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wonders never cease Wednesday, January 13, 2010

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 13th, 2010 play list of the week: folsom prison's greatest day ever

[caption id="attachment_2836" align="alignleft" width="440" caption="click to listen"]at-folsom-prison[/caption]Holy Roman Emperor Charles the Fat died on this date in the year 888 - soooo many Play List possibilities. But another historic event that unfolded on January 13th simply had to be honored: Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison concerts, the happenings that spawned the classic album and revitalized Cash’s career. The live album was recorded in two separate concerts for the inmates on Jan 13th, 1968, at the Folsom State Prison, 20 miles outside of Sacramento, California. Here are 10 songs from those legendary concerts, some performed by the Man In Black himself, and some great covers:

1. “Folsom Prison Blues” – Johnny Cash
Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated weeks after the release of this song, and radio stations stopped playing the track because of the line: "I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die." Columbia demanded that the song be edited and, despite Cash’s protest, the edited version was re-released and became a huge hit.

2. “The Legend of John Henry's Hammer” – Bruce Springsteen
The Boss puts his spin on the well-worn legend of the man who beat the machine only to die from his efforts. Historians are still arguing over the facts of the story, but the steel-drivin’ man’s exploits have been recounted by minstrals from Woody Guthrie to the Drive By Truckers.

3. "Jackson" – Johnny Cash with June Carter
Johnny Cash and June Carter won a Grammy Award for their recording of this song, written by Jerry Leiber and Billy Edd Wheeler. Johnny Cash also sang it with Miss Piggy when he appeared on The Muppet Show.

4. "25 Minutes to Go" – Pearl Jam
Written by children’s book author and poet Shel Silverstein, who also wrote the hit song “A Boy Named Sue,” this song is a perfect, literal example of “Gallows Humor."

5. “Joe Bean” – Johnny Cash
The story of a young criminal about to be executed on his birthday for a murder he didn’t commit. His alibi? He was “working, hard working, robbing the Santa Fe.”

6. "The Long Black Veil" – The Chieftains with Mick Jagger
Originally recorded in 1959 by Lefty Frizzell, this well-travelled song has been recorded by Cash, Jagger, Bob Dylan, The Band, The Byrds, Jerry Garcia, The Kingston Trio, The Proclaimers, Nick Cave, Joan Baez, Ani Difranco, Burl Ives, Mike Ness, Dave Matthews Band, Rosanne Cash with Jeff Tweedy, and many others.

7. "Flushed From The Bathroom of Your Heart" – Johnny Cash
What more can we say about a song that includes lines like “In the garbage disposal of your dreams I’ve been ground up, dear”?

8. "I Still Miss Someone" – Emmylou Harris and Elvis Costello
Written by Johnny with his nephew Roy Jr., this is a touching testament to heartache and longing.

9. “Busted” – Ray Charles
Charles followed Cash’s 1962 release with his own the following year and won the grammy, singing “I got a cow that went dry and a hen that won't lay, a big stack of bills that gets bigger each day.”

10. "Dirty Old Egg-Suckin' Dog" – Johnny Cash with the Muppets
Cash insults and mortifies Rowlf, the piano-playing dog on the Muppet show, who proclaims his innocence.

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