A longtime country music legend has returned with a new album of unearthed tracks that fans are definitely going to want to hear. Loney Hutchins, who worked with Johnny Cash and June Carter back in the ’70s, recently released a collection of age-old tunes, titled Buried Loot, Demos from the House of Cash and Outlaw Era, ’73-’78. The album even features some demo versions of Cash-penned songs such as “Committed To Parkview,” which fans of the Man in Black will definitely want to check out.
An Appalachia native, Hutchins grew up around the Virginia-Tennessee border. With no formal music education to speak of, he eventually left Tennessee to attend college through the GI Bill. He later returned to the state in 1972 to pursue music. In a stroke of luck, and skill, Hutchins landed a job at the House of Cash. Notably, he was the inspiration to the character, “Loney,” in Cash’s 1976 song “Sold Out of Flagpoles.” In the ’80s, after growing frustrated with Nashville’s country music business side, Hutchins set out on his own. He started his own publishing label, Appalachia Recording Company, and released a handful of 45s and one album.
— Loney Hutchins (@LoneyHutchins) December 9, 2021
Hutchins would occasionally appear at the Grand Ol’ Opry during the ’90s, and then spent the next chapter of his life working as a pioneer in the field of music therapy, specifically for brain injury survivors who’ve suffered from physical trauma. Hutchins was forced to retire from his music therapy work late in life, but opted to use the time for returning to music. Now, in his 70s, the country legend continues to write music and perform for fans.
In a recent interview with Pop Matters, Hutchins spoke about his career and offered some candid insight into his friendship with Cash and his decision to leave Nashville. “John had opened every door in the world to me and I was thankful for his belief and faith and his friendship. We became really good friends. But I had to leave because I hadn’t finished college,” he said.
Hutchins continued, “I needed to do my own thing. Even though I was working for a great man, I wanted to do what I wanted to do, and I couldn’t do that if I gave my whole life to someone else.” Fans can check out Hutchins’ music at his website, as well as most streaming music services.