Let’s all raise a toast to the great singer-songwriter-guitarist John Prine, who is being inducted June 13 into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in a ceremony in New York City. (Among the other inductees are Yusuf/Cat Stevens and Jack Tempchin, so a strong class!)
Here’s the Hall of Fame’s write-up on Prine:
“Two-time Grammy-winner John Prine is among the English language’s premier phrase-turners. Almost 50 years into a remarkable career, Prine has drawn effusive praise from the likes of Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt, Roger Waters, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and more. With music relevant to any age, Prine’s iconic songs like ‘Sam Stone,’ ‘Angel from Montgomery,’ ‘Paradise,’ ‘Hello in There,’ ‘Illegal Smile,’ ‘That’s the Way the World Goes ‘Round,” “Speed of the Sound of Loneliness,” “In Spite of Ourselves,” “I Just Want to Dance with You,” and many more have established him as a legendary singer, songwriter and performer.
“He is a Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member, a PEN New England Lyrics Award recipient, and a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominee. His work has been recognized as part of the Recording Academy’s Grammy Hall of Fame and his songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Carly Simon, Bette Midler, Bonnie Raitt, Norah Jones, George Strait, Miranda Lambert, Zac Brown Band and many others.
“Prine’s first album featuring new material in 13 years, The Tree Of Forgiveness, was released last year to overwhelming acclaim [including the pages of AG] garnering three nominations at this year’s 61st Grammy Awards including Best Americana Album and Best American Roots Song (for the album track ‘Summer’s End’). In addition, his inaugural music festival, All The Best, will take place Nov 11-15 in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.”
In this video from 2005, Prine sings one of his classic, sardonic, broken-relationship tunes (he’s written a few…), “Other Side of Town,” backed by a wonderful acoustic band. The song appeared as a live track on Prine’s 2005 album Fair and Square. Prine is definitely one-of-a-kind; a true national treasure! — Blair Jackson