Johnny Cash's landmark 1968 album "At Folsom Prison" made the country singer - and the California town of Folsom - famous.
Now, the city is honoring the star's legacy.
Folsom is recognizing Cash with a new construction project. City leaders unveiled the first section of the Johnny Cash Trail and Overpass in a ceremony on Oct. 4, according to Taste of Country.
The $3.8 million overpass is a pedestrian and bicycle bridge that was meant to echo the prison's east gate guard towers. Once the 2.5-mile trail is complete, it will traverse Folsom Prison property and link several nearby trails.
The city is planning a fundraising drive to raise the money to complete the remaining elements of the project, which includes infrastructure for a two-acre park next to the bridge and a series of art installations along the trail, featuring a 40-foot steel statue of Cash. City officials say completion of the project will require $3 million,The Sacramento Bee reported.
Cash's Folsom prison performance marked a turning point in the singer's career, said former Los Angeles Times music critic Robert Hilburn, author of "Johnny Cash: The Life."
"It was the concert that made him a superstar," Hilburn said.
Hilburn covered the performance as a freelancer, two years before joining the Los Angeles Times, where he would write about music for 35 years. He said only one other reporter showed up from the Ventura area, because Columbia Records didn't promote it. Executives were worried Cash would show up wasted, unable to play, Hilburn noted
"Folsom Prison Blues" became a signature Cash song, Hilburn said, with the haunting line:
But I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.
When I hear that whistle blowing, I hang my head and cry.
Cash recorded the song 13 years before the Folsom concert, inspired by the movie "Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison." As someone who suffered through drug addiction, time in jail, the loss of a young brother and other hardships, Cash identified with underdogs, such as prison inmates.
Cash's daughter, Grammy winner Rosanne Cash, was on hand for the unveiling, according to Taste of Country.
Performed in Folsom last night, joined a huge crowd to dedicate the Johnny Cash Trail & art installation this morn. pic.twitter.com/Rx3rAmfthR
— rosanne cash (@rosannecash) October 4, 2014