Folsom Prison Blues Lesson

This is a great track to get that deep south sound.  Use a  guitar with mainly a clean sound and a little bit of slapback echo to get a real authentic sound.  There are loads of different versions of the song so you might find that it is in differeent keys.  Put  a capo on fret 1 to play along with the backing track and music, although you might find versions that are capo 2 aswell

Folsom Prison Blues pdf


Cash was inspired to write this song after seeing the movie Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison (1951) while serving in West Germany in the United States Air Force. Cash recounted how he came up with the line “But I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die”: “I sat with my pen in my hand, trying to think up the worst reason a person could have for killing another person, and that’s what came to mind.”[1]

Cash borrowed the melody for the song and many of the lyrics from Gordon Jenkins‘s 1953 Seven Dreams concept album, specifically the song “Crescent City Blues“.[2]Jenkins was not credited on the original record, which was issued by Sun Records. In the early 1970s, after the song became popular, Cash paid Jenkins a settlement of approximately $75,000.[3]