Johnny Cash has long been regarded as a country music and American icon. However, despite his revered status, his well-documented personal struggles highlight that even someone as universally-admired as Cash endures the everyday hardships of life.
John Carter Cash is the only son of Johnny Cash and June Carter. The younger Cash said his father was his greatest supporter and talked about how they both leaned on their faith to overcome personal demons and struggles.
The singer/songwriter, along with his aunt Joanne Cash, appear in a new documentary about the “Man in Black.” The series is called: “Johnny Cash: The Redemption of an American Icon.”
The documentary delves into Cash’s faith and how his love of God helped him overcome bouts of depression and addiction.
The film features never-before-heard conversations with Cash himself as he reflects on his personal journey. Cash passed away in 2003 at age 71, less than four months after his wife died.
“He was my best friend,” the 52-year-old told John Carter Cash told Fox News. “He really was. We laughed together. We traveled together. He was supportive of me. He was lenient on me, maybe a little too much. I think he could have been a little bit tougher. I think I needed it sometimes. But my father never held a record of wrong. And we forgave each other and we healed. And together, we went through the struggles that we had to heal [from].”
The younger Cash talked about his problems with addiction openly, saying that he dealt with drug addiction in his early 20s. He went onto remark that he went to the same treatment center as his father in the early 1990s. He said that they were able to “hash out a lot of our crap from when I was younger.”
Johnny Cash’s Son Reveals How He Strengthened Relationship With His Father
Carter Cash spoke about his father, Johnny Cash, and the emotional baggage he carried with him. He also spoke about how their father-son bond strengthened over time.
“It’s amazing that I don’t think people realize how much they still carry around with them. But I feel that within our relationship and within our lifetime together, we got as close as we could to finding a peaceful place. And moving on as father and son, and as friends… that was just as important as anything. We had to be friends also. And that’s what mattered. That’s what endured. We had fun together, you know? And so, those are the times I remember.”
Johnny Cash took copious amounts of pills in his early career, and after being clean for a while because of June Carter, he relapsed near the end of the 1970s. Carter Cash talks about how his father faced near-death experiences in his 2007 book called: “Anchored in Love: The Life and Legacy of June Carter Cash”.
“When you look at the idea of redemption, if you were to look that up in the dictionary, it would say Johnny Cash,” said documentary executive producer Andy Irwin.
“I think this is one of those stories that everybody loves. Johnny Cash is a household name, but I don’t think people know the depth of his roots and faith and the rest of his story. [For many] it ended at the end of the credits of the  movie ‘Walk the Line.’ And I didn’t realize there was so much more to the story.”