Johnny Cash authored two autobiographies about twenty years apart: Man in Black (1975) and Cash: The Autobiography (1997) . Another key source is Robert Hilbrum’s 2013 biography, Johnny Cash: The Life.
Several significant moments in Cash’s life would fit well with the themes of betrayal and the impact of death. Cash lost his older brother to an accident while in high school; his father apparently blamed the boy, which drove a wedge between them, as he forgave neither himself nor his father. Cash was first married to Vivian, for whom he wrote “I Walk the Line,” but he later left her for June Carter. Although his betrayal of his marriage wrought havoc in his life, he also credits his marriage to June with enabling him to continue developing his music as a person of Christian faith. Cash openly discussed his battles with substance abuse, and his distance from belief as a kind of spiritual death, so that his recovery and second marriage could be interpreted through the lens of spiritual rebirth. In addition, Cash was later severely affected by June’s death, and did not live long after that. A close look at the effects of both their deaths on their family and fans might tie in to the theme of community impact.