Jelly Roll Sings at Jail Where He Served Time in Johnny Cash-Style Performance: VIDEO
By Clayton Edwards,
Johnny Cash recorded what is arguably the greatest country album of all time behind the walls of Folsom Prison in 1968. That was far from the only time that Cash performed for inmates. In fact, From Folsom Prison isn’t even his only album recorded inside a penitentiary. Now, decades later, Jelly Roll is taking a page out of the Man in Black’s playbook. Recently, the Nashville native and some of his closest friends performed for inmates at the Davidson County Correctional Center.
To deepen the comparison to Johnny Cash, Jelly Roll chose to perform “Folsom Prison Blues” one of Cash’s most iconic songs in the jail. Check out the video below.
Seeing everyone coming together over music like this is amazing. At the same time, seeing Jelly use his platform to give back to his community is truly touching. That being said, the annotation in the video pulls it all together. “This wasn’t for a music video or anything like that. [Jelly Roll] went back to the jail he did time in and performed for the inmates. This was such an amazing thing to watch,” it reads.
So, outside of a couple of quick TikTok videos, Jelly Roll wasn’t creating content or pushing anything when he performed that day. Instead, he was just using his hard-earned success to bolster the spirits of some guys who are at one of their lowest points in life.
A Full-Circle Moment for Jelly Roll
The difference between this performance and Johnny Cash’s prison concerts is that Jelly Roll did do time. He started having run-ins with the law as a teenager. Later, he was charged as an adult and did some time behind bars. He did a good portion of that time at the jail in Davidson County. Just those things would be enough to call this a full-circle moment for the reformed drug dealer.
However, it goes deeper than that. Jelly Roll didn’t come out of the womb a lyric-writing machine. The former rapper honed his streetwise and self-reflective songwriting while incarcerated. One of the things that helped put him on the map was a 10-minute-long freestyle rap recorded just days after getting his discharge papers and re-entering the free world.
Today, Jelly Roll is an inspiration to countless fans. He wouldn’t be the man he is today without the lessons and skills he picked up behind bars. So, stepping into the jail where he did time to perform for the inmates adds another layer to the full-circle moment.
This performance and the generous donation to the juvenile detention center where he did time show that Jelly Roll refuses to forget where he came from. He has a passion for uplifting the youth and raising the spirits of those who are now where he once was. You have to respect him for that.
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