She Has A Mixed-Race Origin
Rosanne Cash’s mother was reported to be of Sicilian heritage on her father’s side and German-Irish on her mother’s side. However, in one episode of the PBS show, Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Rosanne was presented with her DNA results and family descent.
Gates informed Rosanne that the maternal great-great-grandmother of Vivian was an enslaved black woman named Sarah Shields. However, her father was white, and in 1848, he granted Sarah – along with his other children – their freedom. Sarah was then able to marry a white man, which led to their children and descendants being listed as white.
She Started As Her Father’s Wardrobe Assistant
After graduating from high school in 1973, Rosanne pursued a closer relationship with her father. She spent two and a half years on the road with her father’s team as a wardrobe assistant. Eventually, Rosanne was promoted as a backing vocalist in some of Johnny Cash’s songs and an infrequent soloist in his shows.
She Made Her Recording Debut On her Father’s Album
Rosanne made her studio recording debut on her father’s 1974 album – where she covered “Broken Freedom Song” by Kris Kristofferson.