1970s1980s1990s2000s2010s2020sCountry MusicFolk MusicJohn PrineL E StoriesLegendsMusicMusic ConcertsVideos

L E’s Stories – “Off To Paradise” – To A True Word Merchant Of Wisdom And Magic – Thank You John Prine – R.I.P.

Bone Daddy has often said that “The doors of opportunity expand when you love what you’re doing.”…. and believe me….I love what I am doing, as I believe that this is what I was supposed to do on this Earth…. which is evidenced by the fact that I had decided to do a tribute to singer / songwriter extraordinaire John Prine…..mainly because I have posted so many of his videos here at ImaSportsphile, that I decided it was time to highlight this wonderfully magical “word merchant”….and when I did some research on John Prine….that is when I found out that he had passed on April 7, 2020 from Covid-19 virus….which absolutely floored me….Rest in Peace John Prine ….for he is an integral part of Bone Daddy’s past….when he was a big fan…. who saw him live in Austin on three different occasions during the decade of the 1980’s….and that is when Bone Daddy was recording our incredible video library that we have here at ImaSportphile….. which explains why I have posted so many John Prine videos…. Duuuuuh!!! 

 

Music – 2020 – John Prine Live – “Paradise” – Performed Just Before His Passing

                                                                                                                                                                                  DOG ASIDE:                                                                                                                                                                 

At the time of John Prine’s passing…..April 7, 2020….the entire world was under siege of the Covid-19 that attributed to his death….a siege that basically shut down the global economy….especially sports….as the games were halted and seasons were lost.  Never in Bone Daddy’s wildest dreams did he think John Prine would be a Covid-19 victim….and although he understood what a pandemic is….he had never experienced one that would shut down the NFL, College Football, MLB, NBA, Futbol, et al…to which BD now says “Now we know what a real global pandemic is, so, I hope the global community knows that the answer to how to deal with a pandemic in the future is keep the economic structure functioning, and then you deal with all future pandemics from that perspective….in other words….learn to adapt….as all options have mortality rates”  We here at ImaSportsphile are sorry for the loss of John Prine….for this man knew how to tell a story in song….and dang near every one of his stories had a lesson to be learned. The video below is the last song that John Prine wrote and recorded in 2020 just before his death….it is so fitting of a song for a “unseen killer” who took his life just a few months after this recording.                                                 

 Music – 2020 – John Prine – “I Remember Everything” – A True Tribute To The Life Of John Prine

                                                                                                                                                                              John Prine was an American country folk singer-songwriter…..who was active as a composer, recording artist and live performer from the early 1970’s until his death…..as he was known for an often humorous style of original music that has elements of protest and social commentary.  Born and raised in Maywood, Illinois, Prine learned to play the guitar at the age of 14. He attended classes at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music. After serving in West Germany with the U.S. Army, he returned to Chicago in the late 1960’s….where he worked as a mailman…..while writing and singing songs first as a hobby…..and then becoming a club performer.  A member of Chicago’s folk revival, Prine credited film critic Roger Ebert and singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson with discovering him….which resulted in the production of Prine’s debut album with Atlantic Records in 1971. The acclaim earned by this LP led Prine to focus on his musical career….and he recorded three more albums for Atlantic. He then signed with Asylum Records….where he recorded an additional three albums….then in 1981, he co-founded Oh Boy Records, an independent record label with which he would release most of his subsequent albums.                                      

Music – 2010 – John Prine Live – “Illegal Smile” – As The Audience Sings Along With Him

