This letter tells the story of Johnny Cash’s pivotal 1961 trip to Newfoundland

Luther Perkins, Money’s lead guitarist on the time, wrote the letter to his spouse

“Johnny Money was on the lookout for a brand new starting. It was 1961 and his profession was in a stoop. Elvis Presley had crossed over to in style audiences; Money had faltered.” That’s how Jonathan Holiff frames the state of affairs when the legendary nation singer, then 29, and his entourage descended upon Newfoundland for a six-show tour and searching journey. It was a journey that may in some ways form the remainder of Money’s profession: it cemented a relationship with Saul Holiff, his new supervisor, and it occasioned the hiring of June Carter.

Holiff made a film commemorating his dad’s profession in 2012, referred to as My Father and the Man in Black. Now he’s engaged on a follow-up challenge, When Johnny Money Acquired His Moose. He has had loads of assist from Newfoundlanders sharing their reminiscences and images. Per Holiff, one interview alleges Money went “busting up the Massive Dipper bar in Gander,” resulting in an arrest by navy police. Holiff’s investigation led him to Margie Perkins Beaver, the widow of Money’s lead guitarist, Luther Perkins. For all these years, she’d held on to a letter he wrote in regards to the journey.

Click on, hover or faucet on the arrows to learn the story behind this extraordinary letter.

This text seems in print within the February 2022 problem of Maclean’s journal with the headline, “Searching and gathering.” Subscribe to the month-to-month print journal here.

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