Unreleased Johnny-Ray duet found

Last Updated: Nov 02, 2010, 09:11 AM IST

London: `Why Me, Lord?`, an unreleased duet between country legend Johnny Cash and Ray Charles has been discovered.

The duet, of a Kris Kristofferson track, was made in 1981 with producer Billy Sherrill and located at a New York storage facility.

Valerie Ervin, the president of the Ray Charles Foundation found out about the existence of the recording after discovering correspondence between the pair referring to it, Contactmusic reported.

In a letter to Ray, written in December 1981, Johnny wrote, "I hope you like this tape. I realise that the orchestration isn`t big and I don`t sing very good, but I think the thing has a feeling and a quality that the fans would really enjoy."

The `Walk The Line` hitmaker recorded the song while working on his album `The Baron` and it features Cash on lead vocals, and Charles on backing vocals.

In one of the letters he sent to Charles, Cash suggests an equal split of the royalties. Although his response has been lost, Charles reportedly agreed.

The pair also recorded another song together, `Crazy Old Soldier,` which was released on Charles` 1984 album `Friendship.`

It is unknown why the duet was not released. It will now be included on a collection of Charles` songs, titled `Rare Genius: The Undiscovered Masters,` which was released on October 25 in the UK and October 26 in North America.

PTI