Johnny Cash
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John R. Cash (1932 - 2003)

John R. (Johnny) "J. R." Cash
Born in Kingsland, Cleveland County, Arkansas, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Brother of [private brother (unknown - unknown)] [half], , , , and [private sister (1930s - unknown)]
Husband of — married 7 Aug 1954 (to 1966) in San Antonio, Bexar, Texas, United Statesmap
Husband of — married 1 May 1968 in Franklin, Tennessee, United Statesmap
Descendants descendants
Father of , [private daughter (1950s - unknown)], [private daughter (1950s - unknown)], [private daughter (1960s - unknown)] and
Died at age 71 in Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, United Statesmap
Problems/Questions Profile manager: Jason Overton private message [send private message]
Profile last modified | Created 29 Jul 2011
This page has been accessed 32,927 times.



Notables Project
Johnny Cash is Notable.

"The Man in Black"

Johnny Cash is a Military Veteran.
Served in the United States Air Force July 7, 1950-July 3, 1954
Staff Sergeant, 12th Radio Squadron Mobile, Honorably discharged


John R. Cash was born 12 February 1932 in Kingsland, Arkansas, the son of Ray Cash and Carrie Rivers of mostly Scottish/English ancestry. Named J. R. at birth, when he went into the military, he was required to have a full name so he changed it to John R. "Johnny" became his stage name in 1955.

In October 1965, Johnny Cash was arrested in El Paso, Texas for attempting to smuggle amphetamines across the Mexican border in his guitar case. [1]

His Brother 'Jack'

On. May 12, 1944, John’s brother Jack had a job working in the high school agriculture shop, cutting oak tree trunks into fence posts on a table saw that had no guard on it. As shown in the movie, Johnny was on his way home from the fishing spot when his father, Ray Cash, picked him up in the preacher's Model A Ford. His father took him home and showed him Jack's bloody clothes, at which time his father pointed out "where the table saw had cut [Jack] from his ribs all the way down into his stomach and groin, through his belt and everything." Jack, who was only fourteen-years-old, held on for a week before passing away. [2]


Johnny met his first wife, Vivian Liberto, at a roller-skating rink in San Antonio while Johnny was stationed there in the Air Force. Three weeks into their brief 1950 courtship, Johnny completed his training and was sent to Germany. When Johnny was stationed overseas, the pair exchanged more than 10,000 pages of love letters over a period of approximately four years.[3] John married first Vivian Liberto in 1954. They divorced in 1966. In 1975, Johnny Cash told Penthouse magazine, "My first marriage was in trouble when I lived in California, and I have to take blame for that -- because no woman can live with a man who's strung out on amphetamines." In 1965, after his truck caught fire due to a defective exhaust, he inadvertently started a 508-acre forest fire that burnt down half of Los Padres National Forest in California. When a judge asked Cash why he started the fire, he responded, "I didn't do it, my truck did, and it's dead so you can't question it." Cash was sued by the federal government, and he eventually settled the case by paying $82,000. [4]

June Carter

Johnny Cash met June Carter when she was hired to be a comedian on The Johnny Cash Show.[5] In a 1981 Mike Douglas interview, June Carter Cash explained, "He asked me to marry him in front of 7,000 people, but I would have liked it if he had gotten down on his knees and proposed to me, you know, but that wasn't the way it was. It was a great big production..." Johnny continued the story, "We had just sung a song called 'Jackson', and I stopped the show and said, 'Will you marry me?' on the microphone. She said, 'Go, sing another, sing another, sing another!' I said, 'I'm not gonna sing until you answer me. Will you marry me?' And she says, 'Sing a song. Sing a song.' She turned her back, you know, trying to get somebody in the band to play some music or something. [It] kept going until she finally said, 'Yes.'" He married June Carter in 1968.


Johnny died from diabetes on the 12th of Sept. 2003 in Nashville, Tennessee.

On Tuesday, April 10, 2007, the former home of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash was destroyed in a fire that left almost nothing except for the brick chimneys and the steel frame. The house burned rapidly because construction workers had recently applied a flammable wood preservative to the exterior and interior of the house. Barry Gibb, vocalist for the Bee Gees, was restoring the Hendersonville, Tennessee home, located on Old Hickory Lake. A corporation owned by Gibb had purchased the home in January 2006 for $2.3 million. Gibb and his wife Linda planned to write songs there. Neighbor Richard Sterban of the Oak Ridge Boys perhaps summed up the unfortunate devastation best, "Maybe it's the good Lord's way to make sure that it was only Johnny's house." [6]

His faith was influenced by his brother, Jack. Johnny Cash and his older brother, Jack, were inseparable. They did everything together. Jack was Johnny’s protector, best friend, fishing buddy, and, most important of all, mentor. Jack was Johnny’s moral compass and wouldn’t hesitate to call out his younger brother when Johnny wasn’t acting as he should.

Though just a young man, Jack lived a godly life and was constantly reading his Bible. This had a tremendous influence on young Johnny.

One day, Jack didn’t join Johnny on a fishing trip because he had suffered a horrible accident at a sawmill. Jack survived the accident, but only for a matter of days. On his final day, surrounded by his entire family in his hospital room, Jack asked a simple question: “Will you meet me in Heaven?” It was then that Johnny’s father, Ray Cash, did the unexpected. He dropped to his knees right there in the hospital room and asked Jesus Christ to come into his life.

The power of a godly example is immense.

Johnny’s life was impacted by the influence of his godly older brother. It played an important role in building his legacy of spreading the gospel, albeit imperfectly. Like so many men and women of the Bible, Johnny had spiritual ups and downs, but God is able to use flawed people to bring others to Himself.

Johnny’s story shows how God can use every one of us who are imperfect to achieve great things.


  2. Cash: The Autobiography
  4. Cash: The Autobiography
  5. John Davidson Interview, 1981
  • "United States Census, 1940," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 8 January 2021), John R Cash in household of Ray Cash, Dyess, Mississippi, Arkansas, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 47-22, sheet 19A, line 8, family 325, Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 - 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012, roll 155.
  • "California Divorce Index, 1966-1984," database, FamilySearch ( : 15 May 2014), Vivian D Liberto and John R Cash, Aug 1966; from "California Divorce Index, 1966-1984," database and images, Ancestry ( : 2007); citing Ventura, California, Health Statistics, California Department of Health Services, Sacramento.
  • "United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 10 February 2021), Johnny Cash in entry for June Carter Cash, Willingboro, New Jersey, United States, 16 May 2003; from "Recent Newspaper Obituaries (1977 - Today)," database, ( : 2014); citing Burlington County Times, born-digital text.

See also;

  • Find a Grave, database and images, memorial page for Johnny Cash (26 Feb 1932–12 Sep 2003), Find A Grave: Memorial #7863405, citing Hendersonville Memory Gardens, Hendersonville, Sumner County, Tennessee, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .


Thank you to Jason Overton, Justin Cash, Bob Carson, Kitty Smith, Arik Russell and Stephanie Stults for contributions to this profile.

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Johnny by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with Johnny:

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