The walls of Folsom Prison echoed with shouts as Johnny Cash performed for the inmates; and the reverberations of that day are still being heard.
The show was made into an album, "Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison." The album hit No.1 on the country charts, is still No. 2 and "Folsom Prison Blues" made No. 1 in the singles.
Now the Ford Foundation is sponsoring the filming of a television documentary on Cash's life, a televisions special will be made at Folsom and another album will be cut when he performs in October at the Palladium in London, said Marshall Grant, one of the Tennessee Three, the musical group that has backed Cash since he started out in Memphis over 10 years ago.
Cash will be back in Memphis tomorrow for two performances a the Mid-South Fair, at 4 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. in the Mid-South Coliseum. With him on the show will be June Carter (his wife) and the Carter Family, the Statler Brothers, Carl Perkins, Don Gibson and the Tennessee Three. Carl Perkins has taken over on guitar with the trio, replacing Luther Perkins, who died in a fire recently.
Work on the documentary began this week at Cash's home in Nashville and the Memphis show will be filmed, Grant said. The filming crew will also follow Cash as he goes on tour next month into Washington, Oregon, and Canada, winding up in Chicago at McCormick Place. Cash opens a 10-day run at the palladium on Oct. 24
He has completed a new album, "John Cash in the Holy Land" in which he narrates the story of Christ carrying the cross to Calvary and sings new songs he has written.
Today, the main attraction at the Fair is the Cowsills a nine-member family group of singers, musicians and managers. Performing will be Mother Barbara and Bill, Bob, Paul, Barry, John and Sue. Father Bud is general manager and Dick is road manager. The family hit with two big records, "The Rain, the Park and Other Things," and "We Can Fly." They will appear at 4:30 pm and 8:30 pm.