Fans of Johnny Cash are remembering the concert he recorded five decades ago performing before an audience of inmates within one of America’s harshest prisons, reports Al Jazeera.
A report from journalist Tom Ackerman, reminds audiences that more than 1,000 prisoners and inmates watched the performance at maximum security facility, Folsom Prison, in northern California and highlighted the harsh conditions of inmates.
Three million copies of the album recorded there were sold, boosting Cash’s career. Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues”, written in 1955, served as his first big hit.
Cash himself spent time in prison for petty offences and much of his music is inspired by the experience. In the early 1970s, Cash pushed for prison reform, calling for awareness on minors in jail and focusing on rehabilitating inmates.
Folsom Prison, as part of a California prison program, now provides training in music, painting and other creative pursuits – testament to Cash’s lasting impact on the music world.