starkville city jail

from johnny cash posted in music


starkville city jail
111 dr douglas l conner dr
starkville, mississippi 39759

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posted by tacopolis #

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On May 11, 1965, Johnny Cash was arrested in Starkville, Mississippi for what he described as "pickin' flowers." The official charge was public drunkenness, and Johnny Cash spent the night in the Starkville City Jail (now known as Oktibbeha County Jail). While in the jail cell, Cash kicked the wall so hard that he broke his toe. He was fined $36 and released the next morning.

The NY Times recounted a near mythical experience of Smokey Evans that night. Smokey claims that when he was 15 and drunk, he was thrown in the same cell as Cash. After Johnny broke his toe, he gave Smokey his black shoes and said: "Here’s a souvenir. I’m Johnny Cash." Evans left the shoes to his nephew in his will.

The experience was immortalized in the song "Starkville City Jail" which was recorded on the At San Quentin live album. Johnny Cash was arrested in seven different cities, but only Starkville warranted its own song.

Since that fateful day, the town of Starkville has periodically held the Pardon Johnny Cash Flower Pickin' Festival to celebrate the Man in Black's brush with the law for drunken horticulture.

Oktibbeha County Jail