Song Of The Day: Johnny Cash – “Folsom Prison Blues” (1968)

50 years ago today Johnny Cash brought his backing band The Tennessee Three and some recording equipment into Folsom State Prison just outside Sacramento California for a performance in front of the prison inmates. Cash had long been a champion of the downtrodden and had wanted to perform in a penitentiary for years, but could never get his record company to agree to it. When it finally happened, Cash’s career was in a state of decline for a number of reasons, including his drug-induced erratic behaviour. But the recording of the performance, At Folsom Prison, was released in May and became a surprise hit for Cash, essentially re-igniting his career. This was the first hit single from that album. Striking while the iron’s hot, Cash would go on to record three more penitentiary concerts.

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