Johnny Cash will be memorialized by the U.S. Postal Service this year with his very own Forever stamp. The country legend will be a part of a new "Music Icons" series of stamps, and his version features a photograph by Frank Bez taken for 1963's Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash. The striking black-and-white design is intended to resemble a 45 rpm record sleeve.
With its white leather sofas, fake fur upholstery and green shag-pile carpet that lines even the ceiling of the legendary "Jungle Room", nobody could accuse Elvis Presley's home, Graceland, of being in good taste. But it certainly pulls the crowds: more than 600,000 visitors flock to the Memphis mansion every year.
On 26 July 1972, three grizzled-looking men dressed uneasily in suits gave evidence at a US Senate subcommittee on prison reform. Two of the men were former inmates of some of the toughest prisons in the US - the third was the country and western singer, Johnny Cash.
Cash's famous live albums recorded at Folsom Prison and San Quentin are the stuff of music legend - likely to feature on any critic's list of defining albums of the 1960s. But it's much less well-known that these were only two of many prison concerts Cash played over the course of almost 30 years.
Johnny Cash's concert at Österåker in Sweden was the only prison concert he performed outside America. Whereas Cummins represented everything Cash wanted to change about American prisons, Stockholm’s Österåker prison represented everything he hoped they might become. This new 23-minute radio program from the BBC World Service covers this performance and some of Johnny's efforts for prison reform.
Listen at BBC.co.uk.
January 14: One of the most momentous concert performances in history occurred on yesterday's date in 1968, and the setting was a maximum security prison. Johnny Cash, along with his band the Tennessee Three, June Carter, Carl Perkins, and the Statler Brothers, played two sets at California's Folsom Prison: it was the defining moment of Johnny's career, thanks primarily to the iconic "Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison" LP released by Columbia later that year. Today's image from the Sony Music archives shows the stage set-up as viewed by the audience of convicts.
Take a look at this video of Gregg Geller (Johnny Cash - The Complete Columbia Album Collection Box Set Producer) talking about Johnny Cash concept albums:
The BBC radio program “Johnny Cash and the Forgotten Prison Blues” will air on BBC Radio 4 on Monday, Jan. 7. The program also will run four times on BBC World Service:
3:05 a.m. CST Saturday, Jan. 5
8:05 a.m. CST Sunday, Jan. 6
2:05 p.m. CST Sunday, Jan. 6
8:05 p.m. CST Sunday, Jan. 6
Fans still travel from around the world to see the place Johnny Cash often described as key to his development: his boyhood home in the eastern Arkansas town of Dyess. The small house will soon serve as a museum — not only as a tribute to Johnny Cash, but also to tell the history of the town.
Rolling Stone is running a sweepstakes where you can enter to win a copy of Johnny Cash - The Complete Columbia Album Collection! To enter, visit RollingStone.com and submit their entry form. The sweepstakes runs until 11:59 p.m. EST on January 3, 2013.
Johnny Cash - The Complete Columbia Album Collection is packed with albums, live performances and plenty of rarities. In this clip at Rolling Stone, producer Gregg Geller covers Cash's long history of collaborations:
This holiday season is a special one for Johnny Cash fans, who doubtlessly are putting the Man In Black's new boxed set, Johnny Cash - The Complete Columbia Album Collection on their Christmas lists. In this exclusive interview, Steve Berkowitz and Gregg Geller, the boxed set producers, talk about the unique qualities of Cash's mono recordings. The result allows listeners a replicate of the way people actually heard recorded music in the '50s and '60s.
During his nearly 50 years in country music, Johnny Cash proved to be one of the most prolific recording artists of his time. He brought equipment everywhere -- often to prisons -- to capture unique sounds and tensions on tape. Those rarities and long since forgotten live albums are just part of what’s included in the new ‘The Complete Columbia Album Collection’ box set. Here's an exclusive video at Taste of Country: