Thursday, October 05, 2017

Common Follows Up On Johnny Cash Concert At Folsom Prison-- 5 Decades Later


Do you wish you had been at Folsom Prison-- although maybe not as an inmate-- to see Johnny Cash perform two shows there on January 13, 1968? This is a recording that was released from those shows, which was a multi-platinum smash. I bet you've already heard it.

Yesterday I had lunch with California Senate president Kevin de León to talk about music. (He's a huge fan of a lot of the same bands I love-- like Depeche Mode, U2, Fleetwood Mac, Green Day.) But what he was really excited about was Common. He has just seen Common play a live show at Folsom Prison, the first live concert there since Johnny Cash's legendary performance. So what was Kevin doing at Folsom Prison seeing Common? Kevin is probably best known for 4 passions he's pushed in the legislature: the legitimate aspirations of the working class, the environment, criminal justice reform and public safety and immigration. And, if you know anything about Common beyond his "Love of My Life" duet with Erykah Badu or the song "Glory" he wrote for the film Selma, it's his activism on behalf of criminal justice reform. This year's Hope & Redemption tour included 4 concerts inside prisons and he just did a 5th one at Folsom, as part of his Imagine Justice Initiative.

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