Son of Johnny Cash tells heartwarming story of father, says he was a “loving and kind man”

Growing up as a child to famous parents must be tough.

Sure, there probably will be money and security and all, but often times these children are assumed to follow in their parents footsteps, doing the same thing and maybe even better.

In the case of John Carter Cash, son of Johnny Cash and June Carter, it probably was the same thing.

However, the now 50 year-old went his own path, bursting out from the shadow of his parents, becoming successful in the music industry.

Johnny Cash
Youtube/JohnnyCash

The name Johnny Cash really don’t need an explanation. The legendary singer and songwriter has grown into an even bigger legend following his passing, and his name has become synonymous with country music.

Johnny Cash – music career

With songs like Walk The LineFolsom Prison Blues and Cry, Cry, Cry, “The Man in Black” will forever hold a place in music history, and now, his children are doing their best to keep their fathers legacy alive.

Johnny Cash had five children, and several of them are in the music business. John Carter Cash, the son of Johnny and legendary singer June Carter. went his own path.

He’s pursued a career in music, and has spoken fondly of his beloved father many times, telling the true story of who Johnny Cash really was.

Johnny Cash was born Feb. 26, 1932 in Kingsland, Arkansas. Born J. R Cash, he hwas one of seven children to parents Ray and Carrie Rivers, and moved to Dyess, Arkansas at the age of 3.

1959: Country singer/songwriter Johnny Cash poses for a portrait in 1959. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

His parents were farmers of cotton and other crops. But already at a young age, Cash fell in love with music.
At age 12, he started writing songs and his mother Carrie knew something special was happening.

Life in Germany

She saved enough money for him to take singing lessons, and the teacher was stunned by his talents already after a few meetings. However, the teacher told him to stop taking lessons. Instead, he should move on with his natural voice and never deviate from it.

Cash graduated from high school in 1950 and left Dyess. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force as “John R. Cash” and trained at the Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

He was stationed in Landsberg, West Germany for four years as a radio intercept officer. And the time Cash spent in Europe would be a very important one for his career.

Together with a few friends, he formed the band named Landsberg Barbarians, playing live gigs, polishing his guitar skills and writing more songs. He bought a guitar for $5 and usually played a mix of blues and country-and-western.

Met his first wife

But were they any good?

“We were terrible,” Johnny Cash later said according to The Guardian, “but that Lowenbrau beer will make you feel like you’re great. We’d take our instruments to these honky-tonks and play until they threw us out or a fight started. I wrote Folsom Prison Blues in Germany in 1953.”

“He was a decent singer, not a great one,” wrote Marshall Grant, in his 2006 autobiographyI Was There When it Happened: My Life with Johnny Cash. “But there was power and presence in his voice.”

Cash moved back to the US and tied knot with girlfriend Vivian Liberto, with the couple settling in Memphis. They had four daughters, Rosanne, Kathleen, Cindy and Tara.

In the following years, Cash would move on to play more shows and record music. His older brother Roy introduced him to the Tennessee Three – Luther Perkins and Marshall Grant and AW “Red” Kernodle – and the foursome played both parties and church functions.

Johnny Cash
Youtube/JohnnyCash

In 1955, Cash got to record in Sun Studios in Memphis and recorded Cry, Cry, Cry, which became a huge hit on the radio. It peaked at No. 14 on the Billboard charts.

Famous San Quentin show

Also, Cash wrote You’re My Baby for Roy Orbison and Get Rhythm for Elvis Presley.

“The Elvis I knew was a kid full of fun,” Cash said. “He loved his work, loved his music, loved his guitar, loved gospel music and loved his mother.”

Following the first single, Cash wrote “So Doggone Lonesome” and “Folsom Prison Blues.”. In 1956, he would transform into a huge star.
Cash wrote and released the super hit I Walk The Line in 1956, which sky rocketed into first place on the country music charts and sold more than 2 million copies.

The following year, he released his debut album, Johnny Cash with His Hot & Blue Guitar in 1957, including several more hits. In January of 1960, Cash playing the first of his celebrated prison shows at San Quentin.

He was now a huge star, playing over 300 shows a year. He was accompanied by singer June Carter on the road, and soon their professional relationship would soon turn into a personal one. She would co-write Cash’s super hit Ring of Fire (1963).

June Carter Johnny Cash
Youtube/JohnnyCash

However, the wild life on the road took out its toll on Cash, who frequently drank and did drugs. In 1966, wife Vivian, who were home taking care of the children, grew tired of her husbands rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle and filed for divorce.

June Carter Cash

His lifestyle of drugs and alcohol spinned out of control. June helped him get the right treatment for his drug abuse, and in 1968, the two married.

The same year he released the live album Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison, which received two Grammy Awards in 1969. In 1970, the Cash family welcomed son John Carter Cash.

“The Man in Black” was complex, leaving behind a legacy which according to many is bigger than country music itself. Cash was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.

In 2003, he passed away after complications from diabetes, age 71. Four months earlier, the legendary musician lost his wife June following complications from heart surgery.

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