From Folsom Prison to Vancouver Island, Johnny Cash walked the line

Johnny Cash at the Royal Theatre circa 1966. (Image M1534 courtesy of City of Victoria Archives)Johnny Cash at the Royal Theatre circa 1966. (Image M1534 courtesy of City of Victoria Archives)
Johnny Cash at the Royal Theatre circa 1966. (Image M1533 courtesy of City of Victoria Archives)Johnny Cash at the Royal Theatre circa 1966. (Image M1533 courtesy of City of Victoria Archives)

Well before Man in Black hit the charts, famed American singer/songwriter Johnny Cash, who died Sept. 12, 2003, took to the stage in Victoria.

The City of Victoria Archives hosts a series of images, documented at Cash’s performance at the Royal Theatre, dated 1966 and created by John E. William (died 2000), a career freelance photographer for the Victoria Press.

A handful of online archives of concert dates also list Memorial Arena as a venue for an April 8, 1967 event.

READ ALSO: University of Victoria offers online glimpse into the life of Johnny Cash

The University of Victoria boasts a treasure trove of Cash memorabilia, donated by the family of his longtime Canadian manager Saul Holiff, who attended the school.

Cash had a reputation for hard living and an outsized personality. Fans and researchers can now glean new insights from Holiff’s memorabilia that includes rare photos of Cash being baptized in the Jordan River and performing at Folsom Prison, reads a UVic statement about the 2018 donation.

UVic’s online exhibit Volatile Attractions: Saul Holiff, Johnny Cash, and Managing a Music Legend focuses on Holiff’s management years and features photographs, contracts, correspondence and concert swag representing the energy Holiff dedicated to successfully managing Cash for 13 years. It also illustrates the professional disappointment and personal costs it exacted on Holiff, who died by suicide in 2005.

Find the online exhibit at exhibits.library.uvic.ca/spotlight/holiff.


Do you have a story tip? Email: c.vanreeuwyk@blackpress.ca.

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