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A concert marking the 40th anniversary of Johnny Cash’s famous concert at California’s Folsom State Prison has been scrapped, with the prison and the promoter blaming each other for the cancellation.
The tribute concert, scheduled for Sunday, was to have been staged in the same prison cafeteria where Cash performed before inmates on Jan. 13, 1968. That breakthrough performance became a popular live album.
Prison officials called off the show late Monday, citing problems over filming rights, media access and security concerns. Promoter Jonathan Holiff claims the cancellation was just another broken promise by prison officials. “I was in tears when I found out,” Holiff said.
The show, which would have been streamed worldwide over the Internet, was to have been underwritten by four nonprofit groups that were to share the venture’s profit.
The executive director of Prison Fellowship Ministries, which had helped underwrite the event, said Cash fans and the inmates are the losers in this conflict.
“Johnny was wild at heart, just like these men,” Joe Avila said. “But just like him, they can change. They can walk the line.”
Cash died in 2003.
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