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Johnny Cash Recorded His ‘At Folsom Prison’ Live Album On This Day In 1968

In 1955, a young Johnny Cash wrote and recorded a song called “Folsom Prison Blues.” Merging the popular folk themes of prisons and trains, the song would typify Cash’s style for many years to come. However, it wasn’t until 1968 that the song would take on a whole new life, as Cash performed it live at the actual Folsom Prison.

Cash was interested in performing at a prison for many years, though problems with both drugs and management put the idea on hold. Once Cash had sobered up in 1967, and Columbia Records was run by new executive Bob Johnston, the plans were set in motion. On January 13, 1968, Johnny Cash held his first-ever prison performance, and the subsequent live album At Folsom Prison reached #1 on the country charts.

The album totally revitalized Johnny Cash’s career, which had suffered due to drug abuse problems throughout the early 60’s. Now, At Folsom Prison is a triple platinum record, showcasing the challenges of prison life through Americana music. Cash played two sets, one at 9:40 AM and the other at 12:40 PM, in case one was unsatisfactory for the recording. Both featured numerous prison-themed songs.

Thanks to YouTube, we can listen to the full album below:

And here are the set lists for both shows:

9:40 AM Show-
    “Folsom Prison Blues”
    “Busted”
    “Dark as a Dungeon”
    “I Still Miss Someone”
    “Cocaine Blues”
    “25 Minutes to Go”
    “I’m Not in Your Town to Stay”
    “Orange Blossom Special”
    “The Long Black Veil”
    “Send a Picture of Mother”
    “The Wall”
    “Dirty Old Egg-Sucking Dog”
    “Flushed From The Bathroom of Your Heart”
    “Joe Bean”
    “Jackson”
    “I Got a Woman”
    “The Legend of John Henry’s Hammer”
    “Green, Green Grass of Home”
    “Greystone Chapel”

12:40 PM Show-
    “Folsom Prison Blues”
    “Busted”
    “Dark as a Dungeon”
    “Cocaine Blues”
    “25 Minutes to Go”
    “Orange Blossom Special”
    “The Legend of John Henry’s Hammer”
    “Give My Love to Rose”
    “Dirty Old Egg-Sucking Dog”
    “Flushed From The Bathroom of Your Heart”
    “Joe Bean”
    “Jackson”
    “Long Legged Guitar Picking Man”
    “I Got Stripes”
    “Green, Green Grass of Home
    “Greystone Chapel”
    “Greystone Chapel” (repeat)