It was 53 years ago today (February 17th, 1969) that Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash first teamed up to record an album of duets in Nashville. The sessions were widely bootlegged over the years, and are included on the shortlist of such legendary unreleased albums as the Beach Boys' long unfinished Smile, the Beatles' original version of Let It Be, and Dylan's complete set of The Basement Tapes with the Band. Finally, in 2019, the tapes were finally released as part of the collection, Bob Dylan (featuring Johnny Cash) – Travelin' Thru, 1967 – 1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 15.
On February 17th, Cash visited Dylan at Nashville's Columbia Recording Studios while Dylan was recording his legendary Nashville Skyline album. Dylan and Cash began the joint session by running through only three songs before packing it in. The next day, Cash ran through 19 more songs in hopes of recording an album of duets.
The songs recorded included gospel and traditional, such as “Amen,” “Careless Love,” “You Are My Sunshine,” “How High The Water,” and “Just A Closer Walk With Thee,” to early influences including Jimmy Rodgers' “T For Texas (Blue Yodel No. 1)”, Elvis Presley's “Mystery Train” and “That's All Right Mama,” and Carl Perkins' “Matchbox.”