What do Sammy Davis Jr. and Metallica have in common? They both happened in a California prison.
You can’t usually see these musicians on a roster together, but they all share a similar experience. They all happened in a California prison.
Here is a list of musicians who have performed in California prisons:
According to the History website, Johnny Cash performed in San Quentin on January 1, 1958. While in jail, Cash helped put Merle Haggard of Bakersfield.
At that time, Haggard was 20 and serving time in San Quentin, according to the History website. Haggard was in prison for burglary and said Johnny Cash gave him the inspiration to launch a career after prison.
Cash then performed at Folsom State Prison on January 13, 1968, according to the History website. This iconic performance associated Cash with the prisoners.
Los Tigres of the North
Spanish Nortena band, Los Tigres del Norte, performed at Folsom Prison 50 years after Johnny Cash, according to NPR.
Their performance can be seen in a Netflix documentary titled ‘Los Tigres del Norte at Folsom Prison’. According to Prism Reports, in the documentary, some inmates share stories about their life and upbringing.
According to Rolling Stone, Metallica performed in San Quentin in May 2003. While at the prison, the band performed 10 of their songs, including “Master of Puppets”, “Enter Sandman”, “Fade to Black”, and “Fuel”. .
This concert was an exchange between the band and the prison, according to the Rolling Stones website.
The band shot a video for their next track, “St. Wrath” at the prison and in return, Metallica performed for the inmates and donated $10,000 to the San Quentin Giants baseball field, according to the site. Rolling Stones website.
Sammy Davis Jr..
According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Sammy Davis Jr. performed at Folsom State Prison in 1961. Davis was the first major entertainer to do so.
The CDCR says Davis encouraged other artists to perform in prisons. Davis saw this as a tool for rehabilitation.
Other musical artists who have made an appearance in a California prison include Frank Sinatra, BB King, Carlos Santana and John Lee Hooker.