Timeline

1912: Ann Holiff, Saul's older sister, is born.

1913: Joel Holiff, Saul's father, emigrates from Ukraine to Canada.

1920: Esther, Saul's mother, and Ann Holiff join Joel in London, Ontario.

1923: Morris Holiff, Saul's older brother, is born.

1925: Israel "Saul" Holiff is born.

1933: Joel and Esther Holiff are forced to close their clothing store due to near bankruptcy.  

1942: Morris Holiff joins the RCAF.

1943: Saul Holiff joins the RCAF; he is posted to New Brunswick and becomes a tail gunner on Lancaster bombers.

1945: Holiff is honourably discharged from the RCAF and travels to Hollywood.

1947: Holiff completes Commercial Canadian Vocational Training at the Training and Re-establishment Institute in London, Ontario.

1950: Holiff takes over his family’s clothing business and renames it A Store at Your Door.

1956: Holiff rents a retail space for his clothing business, renames it Saul Holiff’s Kustom Klothes, and adds a Swatch Bar showroom. Holiff writes a suicide note but probably does not attempt suicide. He checks himself into Victoria Hospital for psychiatric treatment, where he receives electroshock therapy.


1957: Barbara Robinson moves to London from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Holiff appears in The Torch-Bearers at the Little London Theatre, a production that Barbara attends. Holiff promotes acts such as Bill Haley and His Comets, The Everly Brothers, Jimmie Rodgers, and Paul Anka.

1958: Holiff promotes The Ink Spots and Alan Freed’s “Big Beat.” He also promotes Johnny Cash for the first time. 

1959: Holiff opens Sol’s Square Boy, promotes Bill Haley and His Comets, and organizes Cash tour in Ontario.

1960: Holiff establishes Volatile Attractions and begins dating Barbara Robinson after meeting her at the London Free Press office.

1961: Holiff promotes Cash tour with Stew Carnall, Cash’s manager, and goes to New York to negotiate with Columbia Records on Cash’s behalf. Holiff flies to Asia to scope out the possibility of a Cash tour. Johnny Western urges Holiff to take on job as Cash’s manager. Holiff's father dies. Holiff accompanies Cash on a tour to the Maritimes in November and becomes Cash’s manager, then moves to California. Cash trashes a hotel in Vancouver after a show—he is banned from the hotel, and Holiff has to cover the damages. Holiff adds June Carter to Cash’s show at the Big D Jamboree in Dallas.

1962: June Carter is added permanently to the Cash show, and Holiff becomes her manager. Cash plays a show at Carnegie Hall in New York. The album The Sound of Johnny Cash is released. Cash plays the Country & Western Spectacular at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Cash goes on a USO tour to Japan and Korea.

1963: The songs “Ring of Fire” and “Understand Your Man” are released. Cash performs at the Hollywood Bowl again. Cash asks Holiff to resign as his manager but to keep working as his booking agent.

1964: Holiff marries Barbara Robinson and moves back to London, Ontario. The album Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian is released. Cash performs at the Newport Folk Festival and meets Bob Dylan. Holiff starts managing the Statler Brothers, who are added to the Cash show.

1965: Jonathan Holiff is born. The albums Orange Blossom Special and Johnny Cash Sings Ballads of the True West are released. Cash misses dates on a tour in the Northeast. Cash is implicated in Los Padres fire and is later arrested in El Paso for carrying drugs over the border from Mexico. Texas A&M University cancels a Cash show after the El Paso arrest.

1966: Joshua Holiff is born. Cash is targeted by the white supremacist National States’ Rights Party in the Thunderbolt. Cash overdoses after a show at the O’Keefe Centre in Toronto, Ontario. Cash misses a show at the Olympia in Paris during a U.K. Tour, and Saul quits, but they are reconciled. Cash and June Carter travel to Israel for the first time. Vivian Cash initiates divorce proceedings, and Holiff starts negotiating Cash’s divorce settlement. Holiff urges Cash to switch producers from Don Law to Bob Johnston. Cash plays Folsom Prison for the first time. Holiff starts managing Debbie Lori Kaye and Tommy Hunter.

1967: Cash misses first several dates on a tour in the Midwest. The song “Jackson” is released. Cash misses three fair shows in the summer, and the Illinois State Fair sues. Holiff’s commission is cut to meet Cash's financial pressures. Cash switches producers from Don Law to Bob Johnston.

1968: The album Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison is recorded on January 13. The CBC Special The Legend of Johnny Cash, produced by Stan Jacobson and Holiff, is filmed. Cash proposes to June Carter in London, Ontario, and they get married in Kentucky, then travel to Israel again. Luther Perkins is killed in a house fire. Cash returns to Carnegie Hall and plays a successful show. The album The Holy Land is released.

1969: The album At San Quentin is recorded February 24, the first time the song “A Boy Named Sue” is played (it is later released as a single). The documentary Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music is released. The Johnny Cash Show is booked for a summer stint on ABC (starting June 7). Holiff arranges for Lou Robin and Allen Tinkley from Artist Consultants to take over the promotion of Cash's concerts. Cash’s television show is announced at a press conference, where he is also awarded gold records for “A Boy Named Sue” and At San Quentin. Holiff produces Cash's concert at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, Ontario, which breaks attendance records at the venue. Cash plays Madison Square Garden, which also yields record-breaking profits.

1970: The Johnny Cash Show is renewed. Holiff works out a book deal for a biography of Cash. Holiff receives RPM Gold Leaf Award (the precursor to the Junos) for Canadian Music Industry Man of the Year. John Carter Cash is born. Cash gives a command performance at the White House. Holiff resigns as Tommy Hunter’s and Debbie Lori Kaye’s manager.

1971: The song “Man in Black” is released. The film A Gunfight is released. Bob Johnston is fired as Cash's producer. Cash is born again. The biography Winners Got Scars Too is published. Cash’s television show is cancelled. The Gospel Road is filmed in Israel.

1972: Cash plays a series of shows at the Hilton Las Vegas. The film The Gospel Road is released.


1973: Holiff resigns as Cash’s manager. Holiff enrolls in courses at the University of Western Ontario in London and starts his Cablecast television show, The Ego’s Nest.

1974: Holiff starts writing a restaurant column for the London Free Press called “Eat, Drink, and Be Wary.”

1975: Cash publishes Man in Black, his autobiography. The Holiff family vacations at Cinnamon Hill, the Cash home in Jamaica.  

1977: Holiff resigns as the Statler Brothers’ manager.

1980: Holiff moves to Victoria, British Columbia.

1983: Holiff graduates from the University of Victoria with a B.A. in history.

2003: Deaths of Johnny and June Carter Cash.

2005: Death of Saul Holiff. The film Walk the Line is released.

2013: Jonathan Holiff’s documentary, My Father and the Man in Black, is released. 

2017: The Man Who Carried Cash: Saul Holiff, Johnny Cash, and the Making of an American Icon by Julie Chadwick is published.

2018: Holiff is posthumously awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Jack Richardson London Music Awards in London, Ontario.



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