FOLSOM (CBS13) — It was a prison concert for the books. It has been 50 years since Johnny Cash performed his legendary concert for inmates inside Folsom State Prison.
To mark that anniversary, the prison gave a tour of the facility, including in the exact room where cash performed all those years ago and a look at how things have progressed since then.
Cash was a musician who connected to people also going through hardships and struggles and even now, he’s still bringing hope and inspiration to those serving time.
It’s been 50 years since the Man in Black rocked the halls of Folsom State Prison. Friday, music filled the very room where Johnny Cash performed his first concert to inmates- the infamous dining hall, where he sang Folsom Prison Blues.
Inmate Dane Kraich said, “The first thing that pops in your mind is that song.”
For many inmates, Johnny Cash is an icon, even decades after first bringing fame to Folsom State Prison.
Inmate Patrick Konard said,”He was the average guy going through the average stuff and he sung about it, and he lived it.”
His lyrics, which often focused on loss, struggles and redemption, still resonate.
“We all made mistakes and had trials and errors in our life and he overcame his. He’s an inspiration to us and we can overcome ours,” said kraich.
Jim Brown was a guard a Folsom State Prison during one of Cash’s performances and said, “It was pretty spectacular.'”
But, things here have at the prison since the country singer was there last. Once known for its violent inmates, Folsom State Prison now focuses on rehabilitation. Many inmates are taking classes in electrical and mechanics, looking to the day they get out.
“We want some skills to survive out there and get by,” said an inmate named Jonathan.
Fifty years later, his music and his legacy, are still very much present inside the walls of Folsom State Prison.
“Johnny Cash will forever be a part of this place.”
The actual 50th anniversary of Johnny Cash’s iconic performance of “Folsom Prison Blues” inside the prison is on Jan. 13.