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John Prine

An acclaimed singer/songwriter whose literate work flirted with everything from acoustic folk to rockabilly to straight-ahead country, John Prine was born October 10, 1946, in Maywood, IL. Raised by parents firmly rooted in their rural Kentucky background, at age 14 Prine began learning to play the guitar from his older brother while taking inspiration from his grandfather, who had played with Merle Travis. After a two-year tenure in the U.S. Army, Prine became a fixture on the Chicago folk music scene in the late '60s, befriending another young performer named Steve Goodman.

Prine's compositions caught the ear of Kris Kristofferson, who was instrumental in helping him win a recording contract. In 1971, he went to Memphis to record his eponymously titled debut album; though not a commercial success, songs like "Sam Stone," the harsh tale of a drug-addled Vietnam veteran, won critical approval. Neither 1972's Diamonds in the Rough nor 1973's Sweet Revenge fared any better on the charts, but Prine's work won great renown among his fellow performers; the Everly Brothers covered his song "Paradise," while both Bette Midler and Joan Baez offered renditions of "Hello in There."

For 1975's Common Sense, Prine turned to producer Steve Cropper, the highly influential house guitarist for the Stax label; while the album's sound shocked the folk community with its reliance on husky vocals and booming drums, it served notice that Prine was not an artist whose work could be pigeonholed, and was his only LP to reach the U.S. Top 100. Steve Goodman took over the reins for 1978's folky Bruised Orange, but on 1979's Pink Cadillac, Prine took another left turn and recorded an electric rockabilly workout produced at Sun Studios by the label's legendary founder, Sam Phillips, and his son Knox.

Following 1980's Storm Windows, Prine was dropped by Asylum Records, and he responded by forming his own label, Oh Boy Records, with the help of longtime manager Al Bunetta. The label's first release was 1984's Aimless Love, and under his own imprint Prine's music thrived, as 1986's country-flavored German Afternoons earned a Grammy nomination in the Contemporary Folk category. After 1988's John Prine Live, he released 1991's Grammy-winning The Missing Years; co-produced by Howie Epstein of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers, the album featured guest appearances from Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt, and Tom Petty and proved to be Prine's biggest commercial success to date, selling nearly 250,000 copies. After making his film debut in 1992's John Mellencamp-directed Falling from Grace, Prine returned in 1995 with Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings, also produced by Epstein, which earned him another Grammy nomination.

In 1998, while Prine was working on an album of male/female country duets, he was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, with the cancer forming on the right side of his neck. Prine underwent surgery and radiation treatment for the cancer, and in 1999 was well enough to complete the album, which was released as In Spite of Ourselves and featured contributions from Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams, Trisha Yearwood, Patty Loveless, Connie Smith, and more. In 2000, Prine re-recorded 15 of his best-known songs (partly to give his voice a workout following his treatment, but primarily so Oh Boy would own recordings of his earlier hits) for an album called Souvenirs, originally issued in Germany but later released in the United States. In 2005, he released Fair & Square, a collection of new songs, followed by a concert tour. Two years later, alongside singer and guitarist Mac Wiseman, Prine issued Standard Songs for Average People, a collection of the two musicians' interpretations of 14 folk and country classics. In Person & on Stage, a collection of performances from various concert tours, appeared in 2010. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Your Music is Great-Down to Earth-Thank You!listenin g for years
fridell4
me and Dale use to drink to John ..he is a great down to earth man
jewdie.jewdi e . e t c
lost dogs and broken promises is outstanding in my memory,
played the heck out of it
Just a minor correction, Sam Stone dealt with a Korean War Vet, not Vietnam Vet.
Love John Prine.
John Prine is an American treasure. Prine's music is like life itself.....s i m p l e and complex at the same time.
Billy The Bum is a fave of mine!
May you live in our songs forever!!Joh n Prine. bruised orange.1978
kb6cla
had the amazing pleasure of seeing John and Emmy Lou Harris this year at Red Rocks in Colorado, beautiful place to hear beautiful people.
Will B.

