Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Anniversary: Cash at Folsom Prison

On this day in 1968, Johnny Cash played two shows at Folsom State Prison in Folsom, California. The album from those shows At Folsom Prison was a big hit and reestablished Cash's popularity. The album frequently appears on lists of the greatest American albums.

Its most famous song "Folsom Prison Blues" was originally recorded in 1955. Cash started playing prisons in response to requests from prisoners after "Folsom Prison Blues" came out. The below clip is from 1959, featuring Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two (later Three) - Luther Perkins on guitar and Marshall Grant on bass. Perkins originated the train rhythm heard in the song. He was killed in a house fire during the summer of 1968, only months after the Folsom shows.