If you know the story of Johnny Cash then you likely know about his brother. Jack Cash died in 1944 after a work accident. He was a teenager, the older brother of the country music Hall of Famer. He had about two years on his younger brother, and wouldn’t live to see his 16th birthday. Today, the estate of Johnny Cash honored Jack.
While working on a table saw, the 15-year-old Jack was pulled into the saw. It cut his midsection and he died a week later. Check out the Twitter post from the estate of Johnny Cash below.
“Remembering Jack Cash, who passed away this month in 1944 after getting injured while working to raise money for the family,” the post said.
The story is one of heartbreak and tragedy. Young, bright, and a role model for young Johnny, Jack’s death had a major impact on the family. Johnny first started getting into songs and creative writing after the event. At 12 years old, the would-be country music legend helped dig his brother’s grave, according to sister Joanne.
“At the service, his clothes were dirty from the effort, and he wore no shoes since his foot was swollen from stepping on a nail.”
A lover of the bible, an inspiration to his brother, and a tragic story of family loss. Jack’s influence on his brother in life and death was huge for Johnny Cash. While the singer was a very fun and joking child beforehand, his demeanor changed after his brother’s passing.
Johnny Cash Loved his Brother Dearly
When his brother died, Johnny looked inside. So, instead of being playful, fun, full of jokes, and all of that… he looked inside. According to accounts about the younger Cash, he was more thoughtful. His attitude had changed to be more mature, much more mature than a 12-year-old should be, likely.
“By all reports,” Biography.com says, “he became more introspective afterward and began to spend more time alone, writing stories and sketches. Jack’s deathbed words about seeing angels also affected him deeply on a spiritual level.”
Looking through Cash’s catalog, the gospel music and influence that faith had on him is clear. Jack is undoubtedly responsible for that in some part. It was at 23-years-old when Cash first hit the scene with Hey Porter and Cry Cry Cry. Just 11 years after his brother tragically died. The young singer would soon be recording songs such as Folsom Prison Blues and I Walk the Line.
The rest, as they say, is history. That singer from Arkansas grew up to be one of the most well-known artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. Rest in peace to Jack Cash, brother of Johnny Cash. 78 years since he passed away far too early.