Fans may remember Johnny Cash for having a solemn, somber appearance, but not for his children. To them, the legendary country star’s most important title was “Dad.”
Regarded as one of the greatest country legends of all time, he stunned the world with hits like “Ring Of Fire,” “Sunday Morning Coming Down,” and “Folsom Prison Blues.” For over five decades, “The Man in Black” captured the world’s attention with his hauntingly beautiful voice and soulful songwriting that still leaves us in tears today.
While his professional music career and highly publicized marriage to June Carter has held the spotlight for ages, news about his children has been relatively quiet— until now!
Meet Johnny Cash’s Children
The eldest daughter of Johnny Cash with his first wife, Vivian Liberto, Roseanne Cash was born on May 24, 1955. Following her father’s footsteps, Rosanne grew up to be a musician and songwriter. In 1976, Johnny Cash recorded one of Roseanne’s original pieces, “Love Has Lost Again,” on his album One Piece at a Time. At just 21-years-old, it was Rosanne’s first professional work on record as a composer.
In the 1980s, her success continued as she had several chart-topping singles that crossed musical genres, finding a spot on both the country and pop charts. In 1981, she released her most commercially successful song, “Seven Year Ache.” It climbed to the top of the U.S. country singles charts and peaked through Top 30 on the U.S. pop singles charts.
Later in the decade, she would make her father proud when she took home her first Grammy for her track “I Don’t Know Why You Don’t Want Me.” By 2015, Rosanne has a total of three Grammys to her name and 12 nominations.
Kathleen “Kathy” Cash
Just one year after Rosanne was born, on April 16, 1956, Johnny Cash and Vivian welcomed a second daughter, Kathy Cash.
While she may not have inherited the musical gene from her father, she made a buzz in 2005 when she complained about how her mother was portrayed in the movie Walk the Line.
In an interview, Kathy declared that the film unfairly showed her mother as a harpy housewife. “My mom was basically a nonentity in the entire film except for the mad little psycho who hated his career,” Kathy said. “That’s not true. She loved his career and was proud of him until he started taking drugs and stopped coming home.” Kathy was so distraught by the portrayal that she walked out of a family-only screening five times.
On a positive note, Kathy has been married to Jimmy Tittle since 1982, and the couple have two children together. Kathy’s son from a previous marriage, Thomas Gabriel, is an Americana singer/songwriter. In 2016, Kathy made an on-screen appearance in the drama-comedy film, What’s the Matter with Gerald?, written by her son, Dustin Tittle, and son-in-law, Matt Riddlehoover.
On July 29, 1959, the Cash family hit lucky number three, when they welcomed their third baby girl, Cindy Cash. Following her father and Roseanne’s musical path, Cindy often performed with her father and stepmother, June Carter Cash.
When she was just16-years-old, she sang her first duet with her father as part of the show. In addition, when Cash performed for the last time, she was also by his side. Cindy also used to belong to the musical group ‘The Next Generation,’ along with other daughters of country icons: Conway Twitty’s daughter Cathy Twitty, Loretta Lynn’s daughter Patsy Lynn, and George Jones’ and Tammy Wynette’s daughter Georgette Jones.
Like Kathy, Cindy also made appearances in films. She appeared in The Cradle Will Fall, My Darling Vivian, and Johnny Cash’s America.
Tara Joan Cash
While not much is known about Cash’s youngest daughter, Tara, in 2014, she released a book titled “Recollections by J.R. Cash: Childhood Memories of Johnny Cash.”
After working on the book for over a decade, in 1995, Tara gave her father a blank book entitled Dad, Share Your Life With Me and asked him to fill it with his childhood memories. After a year of completing the questions, Cash returned it to his daughter on her birthday in 1996.
In addition to the personal anecdotes, Tara features some of her favorite family photos in the book. “This book tells the story of a young boy, his home life, his friends and family, his dedication to work, and where all of his hopes and dreams came alive in Dyess, Arkansas,” Tara said.
John Carter Cash
After Cash and Liberto divorced in 1967, Cash married his longtime love, June Carter Cash, a year later. As a result, they welcomed their only son, John Carter Cash, on March 3, 1970.
Starting from a young age, John has loved music all his life. In addition to writing and singing his own songs, he spent most of his time working as a record producer. Cash also got his career breakthrough while working on his mother’s album Press On, which won a Grammy in 1999.
Despite the large, black shoes he had to fill being Johnny Cash’s one and only son, he’s given it a valiant effort. He’s produced material for country superstars such as Loretta Lynn, Brooks & Dunn, George Jones, Kris Kristofferson, John Prine, and so much more. Overall, he’s produced five Grammy Award-winning records.
Like his siblings, he too wrote a book to show a more personal side of his father. In 2011, he released House of Cash: The Legacies of My Father Johnny Cash, which took him five years to finish.