Again to the Wind: Johnny Cash’s Bitter Tears revisited” featuring a collective of top Americana artists including Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Gillian Welch, and Kris Kristofferson.
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On Sale
May 3, 2011
Page Count
296 pages
Bold Type Books

Antonino D’Ambrosio

About the Author

Antonino D’Ambrosio is the founder and director of La Latta New Media Collective, an independent media justice and production organization based in New York City. His writing has appeared in the Nation, Monthly Review, Clamour, and many others. In 2001 the New York Times described the work of La Latta as “creating true democracy” through independent media. Antonino D’Ambrosio lives in New York City.

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