Click here to see the original story, with a free stream of the great lost Cash song, "It Takes One to Know Me."

It was Sam Phillips who named him Johnny, while pressing the labels for the "Hey Porter b/w Cry Cry Cry" debut single on Sun Records in 1955. Phillips changed Cash's name without asking. He thought "Johnny" sounded younger, better for the Memphis teenagers who kept their ears pressed to transistor radios as if they were about to receive secret instructions. Phillips must have figured he had better do something. That low bass moan humming under the staccato guitar twang sounded anything but youthful. Haunted? Yes. Desperate? Yes. But not young--not the skipping, rockabilly bounce of Elvis careening through "That's All Right." This was something else entirely. "Soon your sugar daddies will all be gone / You'll wake up some cold day and find you're alone / You'll cry cry cry." It was the birth of the Man in Black, but not the man himself.

To his family, he was always J.R. To his friends, he was John. A legend can shroud a life, but Johnny Cash made the most of the long shadow cast by his public persona. He hid in it, reveled in it, sought shelter in it, played up to it--saving his true self for the people he loved, and offering Johnny Cash to the world who knew him through his music. Maybe it was this hazy separation that allowed him to achieve a creative fearlessness that just got bolder as his life progressed. The higher the stakes, the bigger Cash bet. Train songs, novelty numbers, country gospels, murder ballads--Johnny Cash cut them all. Through personal and professional triumph and tragedy, Cash's faith in the power of songs never wavered.

But as Cash recorded album after album for Columbia Records, he was also quietly recording solo acoustic versions of the songs that meant the most to him at his home in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Recently, while preparing the house for sale, hundreds of boxes marked "Personal File" were discovered stored in a room behind the studio. The boxes contained scores of intimate Johnny Cash performances recorded throughout the 70s. A lost diary of music, the recordings offer a glimpse of the man behind and beneath the myth, and at times reveal how closely the two coexisted. On the new double-CD "Personal File," Sony Legacy continues a commitment to chronicling the music of Johnny Cash by releasing 49 of the lost tracks. The collection underscores the vast range of Cash's taste. He sings Tin Pan Alley hits, traditional folk songs, covers of the Louvin Brothers, Johnny Horton, Lefty Frizzel, John Prine--all softly strummed and some introduced.

"When I was a kid, one of the first talent contests I ever entered was in Blytheville, Arkansas," Cash says, his voice deep and drenched with reverb. "I got two votes. Maybe it was my selection of material. This is it, one of the first songs I ever sang in public. The first one I ever sang for an audience, a critical audience. Boy, how critical." And then he delivers a stark version of Bing Crosby's "Far Away Places," conjuring the image of a boy in the hot cotton town of Dyess, Arkansas, listening to Crosby croon through a radio, dreaming of singing himself.

Here, Johnny Cash sings a hushed and tender "It Takes One to Know Me." Written by his stepdaughter Carlene, and recorded in 1977, the song foreshadows the critically acclaimed albums Cash would do twenty years later with Rick Rubin. It is the tale of a man looking back on a monumental life, sung plainly and directly to the ones who love and understand him best. It is a pledge, a secret, an apology, a promise. All his songs were.