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Remember When Leonard Nimoy Recorded a Johnny Cash Song?

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When Leonard Nimoy passed away on Friday morning (Feb. 27), he left behind a vast legacy as an actor and director. But the entertainer was significantly lesser-known for a brief stint as a country singer.

Nimoy shot to fame playing Spock, the famously logical Vulcan on Star Trek, which ran from 1966-1969 and has aired endlessly in reruns ever since. His visibility from the show convinced Dot Records to offer the actor a recording contract, which resulted in the release of his first album, Leonard Nimoy Presents Mr. Spock’s Music From Outer Space, in 1967.

That proved successful enough to spawn a string of follow-up albums, including 1970′s The New World of Leonard Nimoy. For that project Nimoy boldly went where he had not gone before, branching out for a country cover of Johnny Cash‘s “I Walk the Line.” Other aspects of the album also leaned toward a country sound; the project also featured a cover of “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town,” as well as a Nimoy original titled “The Sun Will Rise.” The album continued in the vein of Nimoy’s previous efforts, which leaned toward songs about hope and the human condition.

Nimoy’s rendition of “I Walk the Line” also appeared on a compilation album titled Highly Illogical in 1993.

His forays into singing are now mostly remembered as an interesting footnote to a career that included television, film, poetry, books, photography and more. In addition to countless acting appearances both in and out of Star Trek, Nimoy also directed such notable films as The Good Mother and Three Men and a Baby.

Nimoy died at the age of 83 from end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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