Record Store Day 2018 Spotlight: Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison: 50th Anniversary Edition

By Rod Moody

50th anniversary? Dang, I'm old. Cash was my father's favorite when this came out, and that love passed to me when I was a wee lad. I remember dad bringing the original LP home and he and my mother would battle for stereo time. Mom's go-to album in '68 was Glen Campbell's Wichita Lineman, which dad didn't care much for. Me? I loved 'em both. Both albums hit #1 on Billboard's Country Chart. Both Johnny & Glen had their own TV shows, which I watched religiously every week, and they both played concerts in Seattle around this time, which were my first and second concerts ever. I recall riding on my tricycle in the living room with my guitar on my lap, singing "Folsom Prison Blues" at the top of my lungs, and cutting photos and articles of JC and GC out of magazines and pasting them into a treasured scrapbook. Now, both albums are 50, and I guess that makes me 50+.

Cash played two shows at Folsom on January 13, 1968. The original album consisted of fifteen tracks from the first show and two tracks from the second. I inherited the original Folsom Prison album, then bought the 1999 CD reissue, which included a couple extra tracks. Then came the 2008 Legacy Edition, which included the entire unedited concert over 2 CDs + a DVD. In addition to the stellar performances cherry-picked for the original release, we now heard songs sung by Carl Perkins, The Statler Brothers, and even a few previously unheard songs from the man himself. Yep, I bought that one too, of course.

The Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison 50th Anniversary Legacy Edition vinyl box set that is being released exclusively for Record Store Day 2018 includes both full concerts, including performances by June Carter, Carl Perkins and The Statler Brothers. This numbered deluxe package, featuring individually designed LP jackets packaged in a deluxe hardshell slipcase with an eight page, 12" x 12" booklet, and also includes a bonus 12" single featuring previously unreleased audio of Cash and friends rehearsing at the El Rancho Motel in Sacramento, CA the night before the concerts.

You can guess which RSD18 title is at the top of my list!