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Last Updated: Friday, 17 March 2006, 12:04 GMT
Cash love letters to be published
Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash and Vivian Liberto Distin were married for 13 years
The story of Johnny Cash's first marriage is to be told in a new book written by the singer's first wife.

Vivian Liberto Distin's book is based on thousands of letters the couple exchanged before their marriage while he was overseas with the US Air Force.

Distin, who died last year, was said to have inspired his song I Walk the Line.

But one of the couple's daughters has criticised the recent Oscar-winning film Walk the Line for portraying her mother as a "mad little psycho".

Cash wrote to Liberto every day after being stationed in Landsberg, Germany, as a radio intercept operator in 1950.

The letters really reveal the real man, unclouded by drugs
Ann Sharpsteen
The couple wed in 1954 and had four daughters in their 13 years of marriage.

Ann Sharpsteen, co-writer of the book, titled I Walked the Line, said: "The letters really reveal the real man, unclouded by drugs.

"Letters were his dreams, fears, a variety of subjects, fidelity, alcohol, faith. It's like reading someone's diary."

Cash married fellow singer June Carter in 1968 and his second marriage is the focus of the Hollywood film starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon.

In November, Kathy Cash said: "My mom was basically a nonentity in the entire film except for the mad little psycho who hated his career.

"She loved his career and was proud of him until he started taking drugs and stopped coming home."

Director James Mangold responded: "We interviewed Kathy as well as her mother Vivian in the making of the movie, but it's very hard for kids growing up in a family seeing stuff like this dramatised in front of them."

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