Huge collection of Johnny Cash artifacts acquired by UVic
New exhibit of mementos belonging to Cash's Canadian former manager available for viewing online
The University of Victoria has become the new home for some very significant artifacts connected to legendary musician Johnny Cash.
Thousands of gold records, photos and scrapbooks belonging to the late Saul Holliff — Cash's manager in the 1960s and '70s — are now in the special collection of the university's library.
Holiff, a Canadian, retired to Vancouver Island after leaving the music business in the '80s. He died by suicide in 2005.
His son, Jonathan Holliff, found his father's collection of over 5,000 artifacts in a storage locker after his death. He sorted through it and made a documentary about his father's life and relationship with Cash, My Father and the Man in Black.
"He was every bit as important to Cash's career as Col. Tom Parker was to Elvis or Brian Epstein was to The Beatles," Holliff told On The Island guest host Khalil Akhtar.
The collection Holliff sorted through included over 600 letters, 1,000 photos and about 60 hours of audio.
Perhaps most notable are the gold records from Saul Holliff's career, including A Boy Named Sue, one of Cash's most famous songs.
"I was a kid at the time and didn't know whether to believe him, but he said it was gold and that you'd need a diamond needle at the time to play it," Holliff recalled.
The collection is available for viewing online and select items — including the gold records — are available for public viewing at the UVic Library.
Listen to the full story:
With files from CBC Radio One's On The Island