||As Michael Streissguth's informative and vivid chronicle of Johnny Cash's career-making California penitentiary gig makes clear, the singer had always been favorably disposed towards prison shows, having made over 30 appearances before captive audiences by the time of his Folsom concert. Streissguth recounts Cash's mid-1960s lack of artistic direction (exacerbated by drug and alcohol problems), his record label's lack of enthusiasm for the project, and the now-legendary live album's subsequent energizing effect on the performer's moribund career. This detailed account is matched by many candid and atmospheric shots of the events before, during, and after the show by veteran music photographer Jim Marshall. As Streissguth demonstrates, though Cash's advocacy of prison reform may have been the main reason for his performance, the concert soon became an "all or nothing deal," the ultimate commercial success of which eased both the artist, and perhaps country music itself, through a debilitating mid-life crisis.
||On January 13, 1968, Johnny Cash (1932-2003) took the stage at Folsom Prison in Folsom, California. The concert and the live album, Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison, propelled him to worldwide superstardom. He reached new audiences, ignited tremendous growth in the country music industry, and connected with fans in a way no other artist has before or since.Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison is a riveting account of that day, what led to it, and what came after. Scrupulously researched, rich with the author's unprecedented access to Folsom Prison's and Columbia Records' archives, illustrated with more than 100 photos, Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison shows how Johnny Cash forever became a champion of the downtrodden, as well as one of the more enduring forces in American music.
|Editors Note 2
||The legendary concert and the live album that came from it, now a part of the folklore of American music, is examined in depth, with an eye toward dispelling myths and placing the event in the larger context of both Cash's career and the music of the time. 60,000 first printing.