According to Johnny Cash, you are looking at “the prettiest girl I’ve ever seen,” above. Her name was Vivian Liberto. She became Cash’s first wife.
You know that the late Johnny Cash rose to fame in the mid 1950s, along with several others out of Sun Records, including Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis.
What may not be known to you is that Arkansas-born Johnny met his first wife right here in San Antonio, Texas 66 years ago. He was getting ready to ship out to Germany via the Air Force. When he returned three years later, the two were married in San Antonio, her hometown.
Vivian gave birth to Johnny’s first four children, including the singer Roseanne Cash. However, the marriage came to an end after 12 years when white country singer June Carter stole Johnny away from Vivian.
The subject of Johnny’s first marriage is interesting at several levels. For one, it illustrates how poor country boys from the sticks can be mesmerized by exotic women. It’s also illustrative to consider that after straying into exotic arms, Johnny ended up going back to his white roots.
Then there’s Texas law. It appears that while Texas (and the south in general) forbade marriages between whites and pure Negros that exceptions were made for marriages between whites and exotics.
Last, but not least, is the acceptance by fans of the interracial marriage of Cash and Vivian (who died a few years ago). My father was a big Cash fan, but I don’t think he knew anything about Cash’s personal life since he didn’t read fan magazines.
Officially, Vivian Liberto is Italian. Take a look at these old photos and see if you buy that story.
Are people as dark as vivian and with Negroidish features such as hers identifiable as white? Would they be allowed to live in a white country?
What do you think about this issue?