The Man Who Carried Cash

Journalist Julie Chadwick reconstructs Johnny Cash's friendship and animosity with his manager Saul Holiff in the biography The Man Who Carried Cash.

Julie Chadwick

Before there was Johnny and June, there was Johnny and Saul. The Man Who Carried Cash chronicles a relationship that was both volatile and affectionate between Johnny Cash and his manager, Saul Holiff. From roadside taverns to the roaring crowds at Madison Square Garden, from wrecked cars and jail cells all the way to the White House, the story of Johnny and Saul is a portrait of two men from different worlds who were more alike than either cared to admit.

Saul handled the bookings and the no-shows, the divorce and the record deals, drugs, overdoses and arrests. He was there for the absolute worst of times, but also for the best: Carnegie Hall, Folsom Prison, "A Boy Named Sue" and Cash's hit television series. But in 1973, at the zenith of Cash's career, Saul quit. Until now, no one knew why. (From Dundurn)

Read an excerpt | Author interview

From the book

The story of Saul Holiff and Johnny Cash first arrived in my inbox as an email with a subject line marked "CONFIDENTIAL." I was a cub reporter at my hometown paper in Nanaimo, British Columbia, and had also recently been promoted to editor of our weekly entertainment section, The Hub. In journalism many a tall tale comes across one's desk, and part of the birth story of any piece begins with separating the wheat from the chaff. But unlikely as it seemed, this story was immediately compelling.

The man writing to me was Jonathan Holiff, whose father, Saul Holiff, had officially worked as Johnny Cash's manager for thirteen years. Before his death in 2005, "at a time of his own choosing," as the subsequent obituary in the Globe and Mail had so eloquently put it, he had lived out his last years in Nanaimo.

From The Man Who Carried Cash by Julie Chadwick ©2017. Published by Dundurn.

Author interview

Julie Chadwick on her biography of Saul Holiff, the Canadian who managed Johnny Cash for 13 years and helped make him a star. 12:09


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