The concerts at Folsom State Prison changed the course of Johnny Cash’s career. The performances led to the album ‘At Folsom Prison,’ featuring the song Cash debuted the night of January 13, 1969, ‘Folsom Prison Blues.’ Cash had been performing in prisons since 1957 and prisoners in Folsom had been writing him letters, asking him to come play there, too.
After the release of the album, Cash hosted an almost two year long run of a national musical variety show on ABC, from 1969 to 1971.
The exhibit in Rancho Cordova features 31 photographs from that time, accompanied by inmate art created in Northern California prisons as part of the Arts in Corrections program. The 3-week stop of this national touring exhibit, ‘1968: A Folsom Redemption,’ also features companion events of all kinds.
You can see the exhibit at the Mills Station Arts & Culture Center in Rancho Cordova from Feb. 5 - Feb. 22. There's also an opening event for the exhibit there from 5:30 - 8 p.m. on Feb. 5. Find more information on the exhibit in Rancho Cordova here.
Stockton resident Gene Beley met Johnny Cash just before the Folsom Prison concert. He was interviewed by public radio station KUAF in Arkansas when this exhibit made a stop there in 2019.
- Mills Station Arts & Culture Center Cordova Community Council Event Coordinator/Curator Cheryl Gleason