The following is an uncorrected, unedited transcript of Chris Cuomo's report that aired on Good Morning Ameica on Feb. 12, 2002.
ABCNEWS' CHRIS CUOMO: (OVER MUSIC) This is the song you will not forget, from the greatest songwriter you never heard of. From Josh Clayton-Felt's new CD — more than five years in the making.
LAURA BAKER, JOSH CLAYTON'S SISTER: He managed to get it to a place where its now perfect.
CUOMO: But the story of this CD, called "Spirit Touches Ground" is unlike any other record industry rags-to riches story . If you've ever had a family, friends or love, if you wonder what it means to never give up … listen to Josh's story.
LAURA BAKER: He loved touring, he loved connecting with people. He loved feeling that he had really reached an audience.
CUOMO: This wasn't Josh's first recording, he had a hit single ten years ago with the group School of Fish, he opened for Tori Amos, and soon had a cult following. Everybody in the music business was listening the best things we do as human beings were not conscious of it just happens I think that's true of songwriting and anything creative.
CUOMO: Friends saw something special too. They knew he'd make it, and even started to follow him around with a documentary film camera..
LAURA BAKER: His dog Kaya always with him: Kaya was his best friend. Kaya was like his child.
CUOMO: Josh not only wrote the songs he played, he played all the instruments too. he preferred recording in his canyon home, rather than a studio.
LAURA BAKER: He was a real fan too. He had a real incredible collection of CDs
CUOMO: He worked on his second solo CD. That was when the trouble began. His record company wasn't ready to release it, they wanted a hit single. They wouldn't release the CD without it.
JEFF ROSENTHAL, JOSH'S BEST FRIEND: And he would get really frustrated because he would think whats the definition of a hit I mean you don't really know, why cant everything just be good.
MARILYN FELT, JOSH'S MOTHER: The setback was really bad there was once I remember he could almost not speak out of tension.
CUOMO: In the mega-merger between Universal and Polygram records in 1998, more than 200 artists were dropped. Josh Clayton-Felt was one of them. Worse: He lost the rights to his pet project and he couldn't re-record it anywhere for 5 years. But he kept working on it anyway at home.
CUOMO: Sad and struggling already … Josh was about to be hit with the worst blow imaginable. It turns out a week after he finishes recording the album that he is diagnosed with cancer: Testicular cancer. It struck quickly. In just a few weeks, the cancer spread.
RAINA LEE SCOTT, JOSH'S GIRLFRIEND: The night before he went into intensive care he said 'do you think I'm going to die'?
CUOMO: Josh fell into a coma. When the record company found out they released the rights to the CD back to his family, and they whispered the news into Josh's ear
LAURA BAKER: We did get the rights back. We did tell him, we're hoping that he heard.
CUOMO: On January 19, 2000, he was gone. Just 32.
MARILYN FELT, JOSH'S MOTHER: I'm sad that he's not here. I'd love to put my arms around him … touch his curly hair and hug him tight.
WOMAN PETTING JOSHS DOG KAYA: You miss your daddy and I miss your daddy we all miss your daddy. Dog licks woman.