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John Prine

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Editors’ Notes

Sounding like the oldest 24-year-old in history, John Prine exploded on the singer-songwriter scene with this 1971 country-folk debut, a near-perfect 13-song collection bursting with wisdom, insight, humor, and sorrow. As Kris Kristofferson said in the liners, discovering John Prine was like “stumbling onto Dylan” in the Village one random evening. Tastefully backed by many of Nashville’s finest musicians, Prine delivers poignant character studies, quirky narratives, shrewd social commentary, and perceptive self-examinations in his craggy vocal style--all without even so much as a hint of affectation. Tracks such as “Sam Stone,” “Illegal Smile,” “Hello in There,” and “Angel from Montgomery” are widely considered folk landmarks, but every song here is an absolute gem. “Blow up your TV, throw away your paper,” he gleefully sings on “Spanish Pipedream,” “go to the country, build you a home.” “Donald and Lydia” is a touching (if not exactly heartwarming) love story while “Six O’Clock News” is a devastating family portrait. The immediate post-Woodstock era was the heyday of the singer-songwriter, and John Prine’s debut may very well be its most enduring contribution.


Born: 10 October 1946 in Maywood, IL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

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...
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