It’s been a long, fascinating odyssey for LA Times-reporter-turned-author Robert Hilburn. From being the only journalist at Johnny Cash‘s legendary 1968 Folsom Prison performance to the release today of the new biography Johnny Cash: The Life.
Hilburn recently explained to his former paper that the spark for the book came in the wake of the 2005 movie Walk the Line and several quickie books following the singer’s death in 2003. He went to Cash’s manager Lou Robin and asked what percentage of the Cash story was still left to be told. Robin’s astounding reply: 80%.
Today on NPR’s Morning Edition, Hilburn talked about one of the more shocking components of that 80% – Cash’s affair with one of June Carter‘s sisters:
“That’s something that haunted me. I first heard that when I was doing the research to write the proposal on the book, and it stunned me.”