On July 20, 1968, the live recording of Johnny Cash’s self-written “Folsom Prison Blues” began a four-week reign atop Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. The same week, parent LP Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison also spent its first of four weeks at No. 1 on Top Country Albums.
Cash had originally recorded the studio version of “Folsom” in 1955, and it climbed to No. 4 on Billboard’s Most Played by Jockeys country chart in 1956. … Born out of Cash’s sympathy for the plight of prisoners, “Folsom” became a staple of his concerts, and he arranged to play two shows for inmates at Folsom State Prison (in Folsom, Calif.) on Jan. 13, 1968.
Read more at Billboard.