John Prine to be honored at Central City, KY's Festival Square Benefit Concert on June 14

Article Contributed by Sacks and Company | Published on Thursday, May 16, 2024

Beloved singer, songwriter, and musician John Prine will be posthumously honored at Central City, KY’s Festival Square Benefit Concert on June 14, with performances from The John Prine Band (with Jason Wilber and Dave Jacques), Billy Prine, and Kelsey Waldon, along with additional surprise guests. The event celebrates the lives and careers of Prine and The Everly Brothers, who helped establish and headlined the Everly Brothers Homecoming/Central City Music Festival from 1988 to 2002. With these festivals, Prine and The Everly Brothers brought tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world to Muhlenberg County and greatly impacted the region, even saving Central City from bankruptcy during this period.

In honor of their contributions, bronze life-size statues of Prine and The Everly Brothers will be built in Central City’s Festival Square, which will be unveiled June 14 at 2:00 pm CT. Tickets for the concert, which will take place at Central City’s Lu-Ray Park Amphitheater, go on sale tomorrow, May 17 at 9:00 am CT. Full details can be found at

Of the event, Fiona Whelan Prine shares, “John was very proud of his Kentucky roots. He had great admiration for his friends Phil and Don Everly, who are memorialized alongside him in Central City.” Additionally, Dr. Freddie Mayes, Director of Tourism for Central City, added, “What an amazing way to open Festival Square and celebrate Don, Phil, and John! This will be an extraordinary night. To have The John Prine Band, with Jason and Dave as the house band, performing many of John’s most well-known songs and some Everly Brothers tunes. On top of that, to have performances by Billy Prine and Kelsey Waldon in the intimate setting of Lu-Ray Park, where John brought the house down back in 2019 for ‘A Night in Paradise.’ I can’t wait.”

In further celebration of Prine’s esteemed life and career, The Prine Family will present the third annual “You Got Gold: Celebrating the Songs of John Prine” this October in Nashville, with shows at the historic Ryman Auditorium (October 9), The Basement East (October 10, Prine’s birthday), and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s CMA Theater (October 11). The three nights of shows will be followed by John Prine Community Day on October 12, which will feature a variety of community-focused activities. This year’s celebration will once again benefit The Hello in There Foundation and feature performances by an array of surprise artists, honoring not only Prine’s career but also the beloved community he built over the past 50 years. Full details can be found at

Last year’s “You Got Gold” tribute raised over $200,000 for the Hello in There Foundation and featured performances by renowned artists such as Tanya Tucker, Rita Wilson, Lukas Nelson, Zac Brown, Susan Tedeschi, Amanda Shires, BJ Barham, Rodney Crowell, Pat McLaughlin, John Oates, Kelsey Waldon, Tré Burt, Joy Oladokun, Katie Pruitt, Anderson East, Ruston Kelly, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Grace Bowers, and Courtney Marie Andrews among many others. Of the tributes, The Tennessean praised, “When you hear how well his material strikes at the earnest heart of those reinterpreting it, the reverence he’s already held feels like it’s somehow inadequate,” while American Songwriter declared, “The sounds of John Prine’s poetic words echoed through the Ryman Auditorium…a legacy of remarkable songs that are bound to last a lifetime.”

Established by the Prine family, the work of the Hello in There Foundation is inspired by John’s simple song title, “Hello in There.” The Foundation aims to identify and collaborate with individuals and communities where people are marginalized, discriminated against, or, for any reason, are otherwise forgotten. Regarded as one of the English language’s premier phrase-turners, Prine is a four-time Grammy-winner, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award honoree, a seven-time Americana Music Award-winner, a PEN New England Lyrics Award recipient, and a member of both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Since his debut in 1971, Prine released over eighteen albums and has had his songs recorded by Johnny Cash, Carly Simon, Bette Midler, Bonnie Raitt, Norah Jones, George Strait, Miranda Lambert, Zac Brown Band, and many others, while drawing effusive praise from Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt, Roger Waters, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, and more, who knew him as a smiling, shuffling force for good.