W&N acquires "definitive" Johnny Cash biography

W&N acquires "definitive" Johnny Cash biography

Weidenfeld & Nicolson has acquired a "definitive biography" of country music star, the "Man in Black", Johnny Cash.

W&N publisher Alan Samson bought world English rights, excluding US and Canada, to the biography by Robert Hilburn from Tracy Williams at Hachette Book Group USA.

In Search of Johnny Cash will be published simultaneously in hardback by W&N and Little, Brown in the US, in January 2014.

Samson said: "The appeal of Johnny Cash crosses the generations, and Robert Hilburn's biography will become the enduring tribute to both a matchless talent and an extraordinary life."

Hilburn was a music critic and pop music editor for the LA Times for over 30 years. He knew Cash well, and was the only journalist at the legendary Folsom Prison concert in 1968.

He also conducted extensive interviews during Cash's last days, and will use these and never-before-seen material from the Johnny Cash estate. Cash, who was recently featured in the biopic "Walk the Line", and most famous for songs such as "Ring of Fire and "Get Rhythm", was born in 1932 and died in 2003. His second marriage was to country singer June Carter.

Hilburn said: "I want to treat Cash with the critical eye and historical scholarship that he deserves as one of the major socio-cultural figures of the 20th century . . . His life was often a struggle between his artistry and his addiction—and ultimately . . . each contributed to the other."