Wednesday, May 1, 2013

at folsom prison

Johnny Cash revitalized his career with a raucous live performance at a penitentiary that has become an outlaw country classic.  Cash convinced new Colombia executive Bob Johnston to make a live recording of a concert at a prison.  Folsom Prison was the first to respond to requests and Cash performed two shows on January 13, 1968.  Johnston produced the recording which featured Johnny Cash on vocals, guitar, and harmonica; June Carter on vocals; Marshall Grant on bass guitar; W.S. Holland on drums; Carl Perkins and Luther Perkins on electric guitar; and The Statler Brothers (Lew DeWitt, Don Reid, Harold Reid, and Phil Balsley) on vocals.  The set included many songs about prison life, despair, and humorous anecdotes about criminal behavior.   

Cash would later consider:   "I think prison songs are popular because most of us are living in one little kind of prison or another, and whether we know it or not the words of a song about someone who is actually in a prison speak for a lot of us who might appear not to be, but really are."

'At Folsom Prison' became one of his most enduring successes, going to number twenty-seven in Canada; thirteen on the US pop album chart; seven in Norway and the UK; and number one on the US country album chart.  The single of the live version of 'Folsom Prison Blues' was recalled after the assassination of Robert Kennedy and re-released with the line "I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die" omitted.  The single would break through to number thirty-seven on the US pop chart; seventeen on the Canadian pop chart; and number one on the Canadian and US country charts.

'Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison'



'At Folsom Prison'

full album:

Side 1
1. "Folsom Prison Blues" Johnny Cash 2:42
2. "Dark as the Dungeon" Merle Travis 3:05
3. "I Still Miss Someone" J. Cash, Roy Cash Jr. 1:38
4. "Cocaine Blues" T.J. Arnall 3:01
5. "25 Minutes to Go" Shel Silverstein 3:31
6. "Orange Blossom Special" Ervin T. Rouse 3:01
7. "The Long Black Veil" Marijohn Wilkin, Danny Dill 3:57
Side 2
1. "Send a Picture of Mother" Cash 2:11
2. "The Wall" Harlan Howard 1:49
3. "Dirty Old Egg-Suckin' Dog" Jack H. Clement 1:17
4. "Flushed From the Bathroom of Your Heart" Clement 2:39
5. "Jackson" (with June Carter) Billy Edd Wheeler, Jerry Leiber 2:56
6. "Give My Love to Rose" (with June Carter) Cash 2:41
7. "I Got Stripes" Cash, Charlie Williams 1:42
8. "Green, Green Grass of Home" Curly Putman 2:57
9. "Greystone Chapel" Glen Sherley 5:34

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