The Story Behind The Song: “Seven Year Ache”

Rosanne Cash
Rosanne Cash

Rosanne Cash didn’t set out to be a recording artist. Originally, she found greater interest in acting, and majored in drama at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University. After heading to California to study at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, she received an offer from Ariola Records in Germany to make an album, which proved to be a harrowing experience.

Cash went into a deep depression caused by a severe lack of confidence in her vocal abilities, and it took months to laboriously complete that first project. Not surprisingly, Ariola never released that album, although the company did release Rosanne from the label. Back in the States, the project garnered attention from Columbia Records – ironically the same label for whom her father, Johnny Cash, recorded.

Columbia didn’t release the album either, but had her record a new one instead. She chose Rodney Crowell to be her producer, whom she had met at a party on October 16, 1976. Against her mother’s wishes, Rosanne struck up a relationship with Crowell and they married on April 7, 1979.

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