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Your Morning Matters: When Johnny went to prison

More than 350 Northeast Ohioans were bused to the Capitol for the Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally organized by President Donald Trump’s supporters.

Good morning and welcome to your Morning Matters.

It’s Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, and on this day in 1968, Johnny Cash recorded his live album at Folsom State Prison.

"Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison" is recorded essentially with the folks that he toured with at the time: June Carter, the Tennessee Three, Carl Perkins and the Statler Brothers. In fact, a couple of months earlier, on Oct. 25, 1967, that lineup hit the stage at Stambaugh Auditorium.

The “Folsom Prison” album came out the following May and was a smash hit and revitalized Cash’s career, sending the live version of “Folsom Prison Blues” back to the top of the charts. By 1969, he was outselling The Beatles and he eventually had his own popular TV show. Yet he never forgot about the prisoners. Cash became so linked to the prison reform movement, he addressed the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Prison Reform on July 26, 1972.

As the Washington Post reported, “Cash spoke about the need to treat newly released prisoners as human beings and to keep youthful offenders out of prison, or at least away from older prisoners, citing the case of an imprisoned 15-year-old car thief in Arkansas who had died after being sexually assaulted by inmates."

In 2008, a documentary, “Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison,” was released. Here’s an excerpt.

Interesting note: At the time of the Youngstown and Folsom shows, June was not yet “June Carter Cash.” Johnny proposed onstage to her a month later on Feb. 22, 1968, during a concert in London, Ontario, Canada. They married on March 1 in Franklin, Ky.

Let's stay out of prison — looking at you potential sedition mongers — and be careful out there.

And here are more of the things you need to know about what's happening in the Mahoning Valley:

In the six days since the attack on the U.S. Capitol, federal authorities have opened more than 170 files on suspected criminals and charged about 70 cases — and that’s “just the tip of the iceberg.”

More than 350 Northeast Ohioans were bused to the Capitol for the Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally organized by President Donald Trump’s supporters. “Everybody knows” the violence Jan. 6 at the Capitol was wrong, one of them tells Mahoning Matters. Though she doesn’t feel all Trump supporters deserve a bad rap, another Valley organization calls on all local Republicans to denounce the Jan. 6 violence.

Pandemic facts

  • In the U.S.: 22,332,161 confirmed cases; 373,941 deaths, according to at 10 p.m. Jan. 12.
  • In Ohio: 792,308 confirmed or suspected cases; 9,802 deaths.
  • In Pennsylvania: 733,429 confirmed cases; 18,080 deaths.
  • In the Mahoning Valley: 16,219 confirmed or suspected cases in Mahoning County; 11,921 in Trumbull; and 6,780 in Columbiana.
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average: Closed at 31,068.69, up 60 points, or 0.19 percent.

Other matters

Ohio is gearing up to vaccinate the 2.2 million people in Phase 1B — which includes older Ohioans, people with severe medical conditions and school employees — and based on the scant information available, the rollout won't be smooth or quick. Mahoning Matters

A tour of the Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley’s new homeless shelter is featured in the first video the Mahoning County Land Bank launched Tuesday as part of a series to showcase collaborative achievements with partners since the agency was established 10 years ago. Mahoning Matters

The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber expects to name Tom Humphries’ successor by the end of the month, the current president and CEO said Wednesday. The Business Journal [May require registration.]

Cosmic Kitchen, a new restaurant that just opened up on Youngstown’s West Side, serves wraps, smoothies, salads and other items. WKBN

Just months after getting new owners and a new name, Loves Furniture and Mattresses announced it has filed for bankruptcy and is closing three stores in the Valley. WFMJ

Trumbull County Republicans have accepted the resignation of party chairman Kevin Wyndham. The party’s central committee will meet within 20 days to select a new chairman. The Vindicator [May encounter paywall.]

In case you missed it

LaFrance Cleaners received an outpouring of community praise for offering free dry cleaning services to unemployed people going to a job interview. Owner Stephen Weiss said the store has provided this service since the Great Recession in 2008. “We've been a part of the community for a long time, and it's something that we can do to help,” he told Mahoning Matters.

Your comments matter

“Why did the Capitol police open the floodgate? Think about that.”

Linda Dutton, on the investigation into security failures during last Wednesday’s riot at the Capitol Building in Washington.

Registered readers can comment on a selection of our stories, and all readers can comment on stories on our Facebook page. Opinions published here do not reflect the views of Mahoning Matters.

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