Country store in North Carolina, 1939
Peaceful country road.
Love in the country. (undated)
Country singer Johnny Cash posing outside Folsom Prison before his performance on January 13, 1968
Country store on dirt road, July 1939, Gordonton, North Carolina / Photograph by Dorothea Lange
In 1958, twenty-year-old San Quintin inmate Merle Haggard listened to Johnny Cash’s first-ever prison concert. It changed his life, he later said, because that concert made Haggard decide to become a country musician.
Haggard ended his career with 38 number-one hits on various American charts. Among other honors, he was given the Kennedy Center Honor and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Odd to think those things might not have happened if Haggard hadn’t been imprisoned!
The Leavenworth Weekly Times, Kansas, April 12, 1888