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.
CUOMO: The singer and musician is gone, but the songs remain. The CD's arrival, today means to all who loved him that josh's work will finally find its listeners.
JEFF ROSENTHAL, JOSH'S BEST FRIEND: He imbued us with his spirit to fight for his music.
DREAMWORKS RECORDS PREZ MICHAEL OSTIN: I just felt that his work needed to be continued to be heard and we're excited about releasing the record.
CUOMO: remember that hit single his record company wanted so badly?
RAINA: He put the headphones on my head and he said I this is gonna be my hit single.
CUOMO: Just before he died, Josh recorded it one last time — tinkering to the very end. It's called "Building Atlantis" — its about spirit and survival.
LAURA BAKER: It's a song about bringing people together — about building a dream.
CUOMO: For Josh, and for those who love him, listen … (MUSIC)
For more on Josh's life and music, go to ( JoshClayton.com)
ABCNEWS' Brian O'Keefe produced this story for Good Morning America.