                                                                                                                                                                                    Widely cited as one of the most influential songwriters of his generation, Prine was known for humorous lyrics about love, life, and current events….as well as serious songs with social commentary….along with songs that recollect melancholy tales from his life. Prine’s self-titled debut album was released in 1971. Kristofferson (who once remarked that Prine wrote songs so good that “we’ll have to break his thumbs”, invited Prine and Goodman to open for him at The Bitter End club in New York City. In the audience was Jerry Wexler, who signed Prine to Atlantic Records the next day.  The album included Prine’s signature songs “Illegal Smile” and “Sam Stone”, and songs that became folk and country standards, “Angel from Montgomery” and “Paradise.” The album also featured “Hello in There”, a song about aging that was later covered by numerous artists, and “Far From Me”, a lonely waltz about lost love for a waitress, about which Prine later said was his favorite of all his songs. The album received many positive reviews, and some hailed Prine as “the next Dylan.” Bob Dylan himself appeared unannounced at one of Prine’s first New York City club appearances, anonymously backing him on harmonica.                                                          

Music – 2011 – Austin City Limits – Featuring John Prine Singing “Angel From Montgomery”

                                                                                                                                                                                      Prine’s second album, Diamonds in the Rough (1972), was a surprise for many after the critical success of his first LP….which was not very commercial…..as a stripped-down affair that reflected Prine’s fondness for bluegrass music and features songs reminiscent of Hank Williams. Highlights of the compilation include the allegorical “The Great Compromise”, which includes a recitation and addresses the Vietnam War, and the ballad “Souvenirs”, which Prine later recorded with Goodman.  His subsequent albums from the 1970’s include Sweet Revenge (1973), containing such fan favorites as “Dear Abby”, “Grandpa Was a Carpenter” and “Christmas in Prison”….along with Common Sense (1975), with “Come Back to Us Barbara Lewis Hare Krishna Beauregard.” The latter album was Prine’s first to chart on the U.S Top 100 by Billboard….and reflected his growing commercial success. It was produced by Steve Cropper…..then there was Bruised Orange from 1978….which was a Steve Goodman-produced album that gave listeners songs such as “That’s The Way That The World Goes ‘Round”, “Sabu Visits the Twin Cities Alone”, “Fish and Whistle” and the title track.                                                                                                           

Music – 1971 – BBC Old Grey Whistle Test Performance – John Prine Sings “Dear Abby”

                                                                                                                                                                                    In 1974, singer David Allan Coe achieved considerable success on the country charts with “You Never Even Called Me by My Name”…..which was co-written by Prine and Steve Goodman…..as the song was a good-natured spoof of stereotypical country music lyrics….from which Prine refused to take a songwriter’s credit….and the tune went to Goodman….albeit his good friend Goodman bought Prine a jukebox as a gift from his publishing royalties. The 1979 album Pink Cadillac features two songs produced by Sun Records founder Sam Phillips…..who by this time rarely did any studio work. The song “Saigon” is about a Vietnam veteran traumatized by the war….”The static in my attic’s gettin’ ready to blow”. During the recording, one of the guitar amplifiers blew up (which is evident on the album). The other song Phillips produced is “How Lucky”, about Prine’s hometown.                                                               

Music – 2011 – Austin City Limits – Featuring John Prine Singing “Clay Pigeons”

                                                                                                                                                                                   In 1981, rejecting the established model of the recording industry, which Prine felt exploited singers and songwriters, he co-founded the independent record label Oh Boy Records in Nashville, Tennessee. His fans, supporting the project, sent him enough money to cover the costs, in advance, of his next album. Prine continued writing and recording albums throughout the 1980’s. His songs continued to be covered by other artists; the country supergroup The Highwaymen recorded “The 20th Century Is Almost Over”, which had been written by Prine and Goodman. Steve Goodman died of leukemia in 1984 and Prine contributed four tracks to A Tribute to Steve Goodman, including a cover version of Goodman’s “My Old Man.”  I will tell you a little secret…..Bone Daddy just loves this song…..as he says that Austinite Steve Goodman…..whom BD had met several times at his bar….really caught the gist of the relationship between most Baby Boomer sons and their dads of the Greatest Generation….which was laced with respect, admiration and lack of communication.                                                                                                       

Music – 1988 – Austin City Limits – Featuring John Prine Singing “My Old Man”

