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Iowa History Daily: April 19 - Johnny Cash in Cedar Rapids

Iowa History Daily: On April 19, 1968, Johnny Cash took the stage at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Cedar Rapids for two big shows. The event featured Cash and June Carter on a tour hoping to introduce the country to his new record “Live at Folsom Prison.”

As Cash entered 1968, his career seemed on the decline. After struggles including addiction, Cash sought to record a live record in a prison. On January 13, 1968, Cash took the stage at California’s Folsom Prison to lay down a record which reinvigorated his career. With the record ready for release, Cash hit the road to promote the album.

In April, Cash arrived in Cedar Rapids for a reserved seat show at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. For as little as two dollars Iowans could grab a seat by visiting the box office, the Lindale Plaza Record Shop, Downtown Cedar Rapids Woolworth’s Music Department, or by sending a mail order to Smokey Smith.

Cash kicked off each set with “Folsom Prison Blues” before exciting the crowd with twenty songs. Classics “Busted,” “25 Minutes to Go,” and “Jackson” kept the crowd in a frenzy. With June Carter along for the ride, the iconic country music due wowed the Linn County audience. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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