The Man Who Carried Cash

By Julie Chadwick - Book Review


Julie Chadwick reveals the complicated, exhilarating and entertaining story of Saul Holiff, and his management of American icon Johnny Cash in The Man Who Carried Cash. Surely we have had books aplenty, movies galore and lots of interviews about (and with) Johnny Cash. But in this 300-plus page soft cover, Julie Chadwick was handed audio tapes, correspondence and pictures from Chadwick’s son, allowing readers unprecedented access to what it was like to manage ‘The Man In Black,’ how difficult it was to surf Cash’s drug taking and religious fervor, and how Holiff came to learn so much about a rock and country music business just being born.

The balance beam between the artist and his manager’s story, told from Holiff’s point of view, is masterfully accomplished in this book. Going in, one would have to assume that the parts about Cash would be the most interesting, which it is. However, Saul Holiff is just as large as life. How he immerses himself into the world of Johnny Cash and the music business, ferrying himself from his home base in Canada to round-the-world trips with his client, all while relating his hopes, dreams and fears, truly paints a picture of a man as complex as Cash.

The Man Who Carried Cash is a thick, gooey read. Chadwick spins us the tale in a breezy manner that never gets bogged down in details; instead, the book is enriched by them. Men with vision, men with demons, men with honor, and men who obviously loved as much as hated one another at times, the relationship between Johnny Cash and Saul Holiff is well documented in Julie Chadwick’ aptly titled, The Man Who Carried Cash.

~ Ralph Greco, Jr.

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