Music

Watch Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings Perform ‘Folsom Prison Blues’

Screengrab via YouTube

Not many people can boast that Waylon Jennings was their second guitarist on an internationally acclaimed concert stage – but Johnny Cash can.

This particularly powerful duo performed “Folsom Prison Blues” at Farm Aid back in 1985. Jennings shows off his classic outlaw style with rollicking guitar solos throughout the song. Those riffs pair almost supernaturally perfectly with Cash’s booming bass vocals on one of his greatest hits.

A lively, and slightly sweaty, Jennings welcomes Cash onto the stage by saying, “This is my friend of the road, of home and everything for about 25 years.”

 

Some of the pairings on the Farm Aid stage in 1985 were surprising and refreshing (take Willie Nelson and Steven Tyler, for example). But Jennings and Cash go way back and their natural ease around each other on stage illustrates that lengthy and deep history.

These two were musical and personal friends starting in the ’60s when they shared an apartment. Their musical and professional collaborations started in the ’70s and included the songs “There Ain’t No Good Chain Gangs,” “The Highwaymen” and eventually the collaborative album Heroes in 1986.

The 1985 Farm Aid stage also hosted a quartet for the “Highwaymen” with Cash, Jennings, Willie Nelson and Glen Campbell. Needless to say, that particular 1985 audience was in for a few extremely rare treats.

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Watch Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings Perform ‘Folsom Prison Blues’