Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison, via Cotuit Center for the Arts
By: iO Staff, September 17, 2012
Cotuit Center for the Arts, in partnership with the Woods Hole Film Festival, will present Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison, a 2008 feature documentary by Bestor Cram of Northern Light Productions in Boston.
The film looks back at Johnny Cash's historic January 13, 1968, concert at Folsom Prison—the recording of which is considered one of the greatest live albums ever made— using the concert as a lens through which to view the musician.
The son of a poor cotton farmer in Arkansas, Cash had had a troubled life, and his drug use often got him into trouble. A proponent of prison reform, he felt a connection to men behind bars, and they felt a rapport with him. After seeing Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison, a 1951 film by Crane Wilbur, concerning inhuman treatment of prisoners by guards, Cash wrote Folsom Prison Blues, which became popular with prisoners, who asked him to perform at the prison.
If you go...
Johnny Cash in Folsom Prison
Feature documentary by Bestor Cram
Tuesday, September 18 @ 7 PM
Tickets are $12, $10 for members, and may be purchased at the door or at artsonthecape.com.Cotuit Center for the Arts 4404 Route 28, Cotuit
In response, Cash, his wife-to-be June Carter, Carl Perkins, the Tennessee Three, and the Statler Brothers came to the prison to play for the men and to record a live album, including many prison-related songs. The concert catapulted Cash to international fame, and, 44 years later, the album still resonates with a rawness and authenticity that few recordings have achieved since.
The film includes concert video and interviews with Rosanne Cash, members of the band, people involved in the production, and some ex-prisoners and guards, including inmate Glen Sherley, whose song, “Greystone Chapel,” was included in the concert and subsequently became a hit for Cash. Archive footage of life in Folsom Prison is interspersed with footage from modern time, as well as still photography of the performance.
Woods Hole Film Festival films are presented monthly; the next one is The Drummond Will, a 2010 feature comedy by Alan Butterworth, on Tuesday, October 16, at 7 PM.