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Johnny Cash in San Quentin (1969)

TV Movie  |   |  Documentary, Music  |  6 September 1969 (UK)
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A unique concert given to the long term inmates of the famous jail. Johnny and June sing 'Wanted Man' ( written especially for the concert by Bob Dylan) and 'San Quentin', (written by Cash ... See full summary »


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Credited cast:
Herself - Singer
Himself - Singer
Marshall Grant ...
Himself - Bass
W.S. Holland ...
Himself - Drummer
The Tennessee Three ...
Themselves - Musicians
Bob Wootton ...
Himself - Lead Guitar


A unique concert given to the long term inmates of the famous jail. Johnny and June sing 'Wanted Man' ( written especially for the concert by Bob Dylan) and 'San Quentin', (written by Cash just in time for the concert). Also features the songs: 'I walk the line''Fulsom prison blues''Orange blossom special''Jackson''Darling companion''Daddy snag bass' 'A boy named Sue' 'Peace in the valley' 'He turned water into wine'. The audience are very appreciative. Written by grunsel

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Documentary | Music





Release Date:

6 September 1969 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Swing in-Rock in: Johnny Cash singt im Zuchthaus von San Quentin in Kalifornien  »

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Did You Know?


This was the first album recorded after longtime Cash sideman, Luther Perkins, died. This was the first album replacement guitarist Bob Wootton played on. See more »


Featured in The World's Greatest Gigs (2005) See more »


Darlin' Companion
Written by John Sebastian
Performed by Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash
See more »

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User Reviews

Captive audience
31 May 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A quite remarkable document of Johnny Cash's historic concert at the infamous San Quentin penitentiary, which works not only on a musical but also on a documentary level. Cash and his band perform a range of "jailbird" songs interspersed with a little gospel and some tough humour to an enthusiastic crowd of inmates, no doubt glad for some relief from the daily grind of prison life.

Cash himself isn't interviewed during the programme, although he delivers some confident between-songs banter as well as introducing his wife June to sing a surprising cover of the Lovin' Spoonful's "Darlin' Companion. There are newly minted songs too, including Bob Dylan's "Wanted Man", the big hit "A Boy Named Sue" and his own scathing "San Quentin" ("...I hate every inch of you", goes the next line), Cash, no stranger to trouble, clearly identifying with the prisin audience rather more than the authorities.

Great show as it is, the inter-cut testimony from prisoners and the governor alike is what leaves the biggest impression, including a confession by one death-row convict which will freeze your soul.

I haven't seen a concert by any popular act quite like this before and it made me think about Cash's Sun label colleague in the Million Dollar Quartet who around this time was performing cabaret in Las Vegas. Unlike Presley though, Cash was clearly his own man and here as never before, truly walked the line.

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