Sunday, September 25, 2022

Sunday Music: Folsom Prison Blues

 


Johnny Cash's 1955 song, which became his signature piece, the opening to his act most of his career (Hello. I'm Johnny Cash..."), and the live performance of which, released as the opening cut of his first live album At Folsom Prison in 1968 single-handedly revived his flagging career, became his first #1 country album, which was voted one of the best albums of all time on multiple lists, paved the way to his mainstream success, including a TV show, went triple platinum by Cash's death in 2003, and won him his first solo Country vocal Grammy in 1969, the year he sold more albums than the Beatles. There is no more quintessential American song or artist than this track. 

6 comments:

Pat H. said...

One of my favorites:

https://youtu.be/y_ADN3GszLk

Survivormann99 said...

I have always wondered what the Folsom Prison Warden was thinking when he let Johnny sing "Folsom Prison Blues." Telling a bunch of hard core inmates, even in song, that "I shot a man just to see him die" sounded like a non-starter to me.

Anyway, one thing that I remember when Johnny died was that some observer said, "You never had to wonder about what he said in his songs" like you did with so many singers who slurred their words. Each of Johnny's words were always sung clearly and distinctly in every song.

Feral Ferret said...

He had a very distinctive sound.

John Wilder said...

And I can actually play most of that on the guitar. Or I could, a long time ago.

Stealth Spaniel said...

Yet, this uptight same Folsom city was aghast at the thought of naming a new street by the Folsom Dam; Johnny Cash Boulevard. The street is now called Folsom Crossings-what a gutless name. Everyone in town likes to pretend the prison doesn't exist, although countless folks work there and you can see the prison guards at lunch at Wendy's. Cows graze on the front acreage and there is a large bike path by the road. I can hear practice at the range every Monday and Friday from where I live. State prison guards don't like to miss.

Bear Claw Chris Lapp said...

And in the audience was none other than Merle Haggard on a small time conviction. It motivated him to clean up his act get out early and the rest is history.