His concerts at the Ryman are incredible. Should be on everyone's bucket list
nn559 fix your disappointme n t s with new accomplishme n t s . . . c h i l d r e n are not allways direct reflections of their parents.
jOH/N I.VE LOVED FOR 40 TEARS I,M TYRING TO DERINK MY6SELF TO DEATH IGOT 3 KIDS AND 2 OF THEM ARE DISSAPOINTS TO ME EVEN MORE THAN I AM A DISSAPOANTME N T THAN i AM TO MYSELF ITS LIKE EVERY WORD YOU PUT IN YOUR SONGS CAME RIGHT OF MIND THAMK YOU FOR SUSTAINING ME THIS LONG YOU ARE NINE YEARS OLDER THAN BUT i THINK WE,RE TWIN BROTHERS FROM DIFFERANT MOTHERS
vhlep
Always think he's got a little Texas in him, but he's from Chicago!!! Another among the best American story tellers, makes you cry, makes you laugh and everything in between.
caseydbreede n
Years ago a friend handed me the Great Days double tape set and said, 'I think you'll like this guy.' I played those tapes constantly driving to school and back each day. Good music
I just learned of this man in Wisconsin for my nephew my sis n hubs wanted me to dance to big ole goofy world with bro in law loved it now I listen to him a lot love to see him in person
Still miss you snick !! 9/8/13
It's gonna be a long Monday..
Forever in our hearts ..
Seen Prine a number of times the last 30 years. Saw Goodman once opening for Steve Martin at the state fair Syracuse 79. They were both funny as hell.
Aah David Bromburg and John Prin El
Yes, he was a mail carrier in Illinois.
Is it true he was a mail delivery person at some point?
Been listening to JP for what seems like a very long time
He is a super songwriter and fun to listen to.
dwaz7
Yeah I too just recently 'found' this amazing Artist. Can't believe I overlooked him all theses 60 plus years.! Truly remarkable, clever, sensitive., insightful., , so many words needed to fully describe John.
Obviously his work says it all and more.!!!!
I have been a great fan of John Prine for many years & saw him at Red Rocks ampitheatre with Emmylou Harris on June1,2014!! ! Celebrating my 60th birthday!!! Needless to say, they were awesome & Red Rocks was incredible!! ! Could not have better!!!
Bruised Orange...I know the feelin.' I once had a bruise that turned orange, purple, green, and brown, though I can't say as it was that order, exactly.
Seen John 33 times in the last 35 years. Own everything he has ever written. Yeah you could say I am a fan.
I'm in my early 60's (Australian) and only recently discovered this incredible artist. I feel I have missed a lot not knowing of his work earlier.
kamehammon
Heart
His lyrics are insightful, revealing much abt being human
Never seen him in concert, never heard him a lot, till I just recently heard his song My old Kentucky Home funny how life works !!! What an awesome artist
I love Bruised Orange..the song "Thats the way the world goes around" is awesome!!!!
Seen him twenty times or more. Steve Goodman only once. Both my heros
I never knew that his records were so poorly recognized in the US charts. I also didn't realize how old the albums are that I love so much. I've seen him live a few times and my teeth are still not stained!!!

Live long and happily Mr. Prine.
My*
One of u fave artists out there
Thanks for doing what you do John.
Mr Prine is right up on top of it! He and Bobby should do one show or albumn!
cwj60
Met him once in Shreveport. Nice guy. His music was from the gut.
beneamata
Heart of America singing with no pretense. Thanks John for tunes like this one.
Great singer/ love it
boogiespeed
a great 'unknown' talent -thru the ages

-coming from a guy 3 months older than you John.

Keep on keepin on.

And may you be bless with improving health always...
one of the best songs ever. bonnie does it without john john dies it without bonnie, they sing it together and all three versions are wonderful
love him and this duet withbonnie rait is great
williamscaso n v
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However If you don't post this you will die in two days. Now you've started reading this so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes when done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is so scary because it works!
Hello in there !!
Cross Mark Twain with Shakespeare and put it to music...you got Prine." and dreamin' just comes natural, like the love hidden deep in your heart."
john is the best song writer and can back it what a great voice makes you want sit by a fire and listen to the stories try todd snider he has it going too peace love mmlzzz
Listening to John inspired me to pick up a guitar and learn to play a few years ago. This is real music for real people. Thanks for the inspiration.
JP is great if you don't know him ,give him a listen
I'm a rocker, but J.P. reaches my soul.
Never knew of him 2013 ! Like him a lot!!!!
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