STARKVILLE, Mississippi (WVUE) – On May 12, 1965, country and rock-n-roll musician Johnny Cash was arrested by Starkville Police for public drunkenness. Cash then wrote the song âStarkville City Jailâ while reflecting on the experience in the jail cell.
On Wednesday, 56 years later, the music history incident is commemorated with a marker on the Mississippi Country Music Trail, according to information provided by Paige Hunt, director of tourism at Starkville.
On that Faithful Night, Cash was arrested for public drunkenness after being found picking flowers at a then-private residence after a performance at Mississippi State University. He spent the night in the Oktibbeha County Jail and later wrote the song “Starkville City Jail”.
“We believe that commemorating his experience was part of what Johnny Cash believed was the start of his path to personal redemption,” said Mayor Lynn Spruill. âHer career has been a great personal achievement and the sharing of her personal tragedy inspires hope in others through her music. We are happy to be honored with part of his musical history. We are also happy to be able to share this honor for someone who is iconic in country music. “
Grammy-winning artist and Mississippi Country Music Trail curator Marty Stuart said he remembered cutting his neighbor’s yard to earn money to buy “Live at San Quentin” when the song is released.
âI felt honored to live in a state that Johnny Cash had been through,â Stuart said. âI always feel like this. I am delighted that we can pay tribute to him and his colorful history, which will continue for generations to come, on one of the magnificent historical milestones.
The marker, which is number 35 on the trail, is located at the corner of Mississippi 182 and Jackson Street, Hunt said.
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