Monday, November 19, 2007
SACRILEGE #8: JOHNNY CASH Folsom Parody
This obscure parody of "Folsom Prison Blues" was done in 1972 by the Conception Corporation.
They, along with Credibility Gap and Congress of Wonders, tried to be broader, bolder versions of the hallucinogenic Firesign Theater.
35 years ago, city slickers figured Johnny Cash was nothing but some cowpoke with an off-key Mr. Ed voice glorifying violence. "Folsom Prison Blues" was, after all, recorded in front of a live prison audience, as if killers deserved to be entertained.
The Corporation open with a nudge-nudge in-joke reference to Lenny Bruce, inventor of "Yaddi-yadda" via his prison bit "Father Flotski's Triumph." Maybe the funniest thing about the parody is the crowd sound effects...how easily an audience can be manipulated into cheers or boos.
For 30 years, Johnny Cash was more country than crossover, same as George Jones or Merle Haggard. Finally, at just about the end of the line, he became a living legend to all, thanks to a string of albums produced by Rick Rubin. These discs included Gospel, country, and most interestingly, some haggardly haunting versions of recent rock songs (check out the rock video for "Hurt"). Johnny Cash's last years were both painful and prideful.
It would be insane to try and parody what Johnny did in his last years, but a dig at the guy who claimed to have shot a man in Reno just to watch him die? That's worth a chuckle. I myself was in Nevada once, and I shot some craps in Reno just to watch those die.
THE CONCEPTION CORPORATION CLOBBER CASH Instant download. No code words, time wait or porn ads.