On this day in 1968, Johnny Cash and his band played for the inmates inside Folsom State Prison near Sacramento, Calif.
The day before the performance, Cash was given a recording of a song written by one of the Folsom inmates. The musicians quickly learned the song, "Greystone Chapel," and decided to use it as the show's finale.
The Toronto Sun said of the importance of Cash's concert at the prison:
Time was when Folsom Prison was pretty well unknown outside of northern California. Thanks to Hollywood, prisons like Alcatraz, San Quentin and Sing Sing got the publicity, for good or bad. Then came January 1968.
The first thing you see when you enter the Folsom Prison Museum is a huge photo of Johnny Cash. It was taken that Jan. 13, just before the singer's first concert for inmates that, when it went out on record, would give a boost to Cash's flagging career and lead eventually to his joining the ranks of music superstars.
In 2008, a documentary on the concert was released: