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Gene Beley

Gene Beley is a graduate of San Jose State University and holds a master’s in journalism from UCLA. He is the founder, editor, and publisher of Country News in Morgan Hill, California, and writes a monthly article for Sea Magazine—usually from his second office on a 28-foot Carver Mariner yacht in the California Delta.


Folsom Prison Blues

Winter 2005 | Profiles

What most people don’t know today is that Johnny Cash’s famous Folsom Prison concert was an event that had its beginnings many years before. Reverend Gressett ministered to prisoners in the California State Prison system. Gressett started visiting Earl C. Green in the county jail when he was charged with murdering a man with a baseball bat at Matillia Lake near Ojai. After Green was convicted, Gressett went to see him on death row at San Quentin, where he was scheduled for execution. “After eighteen months on ‘the row,’” Gressett told me, “he received a reduced term to life imprisonment and was transferred to Folsom Prison. I continued to visit him at Folsom and he became the ‘Voice of Folsom Prison’ on their radio station that was beamed into the cells.”