“I’m thrilled to receive the Belmont Book Award for Johnny Cash: The Life, because Belmont is a symbol of excellence throughout the music world, especially the country music world which Johnny Cash so deeply believed in and sought to honor,” Hilburn, who was not available for the conference, told Music Tomes. “I wanted to treat Johnny’s story with the seriousness and scholarship that someone applies to a statesman, not just an entertainer–and this award makes me think I fulfilled my goal.”
The award is announced each year at the conference held in Nashville and in addition to the prestige of the award, the prize carries a $1000 award.
“The winner is chosen by a blue ribbon panel of 4 judges,” says Don Cusic, chair of the Award. “We have a ‘rotating’ committee–it changes year to year–but they come from both the academic and ‘music biz’ community.”
Past winners include Diane Diekman, Barry Mazor, Patrick Huber, Holly George-Warren, and Alanna Nash, among others.