                                                                                                                                                                                      In 1991, Prine released the Grammy Award-winning The Missing Years, his first collaboration with producer and Heartbreakers bassist Howie Epstein. The title song records Prine’s humorous take on what Jesus did in the unrecorded years between his childhood and ministry.                                                                     

Music – 2008 – Live At Sessions At West 54th – John Prine Sings “Lake Marie”

                                                                                                                                                                                    In 1995, Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings was released….which was another collaboration with Epstein.  On this album is the long track, Lake Marie, a partly spoken word song interweaving tales over decades centered on themes of “goodbye” Bob Dylan later cited it as perhaps his favorite Prine song.  Prine followed it up in 1999 with In Spite of Ourselves, which was unusual for him in that it contained only one original song (the title track); the rest were covers of classic country songs. All of the tracks are duets with well-known female country vocalists, including Lucinda Williams, Emmylou Harris, Patty Loveless, Dolores Keane, Trisha Yearwood, and Iris DeMent.                                                          

Music – 2002 – Live At Sessions At West 54th – John Prine & Iris DeMent Sing “In Spite Of Ourselves”

                                                                                                                                                                                    In 2001, Prine appeared in a supporting role in the Billy Bob Thornton movie Daddy & Them. “In Spite of Ourselves” is played during the end credits.  Prine recorded a version of Stephen Foster’s “My Old Kentucky Home” in 2004 for the compilation album Beautiful Dreamer, which won the Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album in 2004.  In 2005, Prine released his first all-new offering since Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings, the album Fair & Square, which tended toward a more laid-back, acoustic approach. The album contains songs such as “Safety Joe”, about a man who has never taken any risks in his life, and also “Some Humans Ain’t Human”, Prine’s protest piece on the album, which talks about the ugly side of human nature and includes a quick shot at President George W. Bush. Fair & Square won the 2005 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album. The album contains original songs plus two covers: A.P. Carter’s “Bear Creek Blues” and Blaze Foley’s “Clay Pigeons”.                                                                      

Music – 1986 – Strawberry ’86 Workshop Live – Featuring John Prine Singing & Discussing Writing Songs

                                                                                                                                                                                  On June 22, 2010, Oh Boy Records released a tribute album titled Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine. The album features members of the modern folk revival including My Morning Jacket, The Avett Brothers, Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band, Old Crow Medicine Show, Lambchop, Josh Ritter, Drive-By Truckers, Nickel Creek’s Sara Watkins, Deer Tick featuring Liz Isenberg, Justin Townes Earle, Those Darlins, and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon.                                                                                                   

Music – 2005 – Austin City Limits – Featuring John Prine Live On Stage

                                                                                                                                                                                   In 2016, Prine was named winner of the PEN/Song Lyrics Award, given to two songwriters every other year by the PEN New England chapter. The 2016 award was shared with Tom Waits and his songwriting collaborator wife Kathleen Brennan. Judges for the award included Peter Wolf, Rosanne Cash, Paul Simon, Elvis Costello, and Bono, as well as literary judges Salman Rushdie, Natasha Tretheway, and Paul Muldoon.  In 2016, Prine released For Better, or Worse, a follow-up to In Spite of Ourselves from 1999. The album features country music covers spotlighting some of the most prominent female voices in the genre, including; Alison Krauss, Kacey Musgraves, and Lee Ann Womack, as well as Iris DeMent, the only guest artist to appear on both compilation albums.                                                                                                     

Music – 1989 – John Prine Live Singing “You Never Even Called Me By My Name

                                                                                                                                                                                    On March 15, 2017, the American Currents exhibit opened at the Country Music Hall of Fame. The exhibit featured a pair of cowboy boots and jacket that Prine often wore on stage, his personal guitar, and the original handwritten lyric to his hit, “Angel From Montgomery”. The American Currents Class of 2016 showcased artists who made a significant impact on country music in 2016, including; Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini, Ross Copperman, The Earls of Leicester, Brett Eldredge, Florida Georgia Line, Mickey Guyton, Natalie Hemby, Sierra Hull, Jason Isbell, Miranda Lambert, Jim Lauderdale, Shane McAnally, Lori McKenna, William Michael Morgan, Maren Morris, Jon Pardi, Dolly Parton, Margo Price, Prine, RaeLynn, Chris and Morgane Stapleton, and Randy Travis. Prine won his second Artist of the Year award at the 2017 Americana Music Honors & Awards after previously winning in 2005.                                                           

