51 years ago today, Johnny Cash recorded his landmark album At Folsom Prison, playing before 2,000 inmates in California. For 13 years, since recording his song “Folsom Prison Blues”, which was inspired by a film’s depiction of incarceration, Cash had been interested in performing behind bars.
His drug abuse problems were under control and he was looking to turn his career around, so, backed by June Carter, Carl Perkins and the Tennessee Three, he recorded the first of several shows inside prisons. The LP was a huge success— achieving platinum status and reaching number 15 on the national album charts. HEAR a song LIVE… (1968)
MORE Good News on this Date:
- Public radio broadcasting was born in the U.S. when American inventor Lee de Forest used his new vacuum tubes to receive the transmission of a live Metropolitan Opera House performance in NYC starring Enrico Caruso (1910)
- The Church of England embraced the theory of evolution (1938)
- The Wham-O Company produced the first Frisbee, a flying disc that went on to become one of the most popular and enduring toys in history (1957)
- Robert Clifton Weaver, a career civil servant with a doctorate from Harvard, became the first African-American to be appointed to a US cabinet-level position—as the first Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)—a new agency established in 1965 under President Johnson (1966)
- After kicking heroin addiction, Eric Clapton made his stage comeback at London’s Rainbow Theatre — and it was recorded for an LP — thanks to Pete Townsend of The Who, who had organized the concert to help Clapton move forward (1973)
- Douglas Wilder became the first elected Black governor in Virginia (1990)
- Happy Birthday to actor Orlando Bloom who turns 42 today (2019)
And, Happy 53rd Birthday to Patrick Dempsey, the actor who became popular for his role as Dr. “McDreamy,” on Grey’s Anatomy.
He raises millions for cancer patients with his annual 50-mile bike ride, The Dempsey Challenge in Maine, to honor his mother, who died of the disease. His Dempsey Center for Cancer, Hope and Healing provides free support, education and wellness services to cancer patients, survivors and caregivers.