New Photos of Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison Surface

Photographer: 'John was really on the skids'

By Victoria Floethe,  Newser User

Posted Jan 5, 2009 11:21 AM CST

(Newser) – Candid new photos of Johnny Cash during his famous 1968 appearance at Folsom Prison have been released by the reporter and photographer who accompanied him during the concert that turned his career around. "John was really on the skids" at the time, former reporter Gene Beley told the Sacramento Bee. Until recently, the only photographs believed to exist of Cash's 1968 prison concert were those commissioned by Columbia Records and included in the album he recorded there live.

The album At Folsom Prison and its signature song, Folsom City Blues, would save Cash's career. When Beley came back to Folsom to participate in a documentary marking the concert's 40th anniversary, he brought along one of his photographs as a gift to a retired correctional officer. Prints of his photo collection are now available at the prison museum and a shop in Billings, Mont.

For a slideshow of the Cash photos click the link below.

Johnny Cash advocated prison reform at this 1972 meeting with former President Richard Nixon.
Johnny Cash advocated prison reform at this 1972 meeting with former President Richard Nixon.
American country singer and songwriter Johnny Cash walks inside the gates of California's Folsom Prison, preparing to perform for inmates there.
American country singer and songwriter Johnny Cash walks inside the gates of California's Folsom Prison, preparing to perform for inmates there.   (Getty Images)
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Johnny Cash I Walk the Line live 1959   (51CrazyTV)
Johnny Cash - Folsom Prison BluesTown Hall Party, Los Angeles, CaliforniaAugust 8, 1959   (Carters01)
Gene Baley's recording of Folsom Prison Blues at Folsom Prison from the famous live album.   (Cortexmelon)

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It was like God grabbing him by the lapel and pulling him back up on top.
- Gene Beley, reporter who photographed Cash

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