Music – 1990 – Live in Concert – John Prine & Nanci Griffith Sing “The Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness”

                                                                                                                                                                                 On February 8, 2018, Prine announced his first new album of original material in 13 years, titled The Tree of Forgiveness, would be released on April 13. Produced by Dave Cobb, the album was released on Prine’s own Oh Boy Records and features guest artists Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires, Dan Auerbach, and Brandi Carlile. Alongside the announcement, Prine released the track “Summer’s End”. The album became Prine’s highest-charting album on the Billboard 200.                                                                                    

Music – 2019 – Backstage Live At L A’s John Anson Ford Theater – With John Prine Singing “Summer’s End”

                                                                                                                                                                                    In 2019, he recorded several tracks including “Please Let Me Go ‘Round Again”–a song which warmly confronts the end of life–with longtime friend and compatriot Swamp Dogg in his final recording session. In 1981, rejecting the established model of the recording industry, which Prine felt exploited singers and songwriters, he co-founded the independent record label Oh Boy Records in Nashville, Tennessee. His fans, supporting the project, sent him enough money to cover the costs, in advance, of his next album. Prine continued writing and recording albums throughout the 1980’s. His songs continued to be covered by other artists; the country supergroup The Highwaymen recorded “The 20th Century Is Almost Over”, which had been written by Prine and Goodman. Steve Goodman died of leukemia in 1984 and Prine contributed four tracks to A Tribute to Steve Goodman, including a cover version of Goodman’s “My Old Man.”                                                                                                                                                                                 

Music – 2004 – John Prine – “My Old Kentucky Home, Goodnight” – Recorded In Tribute To The Kentucky Derby

In 2016, Prine was named winner of the PEN/Song Lyrics Award, given to two songwriters every other year by the PEN New England chapter. The 2016 award was shared with Tom Waits and his songwriting collaborator wife Kathleen Brennan. Judges for the award included Peter Wolf, Rosanne Cash, Paul Simon, Elvis Costello and Bono…..as well as literary judges Salman Rushdie, Natasha Tretheway and Paul Muldoon.  In 2016, Prine released For Better, or Worse….which was a follow-up to In Spite of Ourselves from 1999. The album features country music covers spotlighting some of the most prominent female voices in the genre, including; Alison Krauss, Kacey Musgraves and Lee Ann Womack….as well as Iris DeMent….who was the only guest artist to appear on both compilation albums.                                                      

Music – 1989 – Live In Concert At Point Depot Arena In Dublin,Ireland – John Prine & Lyle Lovett & Jimmie Dale Gilmore

                                                                                                                                                                                      On March 15, 2017, the American Currents exhibit opened at the Country Music Hall of Fame. The exhibit featured a pair of cowboy boots and jacket that Prine often wore on stage, his personal guitar, and the original handwritten lyric to his hit, “Angel From Montgomery”. The American Currents Class of 2016 showcased artists who made a significant impact on country music in 2016, including; Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini, Ross Copperman, The Earls of Leicester, Brett Eldredge, Florida Georgia Line, Mickey Guyton, Natalie Hemby, Sierra Hull, Jason Isbell, Miranda Lambert, Jim Lauderdale, Shane McAnally, Lori McKenna, William Michael Morgan, Maren Morris, Jon Pardi, Dolly Parton, Margo Price, Prine, RaeLynn, Chris and Morgane Stapleton, and Randy Travis. Prine won his second Artist of the Year award at the 2017 Americana Music Honors & Awards after previously winning in 2005.                                                            

Music – 2018 – Live From Here With Chris Thile – Featuring John Prine Singing “Lonesome Friends Of Science”

