[15 December 2009]
It has been called “the single most important day in the career” of Johnny Cash. The date was January 13, 1968, a year that will forever go down in infamy in American history on account of the shocking assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, not to mention the infamous Tet Offensive. January 13, 1968 was the day Cash stepped through the gates of the notorious Northern California maximum security prison at Folsom—flanked by his ever-present entourage of his then-fiancee June Carter, Carl Perkins, the Statler Brothers, and his longtime backing band the Tennessee Three, as well as a posse of suits from Columbia Records, including legendary house producer Bob Johnston—to perform before a mess hall of inmates. There were two performances that day, one at 9:40 am and the other around lunchtime. Both shows were recorded by Johnston and his crew, although the first show was exclusively used for the official record, after Johnston felt that Cash didn’t quite deliver with the same fire the second time around. But now, for the first time, both sets have been made available as part of this beautiful Legacy Edition , along with an informative DVD with a documentary on Cash’s trip to Folsom, featuring interviews with Roseanne Cash, Merle Haggard, Marty Stuart, and several former inmates who attended the iconic concert.