Lancaster Prison Blues

Jill Schoonjans as June Carter and Clive John as Johnny Cash
Jill Schoonjans as June Carter and Clive John as Johnny Cash
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A date with destiny next weekend, says NICK LAKIN, when the Johnny Cash Roadshow visits former HMP Lancaster Castle to recreate the late country star’s iconic prison concerts of the 50s and 60s

It was bound to happen sooner or later.

Lancaster Castle’s A-Wing will play host to the Johnny Cash Roadshow, echoing the great country singer’s performances in prisons during the 1950s and 60s.

Sadly, it’s not the real Johnny Cash – who died in 2003 – but it’s pretty much the next best thing, as respected singer-songwriter Clive John’s recreation of the sound is the only one endorsed by the Cash family.

Cash felt great compassion for convicts, and began performing concerts at prisons starting in the late 1950s.

His first prison concert was on January 1, 1959 at San Quentin State Prison.

These performances led to a pair of highly successful live albums, Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison (1968) and Johnny Cash at San Quentin (1969).

The econcert at Lancaster Castle – taking place within the former male cell block – is on Saturday November 8, and costs £22.

Punters can even stump up another £5 for an authentic prison meal served on a plastic tray.

Organisers Skiddle Events say the food might look terrible but will taste brilliant.

I’ve not seen the show, but many say that Clive John re-creates the sound of Johnny Cash with astounding accuracy and truly captures the essence of what it was like to be at a real Cash show.

Jill Schoonjans stars as June Carter.

The show takes the audience from the 1950s right up to 2002 and all the stops in between.

Tickets are available from