                                                                                                                                                                                  On February 8, 2018, Prine announced his first new album of original material in 13 years, titled The Tree of Forgiveness, would be released on April 13. Produced by Dave Cobb, the album was released on Prine’s own Oh Boy Records and features guest artists Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires, Dan Auerbach, and Brandi Carlile. Alongside the announcement, Prine released the track “Summer’s End”.  The album became Prine’s highest-charting album on the Billboard 200.                                                                                       

Music – 2018 – John Prine Live In Amsterdam Full Concert

                                                                                                                                                                                   In 2019, he recorded several tracks including “Please Let Me Go ‘Round Again”–a song which warmly confronts the end of life–with longtime friend and compatriot Swamp Dogg in his final recording session. To our way of thinking, the words of John Prine in his song “When I Get To Heaven” pretty much says it all…..so, we’ll let them speak to the conclusion of our tribute to this to true American icon “word merchant of wisdom and magic” as follows:

When I get to heaven, I’m gonna shake God’s hand                                                                                              Thank him for more blessings than one man can stand                                                                                        Then I’m gonna get a guitar and start a rock-n-roll band                                                                                Check into a swell hotel; ain’t the afterlife grand?                                                                                            And then I’m gonna get a cocktail: vodka and ginger ale                                                                                      Yeah, I’m gonna smoke a cigarette that’s nine miles long                                                                                      I’m gonna kiss that pretty girl on the tilt-a-whirl                                                                                                      ‘Cause this old man is goin’ to town                                                                                                                  Then as God as my witness,                                                                                                                                  I’m gettin’ back into showbusiness                                                                                                                          I’m gonna open up a nightclub called “The Tree of Forgiveness”                                                                        And forgive everybody ever done me any harm                                                                                             Well, I might even invite a few choice critics, those syph’litic parasitics                                                            Buy ’em a pint of [?] and smother ’em with my charm                                                                                            ‘Cause then I’m gonna get a cocktail: vodka and ginger ale                                                                          Yeah I’m gonna smoke a cigarette that’s nine miles long                                                                                      I’m gonna kiss that pretty girl on the tilt-a-whirl Yeah this old man is goin’ to town                                      Yeah when I get to heaven, I’m gonna take that wristwatch off my arm                                                        What are you gonna do with time after you’ve bought the farm?                                                                          And them I’m gonna go find my mom and dad, and good old brother Doug                                                      Well I bet him and cousin Jackie are still cuttin’ up a rug                                                                                      I wanna see all my mama’s sisters, ’cause that’s where all the love starts                                                          I miss ’em all like crazy, bless their little hearts                                                                                                      And I always will remember these words my daddy said                                                                                      He said, “Buddy, when you’re dead, you’re a dead pecker-head”                                                                        I hope to prove him wrong, that is, when I get to heaven                                                                          ‘Cause I’m gonna have a cocktail: vodka and ginger ale                                                                                  Yeah I’m gonna smoke a cigarette that’s nine miles long                                                                                      I’m gonna kiss that pretty girl on the tilt-a-whirl                                                                                                      Yeah this old man is goin’ to town                                                                                                                      Yeah this old man is goin’ to town                                                                                                                              

Music – 1969 – Special – Live At Grammy Awards Up Close & Personal – Featuring John Prine Singing “Souvenirs” + “Sam Stone” + “The Speed Of The Sound Of Silence” + “Paradise”                                                

It is difficult for Bone Daddy to listen to John Prine sing “Sam Stone” without tearing up….cuz when his generation got home from Viet Nam…..they got no thank you, no honors and no parades…..as they just put their uniforms away and tried to blend in and forget….which so many couldn’t do…..so very sad…..and like so many other difficult sentiments….John Prine carried the thoughts and heartstrings of a generation ….and he will be missed tremendously…..but his music will carry on for the ages. We are so grateful to has so much of his work within our video museum.

 

Music – 2020 – Special – John Prine Singing “When I Get To Heaven”

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button