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John Prine

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John Prine (born October 10, 1946 in Maywood, Illinois) is an / who has achieved widespread critical (and some commercial) success since the early 1970s.

The son of William Prine and Verna Hamm, his grandfather had played guitar with Merle Travis and he started playing guitar himself at 14 years old. He was a postman for 5 years and spent a couple of years in the army before starting his musical career in the Chicago area. He emerged in 1971 with a highly acclaimed debut album titled John Prine. He and friend Steve Goodman (another folk ) had been minor stars in the Chicago folk scene before being “discovered” by Kris Kristofferson. The album John Prine included his signature songs “Illegal Smile”, “Sam Stone”, and the environmentalist newgrass standard “Paradise”. The album also included “Hello In There”, a song about aging that was later covered by Joan Baez, Bette Midler, and Eddi Reader, and “Angel From Montgomery”, a song now also associated with Bonnie Raitt, who occasionally brings Prine on-stage with her for live performances of the song. 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.

Later albums include Sweet Revenge (1973, containing such Prine fan favorites as “Dear Abby”, “Grandpa was a Carpenter”, and “Christmas In Prison”), and Common Sense (1975, with “Come Back to Us Barbara Lewis Hare Krishna Beauregard”).

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