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Folsom Untold: The Strange True Story of Johnny Cash's Greatest Album

An Audible Original Drama
Narrated by: Danny Robins
Length: 2 hrs and 21 mins
4 out of 5 stars (3,266 ratings)
Regular price: $7.95
$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Our favorite moments from Folsom Untold

What Johnny was like in his wildest moments
If they let him go inside, would he ever come out?
Nobody was going to bankroll his crazy plan.
A smuggled song, an armed robber, and a jailhouse preacher

  • Folsom Untold: The Strange True Story of Johnny Cash's Greatest Album
  • What Johnny was like in his wildest moments
  • Folsom Untold: The Strange True Story of Johnny Cash's Greatest Album
  • If they let him go inside, would he ever come out?
  • Folsom Untold: The Strange True Story of Johnny Cash's Greatest Album
  • Nobody was going to bankroll his crazy plan.
  • Folsom Untold: The Strange True Story of Johnny Cash's Greatest Album
  • A smuggled song, an armed robber, and a jailhouse preacher

Excellent... Follows the story's trail like a good old hound dog... This documentary from Audible was made in the US by the writer and broadcaster Danny Robins, and reveals new aspects of Johnny Cash's famous 1968 Folsom Prison gig - he's unearthed some excellent first-hand witnesses.

- Sunday Times of London
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Danny Robins

About the Author and Performer

Danny Robins is a writer and presenter in the UK, with an extensive list of credits in television and radio. He is primarily known for his comedic work in a variety of sitcoms and plays. Robins is the co-creator of the BAFTA-nominated and Royal Television Society Award-winning BBC One teen dramedy, Young Dracula, and the BBC Two mockumentary series, We Are History. A Radio Academy Gold Award winner, he also has created or co-created several successful radio programs, including Rudy’s Rare Records, The Museum of Everything, and Danny Robins Music Therapy. In addition to his professional successes, Robins has enjoyed a hit single in the Top 11, and once came in second in the UK Air Guitar Championship Final.

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kingsley
  • Henely Brook, Australia
  • 02-01-19

1968 Greystone Chapel and the death of a prisoner

This is a very interesting story, for fans of music or pop culture history. 'At Folsom Prison' was a hugely important album for Cash, and for popular music. Released in 1968, at the height of the cultural revolution - in the middle of the very close, very contentious 1968 Presidential election - it was perfectly timed to become a breakthrough. The story behind it, and after it, is well told and entertaining. There is so much more to the story than just a recording of a particular concert. And the album itself might not be telling the whole truth of what happened on that day.

'This is not a music story, it's a detective story' - one of the early lines spoken by interviewer and narrator Danny Robins as he tells the story of Johnny Cash's At Folsom Prison and the aftermath of the recording.

Split into five 30-ish minute segments Folsom Untold tells the story of how Cash came to be at Folsom, a song 'Greystone Chapel' written by one of the prisoners, the concert, the release of the album, the climate of 1968 and the music and cultural revolution taking place, the effect of the RFK assassination on Folsom Prison Blues (with it's 'Shot a man in Reno' lyric) playtime and sales, and how it changed the live of prisoner Glen Sherley, the man who wrote 'Greystone Chapel'.

The concert and recording is over by the first hour, with the rest of the audio discussing what happened following. what made 'At Folsom Prison' one of the best known live albums ever, and what it did for those involved.

Robins interviews band members, Folsom prison staff from the time, a reporter at the concert, historians and more as he delves into the story of the concert and the album. There is also excerpts from Cash's album placed into the audio to support the story. Not a significant amount, and certainly not whole songs, but just snippets. Greystone Chapel, being a strong focus of the audio, gets the longest play. There is also other old recordings of interviews and thrown in, to fill gaps.Part of these include bits of Cash himself.

The mix of audio is ambitious but doesn't always work. The quality is greatly varied and some of the interviews (and not just the old ones) comes across a bit muffled and hard to hear. Especially when there is some twangy guitar music added in behind for atmospheric effect. It's still very listenable and enjoyable, just it's just not a polished as one would hope. But maybe that was an impossible task, based on the variety and quality of the material available.

Well worth the time investment to listen. This would even have been one I would have dropped some money on, if it wasn't already a free Audible Original.

[If you enjoy this review please check out my other reviews. I review a lot of small press and indie books - support the small guys and you may find something new you will love]

89 of 99 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Tabloid Presentation

It's my opinion that author Danny Robins chose an interesting topic, researched it well and went to a lot of trouble interviewing folks who were able to give first hand accounts. But either his ego got in the way or he's not professional enough to realize that the story could have benefited from another reader. His breathy, querulous, teenage presentation destroys the enjoyment of the story for listeners who don't appreciate tabloid journalism.

47 of 52 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

unlistenable

Potentially a great story, but I had to quit after 10 minutes due to the narrator's breathless, dramatic reading. This has been horrible. Glad it is free.

45 of 50 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Meh

As a fan of the man in black, I thought this finally looked like a good free audible original. What we got was a narrator who over promised and under delivered. Aside from some interesting trivia about the famous album, this was a pretty forgettable 2 hours.

66 of 74 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story... Omg PLEASE just tell it

Great story about a singular talent, but Robins's cartoonishly wide-eyed, unrelentingly breathless style is torture to listen to. It's a great story... but he can't stop SELLING IT like he's talking to a room full of five year olds.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Margaret
  • Aracata,, CA, United States
  • 02-04-19

Very disappointing.

Some great material, some interesting research all ruined by a "sensational" style that is phony and off-putting. The presentation was awful.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

It was okay...

Some interesting facts, but for the most part it felt like the narrator was trying to make a suspensful story where there was none. The whole thing was very speculative and the narrator was overly dramatic. Also, his English accent was just weird against the backdrop of this particular "story."

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A little over dramatic

A fun behind the scenes with a lots less actual drama than the narrator and music implies

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

More of a podcast than a book

It was ok. Short and entertaining enough, but very lite of any real details about the album or of Johnny Cash. As free download it was fine.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • ds
  • 02-07-19

over dramitized

What could have made an interesting 20 minute podcast was turned into a 2 hour rambling session that often wandered in a pointless fashion. The author/narrator tries to over-dramatize fairly simple concepts in what i would suppose was an attempt to turn the bland parts interesting. I am a Johnny Cash fan but was disappointed in this one. Free is good but still a waste of a couple hours. I read other reviews after i finished the book with many others saying the same as me. Should have read them before.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful