The New York Times has a great piece on the second annual Johnny CashFlower Pickin’ Festival in Starkville, MS. Cash fans may know Starkville for the song made famous on the live prison release “At San Quentin.” The song tells the tale of Cash’s after show journey through the town that night in May 1965, one of the darkest years of the musician’s life, leading to his arrest for public intoxication, or as Cash himself later put it “picking flowers.
While serving what would become a six hour stint Cash kicked his jail cell so hard he broke a toe, might or might not have given his $40. black shoes to a fellow cell mate named Smokey Evans while saying “Here’s a souvenir. I’m Johnny Cash.” Of the seven places Johnny Cash was arrested Starkville was the only wrote one he wrote a song about.
Johnny Cash – Starkville City Jail