Johnny Cash receives Mississippi Country Music Trail marker

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STARKVILLE, Mississippi (AP) – The Man in Black is now in the spotlight on the Mississippi Country Music Trail.

A new dedicated Friday marker commemorates a night Johnny Cash spent in Oktibbeha County Jail.

In the early hours of May 11, 1965, Cash was arrested for public drunkenness after he was found picking flowers in a private home after a performance at Mississippi State University. He spent the night locked up, and that served as the inspiration for his song “Starkville City Jail”.

He performed the song for inmates at San Quentin Prison in 1969, and it was included on the album “Live at San Quentin”.

“I am so delighted that Mr. Cash did not realize this was the Oktibbeha County Jail,” said Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill. “It wouldn’t have been a good song. I’m glad he called it Starkville.

Cash was symbolically pardoned for his arrest in Starkville in 2007 at the first Johnny Cash Flower Pickin ‘Festival, the Commercial Dispatch reported.

Spruill said the new marker highlights an experience that Cash said was the start of his path to personal redemption.

Cash has sold 90 million records worldwide, including country, rock, blues, folk and gospel.

The marker is located at the corner of Mississippi Highway 182 and Jackson Street in Starkville. This is the 35th marker on the Mississippi Country Music Trail.

Arkansas lawmakers recently voted to designate a “Johnny Cash Day” to honor the late artist, born in that state in 1932. Cash died in 2003 in Nashville, Tennessee.


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