Two legendary live albums released at the end of the sixties gave Johnny Cash’s career a huge boost and turned him into an international star. They were two records were unlike any others: they were recorded in prison. But how did the Man in Black find himself in such an unusual concert hall?

The Californian prisons Folsom and San Quentin are not only associated with criminal activity. Thanks to Johnny Cash, they also played a key role in shaping the history of 20th century popular music. The singer recorded two albums in the prisons, on 13th January 1968 and 24th February 1969. In fact, they were two of the best live albums of all time. The unusual context and close interaction with the inmates obviously made these recordings stand out. But there’s more to them than just novelty. Cash and his musicians gave outstanding performances, almost as if they had absorbed all the good, the evil, the pity, revolt and redemption that was floating in the air.