I Walked the Line is a chronicle of first love, long-kept secrets, betrayal, forgiveness, and the truth--told at last by Johnny Cash's first wife, the mother of his four daughters.
It is a book that had the full support of Johnny Cash, who insisted it was time for their story to be told, despite any painful revelations that might come to light as a result.
Many myths and contradictions regarding the life of Johnny and his family have been perpetuated for decades in film and literature. Vivian exposes previously untold stories involving Johnny's drug addiction, his fraught family life, and their divorce in 1968, as well as the truth behind the writing of two of Johnny's most famous songs, "I Walk the Line" and "Ring of Fire."
Supplemented by a never-before-published archive of love letters and family photos, I Walked the Line offers a deeper look at one of the most significant artists in music history. Here, fans and readers can experience the extraordinary account of love and heartbreak between Johnny and Vivian, and come to understand Vivian's dignified silence over the years. Through this elegant, revealing, and powerful memoir, Vivian Cash's voice is finally heard.
Vivian Cash was Johnny Cash's first wife and the mother of his four daughters. She met Johnny at the age of seventeen at a roller rink in San Antonio, Texas. They married three years later, after Johnny was discharged from the Air Force. Vivian accompanied Johnny throughout his early career in Memphis and Nashville. As Johnny's star soared, the family moved to California where the marriage dissolved after twelve years. After their divorce, Vivian married Dick Distin and lived in Ventura, California, where she was an active and beloved member of the community until she passed away in May 2005.
"This book is the greatest part of my mother's legacy as a wife, a grandmother, a matriarch, a mother, and most important, a woman in love." -- Kathy Cash
"Vivian was there from the beginning with Johnny. I loved reading I Walked the Line. It brought back memories of our good times together and how crazy it was back then." -- George Jones
"Just when you thought you had a good idea who Johnny Cash was, in this book we get inside the heart of the Man in Black. Only a very few knew Johnny Cash like his beloved Vivian. Now for the first time we get the full picture of who Johnny Cash really was. His pen and heart expose this very complicated man. If you think you knew Johnny Cash, think again. You see the side he never let anyone on the outside see. The love letters of Johnny Cash will make even the biggest man sneak a tear." -- Jimmy Carter, host of The Jimmy Carter Entertainment Report
"Here's a love story that encompasses ten thousand pages of love letters. I'm glad I was there to see a lot of that love in the early years in California. Vivian was a very special person in my life." -- Johnny Western
"We all thought we knew everything about Johnny Cash, but this book clearly reveals more secrets than ever before. In an age of email and IMs it is sweet to read the tender love letters a heartsore young man wrote to his very young girlfriend. They are full of tenderness and sweetness and caring. It is sad to see how once success, alcohol, and drugs enter the picture, everything changes. We live through the heartaches of their shattered marriage, his addictions, and a turbulent life. Vivian, the first lover and wife of this musical legend, tells the tale in a powerful way, and I am sure that all the readers will get as much from reading it as I did." -- Ivana Trump
"I Walked the Line is a wildly romantic book, but also a sad and wrenching one...an unusually intriguing memoir."
-- Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"It's a mesmerizing story, complete with a bittersweet ending."
-- The Tennessean
"Riveting and dishy."
-- The Washington Post
"Viv's pained version of events depicted in Walk the Line deserves a hearing."