Saturday, July 24, 2010
Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison
I wrote about the stripes as a prison uniform before but this shirt here is quite an extraordinary sample: a 1968 Johnny Cash Folsom Prison Tee.
Since his 1955 song "Folsom Prison Blues", Cash had been interested in performing at a prison. Backed with June Carter, Carl Perkins, and Cash's band, the Tennessee Three, Cash performed two shows at Folsom State Prison in Folsom, California on January 13, 1968. The resulting album consisted of 15 tracks from the first show and two tracks from the second.
Despite little initial investment by Columbia, the album was a hit in the United States, reaching number one on the country charts and the top 15 of the national album chart. The lead single from the album, a live version of "Folsom Prison Blues", was a top 40 hit, Cash's first since 1964's "Understand Your Man". At Folsom Prison received good reviews upon its release and the ensuing popularity revitalized Cash's career, leading to the release of a second prison album, At San Quentin. The album was re-released with additional tracks in 1999 and as a three-disc set in 2008.